Should We Get the Government Out of Marriage?

According to a recent installment at www.discussingmarriage.org, the answer is no. Doing so would not only fail to resolve the marriage debate, but it would hasten the demise of crucial family norms. Read more at The Objection from Libertarianism. Here’s the video:

The full article: http://discussingmarriage.org/objection-from-libertarianism.php
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Should Those Who Support Limited Government Also Support Traditional Marriage?

The answer is yes, according to the latest argument posted at Discussing Marriage. Check out the full article here: http://discussingmarriage.org/argument-from-limited-government.php#.U7GzBsbsGI4

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Here’s the video:

Revising the Libertarian Understanding of Marriage

I think that many Latter-day Saint libertarians have fundamentally misunderstood marriage. As a libertarian this refers to me — I once thought of marriage as a civil contract, and I once supported the position that the government should remove itself completely from marriage. This is the way libertarians have often thought about the issue:


We should take all of the legal benefits and obligations of marriage (survivorship, duty to fidelity, duty of care and support, autonomy in family affairs, etc.) and unbundle them from the idea of “marriage.” Marriage would then be a solely religious commitment that has no legal consequences or implications whatsoever (any more than baptism does). Couples who marry could privately contract with each other (via a civil union) for the legal entitlements that marriage usually entails. Judges could not enforce any such obligations unless the partners explicitly consented to them by contract. Such civil unions or private contracts would be available to anyone who so wanted to commit themselves, be they man and woman, man and man, sisters, roommates, best friends, etc.


At least, that was the general idea. I bought into it for a long while. Not anymore. Continue reading

The Law of Chastity Is Not Changing

Note: In this article, I’m not talking about any specific political measure, on which there is always room for some disagreement. I’m talking about the law of chastity, which holds that sexual activity is only appropriate between a man and a woman, lawfully married as husband and wife.

In the aftermath of this past General Conference, I’m surprised that I’m still hearing members argue that Church’s doctrine regarding chastity is wrong, and that it will eventually change to accommodate same-sex relationships. Here, for example, are two  actual quotes from various places on the internet: “I don’t feel the spirit about what Elder Oaks says,” and “I feel peaceful when I say Oaks is wrong.” Someone else posted on their Facebook page, “Oaks fail.” Another has written an entire response to Elder Oaks’ talk, suggesting that his talk — and the Church’s doctrine on sexuality — is hurtful and probably wrong. Another self-proclaimed active Latter-day Saint has posted this online. Still others have pulled out the Church’s statement: “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.” They have used this statement as evidence that we can just dismiss Elder Oaks’ teachings about the law of chastity as a personal, well-considered opinion, but not officially binding on members of the Church. Continue reading