Gay Rights

The Practical Case for Marriage Privatization

Cross-posted.

Libertarians usually reserve the concept for marriage privatization for the debate over same-sex marriage. Theoretically, the position is pretty accessible: government shouldn’t be in the business of sanctioning the voluntary, free associations of fully enfranchised people, and should not confer special tax status or beneficiary privileges on one group of people while denying the same to another group. (For a contrarian libertarian view of this school of thought, see Jason Kuznicki’s “Marriage against the State: Toward A New View of Civil Marriage” — for a snapshot, he discusses his findings in this podcast.)

But what happens when the debate isn’t about same-sex marriage? What happens when we’re talking about garden variety, heterosexual, one-man-one-woman marriage? Why should we support privatization then?

For starters, people in government have lots of incentives to do the wrong thing.

Take, for example, John Arriola, Davidson County Clerk in Nashville, Tennessee, who has been using his staff to help him charge $40 cash per marriage ceremony, money which he pockets instead of depositing in the county’s coffers. When News Channel 5′s investigative reporting team uncovered the scandal, Arriola began insisting that he was accepting “gratuities,” and hilarity ensued:

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Wednesday, January 19th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Monday, January 17th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Wednesday, January 12th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Friday, January 7th

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

GOP has a generational problem

While some conservatives are stomping their feet like spoiled children over the inclusion of GOProud at CPAC, Erin McPike explains that legislative action like repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” could mean problems for GOP with the next generation of voters:

In the Republican Party, the fracture over issues concerning homosexual individuals revealed itself more clearly in the vote for repeal of the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevented gays from serving openly in the military.

Of the eight Republican senators who voted for repeal, five are among the youngest in the upper chamber - and they’re not all moderates.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Ensign of Nevada and Richard Burr of North Carolina maintain relatively conservative voting records, despite some of Murkowski’s recent votes. They are 53, 52 and 55, respectively.

Their colleagues Mark Kirk and Scott Brown have been lumped into the more moderate wing of the party, but they, too, are some of the youngest GOP senators. Both are 51.

Melissa Kennedy, press secretary for Log Cabin Republicans, said that gay issues generally are generational.

“Nearly all young service members supported the repeal of DADT because it simply doesn’t matter to them what anyone’s sexual orientation is and many happen to know and are friends with gay people,” she said.

Social conservatives ditch CPAC

Social conservative groups are withdrawing from participation at CPAC, the national largest annual gathering of conservatives, due to the involvement of GOProud, a gay conservative group:

Two of the nation’s premier moral issues organizations, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, are refusing to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in February because a homosexual activist group, GOProud, has been invited.

“We’ve been very involved in CPAC for over a decade and have managed a couple of popular sessions. However, we will no longer be involved with CPAC because of the organization’s financial mismanagement and movement away from conservative principles,” said Tom McClusky, senior vice president for FRC Action.

“CWA has decided not to participate in part because of GOProud,” CWA President Penny Nance told WND.

FRC and CWA join the American Principles Project, American Values, Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage in withdrawing from CPAC. In November, APP organized a boycott of CPAC over the participation of GOProud.

BREAKING: Senate passes repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”

After defeating a filibuster attempt this morning by a vote of 63 to 33, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” - the Clinton era policy preventing gays from openly serving in the military - passed through the Senate just moments ago by a vote of 65 to 31.

Eight Republicans crossed over to vote for repeal: Scott Brown (MA), Richard Burr (NC), Susan Collins (ME), John Ensign (NV), Mark Kirk (IL), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Olympia Snowe (ME) and George Voinovich (OH).

A recent survey from Pew Research showed that 58% of Americans support eliminating the out-of-date policy; public support for allowing gays to serve in the military has been over 52% since 1992. The results of a study conducted by the Department of Defense released earlier this month showed broad support among members of the armed forces in repealing DADT with 70% believing it would have little or no effect.

The bill now heads to President Barack Obama, who has been advocating for legislative action to repeal DADT. However, his administration has opposed legal challenges to the policy.

Toomey supports DADT repeal

Senator-elect Pat Toomey (R-PA), former president of the Club for Growth, stated that he supports repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”:

As I’ve said previously, my highest priority is to have the policy that best enables our armed services to do their job,” Senator-Elect Toomey said.  “Our civilian and professional military leadership have now spoken and said we should repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  I would support a free-standing measure to do so.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday that he wants a vote on repeal of DADT, which is expected to pass, before the end of this Congress. A vote could come as early as Saturday.

House repeals DADT…again

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a stand-alone repeal of the military’s outdated “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy:

The House on Wednesday handily approved a repeal of a ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, ratcheting up the pressure on Senate Republicans who have resisted holding a vote on procedural grounds.

The measure that the House approved, 250 to 175, had originally been part of a broader military policy bill. Last week, the Senate failed to break a Republican filibuster of that measure, with only one Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, voting to advance the bill.
[…]
The House bill now goes back to the Senate as a privileged bill, meaning that the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, can call it up immediately. Among Republicans, Senators Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana have indicated they could be open to voting for a repeal.

Reid has been blamed for dropping the ball on repeal of DADT by placing it in a military spending bill. And most Republicans believe that repeal of DADT is inappropriate in a lame duck session, even though they would likely voting against it anyway.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has already said she’s on board. With the tax deal likely to pass today, it’s hard to see the other Republicans listed above not voting for cloture to move repeal to a final vote.

A study released earlier this month showed broad support among members of the armed forces in repealing DADT with 70% believing it would have little or no effect.


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