Why the Supreme Court Ruling On Marriage Was Even Inconsistent With Libertarianism




a  dialogue  between a Libertarian and a Conservative.



Mary,  a Conservative is visiting a certain IVY league campus attended by a good friend, and runs into John who is a Libertarian.  She gazes over and notices that he is carrying a copy of a classic Thomas Sowell book and  decides to strike up a conversation with him. 


Mary: Wow, rather odd running into another Conservative in these parts.

John: Yes it is,  although I don’t really classify myself as a Conservative, I’m  a Libertarian.  Actually I used to refer to myself as a Conservative until fairly recently.

Mary: Really? what spurred the change of heart?

John: Over time I’ve just found Libertarianism to be a more consistent Philosophy.

Mary: In what way may I ask?

John:   It doesn’t merely oppose government intrusion into certain  spheres of our personal lives but all of them.

Mary: I see. And into what sphere of our personal lives do you believe Conservatism encourages the government to intervene?

John: Well  on the social issues of course.

Mary: And by the “the social issues” you mean…?

John:  Well for example, abortion, Same Sex Marriage…

Mary: Anything  else?

John: Hmm, good question, I guess those two are really the defining issues.

Mary: Alright,  well, you are aware of the fact that there are a great number of very prominent Pro-life Libertarians right?  People such as  Ron Paul, Judge Andrew Napolitano,  and others. The issue of Abortion is easily reducible to an individual rights matter which is completely consistent with Libertarian values.

John: Yes  you’re right Libertarians do differ on this issue, I’ll give you that, but what of the opposition to  same sex marriage? Why should the Federal government decide who can and cannot marry?

Mary: I think the phrasing of that question is a bit unclear. To put it more precisely the question should be: why should the Federal government decide how marriage is defined? It is a very good question, and it leads me to pose a question of my own to you. Why do you think that courts forcing Federal or local governments to recognize a particular arrangement as “marriage” gets the government out of the business of deciding how marriage is defined?

John: It doesn’t, and quite honestly I would prefer that the government get out of the business of marriage entirely. In that case, Same Sex Marriage, Polygamy (marriage between one individual and several others) Group Marriage  (marriage among a group of individuals) and various other arrangements  would all be permissible because they would all be a private matter. However  in the interrum, I believe that legalizing same sex marriage is the right move.

Mary: and that last sentence is what thoroughly confuses me.

John: Why?

Mary: You confirmed that you support the rights of Polygamists,  Group “marryers” (If that’s not a word I’ll coin it for a moment heh)  and all other groups as well?

John: absolutely

Mary:  Well let me explain the problem to you with an analogy. Suppose there was a law on the books  that granted certain privileges only to people who were of English descent. Would that be moral?

John :Certainly not

Mary: now imagine there was a  proposal on the table to expand that law so that it included not only people of English descent, but Whites of every kind, and yet only Whites. Would that law  be any more moral than the first law ?

John: hmmm.

Mary: I think we both realize that this new law would in fact be no more moral than the original law. If I were to insist that the second law is morally superior to the first one because it at least recognizes all Whites, you would dismiss the claim as utterly absurd. Merely granting government privileges to a larger swath of people doesn’t in itself eliminate or lessen discrimination one bit.

John: Wow, solid point.

Mary: It is impossible in principle to legally recognize something without defining it.  Personally I think the issue of marriage ought to be turned over to the states on the basis of the 9th and 10th Amendments, but it should be decided by legislatures and not by judges. This is the way our system of government was actually designed to operate.

John: Again,  that is really something to think about. Well It’s been an interesting discussion but I think i’m overdue for my next class.

Mary: Great talking to you as well; maybe I’ll see you around and we’ll continue your political conversion.

John: Hahaha,  wow your definitely not a typical girl.

Mary: Of course I’m not, I’m a Conservative.

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