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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gay Marriage trois

Given our current interpretation of Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, this is a difficult issue.

The main reasons for enshrining traditional marriage fall into two main categories: religious and scriptural tradition, and modern common sense based on mammalian reproduction and studies demonstrating father/mother parenting benefits.

It's clearly biased to simply negate these opinions and beliefs - and proof - as backward or outdated because they stand in the way of what some people want to do.

Nonetheless, they do stand in the way of people conducting their private lives, in an inappropriate and intrusive way.

That doesn't mean the answer is to abandon prevailing beliefs about legal marriage - we should be extremely careful of grand gesture as law, and of the law of unintended consequences. In truth, marriage may convey rights, but it presents as many challenges to its traditional practitioners through singular determinations by state of rights and property and inheritance.

Married people must do many things that non-married partners do in order to control and convey their property and even their lives - thank you, Terri Schiavo - because of the laws of marriage that try to but don't follow personal needs.

Need I say "pre-nup"? "Blended families"? Dr. Greenspan and Mr. Bernie Madoff (one hopes thus thinks Mrs. Madoff)?

Particularly as conservatives, we should acknowledge that the law is never perfect, only good and hopefully just, and should be as unintrusive in private lives as is tenable for the safety of others.

The only answer I find acceptable is for government to get out of the marriage business. Rewriting a tradition to gain legal standing is as bad as any law-bending. And to what end? The law will never be perfect; we must rely on civil liberties.

Still, I think it is troubling to jump into that just now. Time, discourse and "common sense" must gain a reasonable consensus. Unintended consequences (I don't mean dogs and cats marrying) must be probed.