February 05, 2004

Can a State Ban Marriage?

In the US view of rights, a right is something that is recognized, not granted. The people are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Government may recognize them, support them, but if it oppresses them, the people have a right to rebel. So, looking at things that way, is there a right to civil marriage?

I'm not asking whether this would be good, smart, stupid, or evil. I'm asking whether the government's positive steps to recognize civil marriage are a constitutional requirement in any state or under the US federal constitution?

This question has two relevant implications. If you answer no, it is not a constitutional requirement and states can ban all marriages, then the position that gay marriage is a civil right is injured. But if you answer yes, states have to marry, you directly kill one of the fairly popular alternatives in the gay marriage debates, take the state out of the question entirely. The heart of things really is why does the state inject itself into marriage?


Posted by TMLutas at February 5, 2004 03:40 PM