‘Marriage Equality’: Why libertarians should oppose it

In marriage, as in all things, we should be wary of extending the long arm of government.

The marriage act should be abolished. Individuals should be able to live their lives with whoever they wish without government restriction or oversight.

As it stands, the government does not prevent gay relationships, or any relationship between unrelated consenting adults of any kind.

But in a misguided search for equality the masses have called for the state to extended its legal authority outside of the traditional marriage.

We don’t demand the government extend the GST to all goods so as to make it fair.

We don’t demand the government extend the Racial Discrimination Act to make certain that it has equal control over everyone’s speech. We call for the act to be abandoned.

But on “marriage equality” many libertarians are leaning on an emotional false equality argument.

Marriage equality is a misnomer. What is really proposed is government authorized same sex marriage. Any relationship which doesn’t fit into the new definition will continue to be excluded from legal status.

Not equal.

Even Australia’s libertarian party is confused.

The Liberal Democrats’ website states “preference is not to seek the granting by governments of equal rights for same-sex marriages, but the withdrawal of government so that it remains a private domain.”

Makes sense.

Yet in contradiction to this stated goal Senator David Leyonhjelm attempted to pass his Freedom to Marry bill in 2016.

His bill aimed to use the authority of government to intervene and redefine marriage as a union of two people. Again with the false equality argument.

What about polygamists or bigamists?

The only way a marriage bill could ever truly be equal is if it were expanded to the point where it was simply an ‘agreement between people’. In this condition the institution would be so broad that it would be indistinguishable from any other standard contract. The act would then evolve into another layer of unneeded bureaucracy.

Gay couples, right now, have substantially the same rights and liabilities as those of married couples with regard to property settlements. This includes claims for spousal maintenance and superannuation “splits”.

And if there are any areas of law which do not give couples the same spousal rights as married couples this should be the focus of equality campaigners.

A marriage equality bill is an endorsement of the government’s control over the personal lives of individuals. It won’t bring equal treatment but instead create a new set of haves and have nots. It is government sponsored social engineering, the antithesis of the libertarian ideal.