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Cato Institute’s Levy calls for marriage freedom

Timothy Kincaid

January 7th, 2010

robert levyThe Cato Institute is a pro-free market, libertarian think tank which seeks to “increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace.” Today the New York Daily News ran an opinion piece by Robert Levy, Cato’s chairman. He sees the unconstitutional restriction on gay couples to be the consequence of politicians inserting themselves into our lives and controlling what has historically been a private contract.

For most of Western history, marriage was a matter of private contract between the betrothed parties and perhaps their families. Following that tradition, marriage today should be a private arrangement, requiring minimal or no state intervention. Some religious or secular institutions would recognize gay marriages; others would not; still others would call them domestic partnerships or assign another label. Join whichever group you wish. The rights and responsibilities of partners would be governed by personally tailored contracts – consensual bargains like those that control most other interactions in a free society.

Yet our politicians, unwilling to privatize marriage, seem congenitally unable to extricate themselves from our most intimate relationships. One would hope, in the coming months and years, that more enlightened federal and state legislators will have the courage and decency to resist morally abhorrent and constitutionally suspect restrictions based on sexual orientation. Gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and the same respect and dignity accorded to all Americans.

Oh how I wish that “libertarian minded” legislators would act in accordance with their claimed principles.



January 7th, 2010 | LINK

There aren’t many out there that claim to be that and of the ones that do, they don’t even fit the bill on most other issues, let alone gay marriage. It’s been diluted as a way to get the last few suckers not to “waste their vote” on a real change.

It should be noted that Levy supports the 14th Amendment and strict scrutiny acknowledging our equality as well, so his column is not limited to a “get government out of marriage” call.

January 7th, 2010 | LINK

the Libertarian Party has had this in their platform for quite some time. Why more fair minded fiscal conservatives aren’t officially Libertarian I’ll never understand

January 7th, 2010 | LINK

I’m not a libertarian but I always thought it should include getting government out of marriage, gay and straight.

Priya Lynn
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

The government has a legitimate interest in encouraging stable relationships. The government most definitely should not “get out of marriage”.

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