Modest Proposal on Same Sex Marriage

I have never understood the argument that allowing same sex marriage would weaken marriage.  I couldn't possibly fathom why allowing two men to marry made my marriage worse.  This same argument was made by John Stossel arguing with Ann Coulter on his show.   Coulter said it was not an issue about one's own marriage getting worse, but about a general loss of respect and strength for the institution as a whole.

I am still not buying it.  But I want to help.  If we really want to improve the general respect for the institution of marriage, here is my modest proposal:  Allow gay marriage and ban Kardashian marriage.

You're welcome.


  1. jon:

    Or better yet. Ban the gunvernment from even having anything to do with marriage. It's a contract between two people (and your deity - if you so choose). If we believe in a minimal government than the only thing gunvernment has to do with it is to enforce/arbitrate the contract and nothing else!

  2. Frank Waleczak:

    That's a straw man. We've been following this debate for years, and we've never heard opponents claim that same-sex marriage would diminish or endanger their own marriages. Their arguments are based on morality, tradition, and worries about the effects on the institution of marriage, on society as a whole, and on the rights of individuals and institutions that adhere to the traditional view of marriage. The merits of those concerns are of course debatable....James Taranto

  3. Suzanne McCarley:

    Yup. Break the contract and forfeit everything. No more cash and prizes cuz you feeel like it.

  4. Dan Sherman:

    Almost everyone misses the point with marriage. The act of marriage is not solely the fulfillment of a sexual attraction. If it were, then it would be ridiculous to deny ANY marriage. Even between multiple partners (since, after all, we can be sexually attracted to many people at one time, right?)

    So, if we can all agree that marriage is not just the end result of a biological urge, then what is it exactly? What is the real purpose of a marriage? That's where the argument should start. And when sexual attraction is removed from the equation, we get a much more accurate assessment of the use of marriage and it's impact on society and the normalization of children...etc...etc.

  5. LarryGross:

    yOW! no more filing joint on your taxes? everyone files single? that ought to put a ding in the deficit for sure!

  6. marque2:

    It may not hurt your marriage, but having people hang together is not the purpose of marriage. The purpose is to provide a supportive environment for the kids the relationship will hopefully produce.

    There is no need or incentive for the government to get involved in a relationship that can not produce offspring.

    And that is the true answer.

    At this point though, I would say marriage is yet another thing government has messed, up. Give everybody a state sponsored civil union, if they don't want to draw up the legal power of attorney papers that amount to the same thing, and then change the tax code to make deductions child based, and have nothing to do with marriage. Feds shouldn't even be involved with the civil union. Then if you want to commit to someone do it on your own, in church, or in a Gaea cave, or whatever turns you on.

  7. marque2:

    Ooh, another fan! Love BOTWT, and am listed as a contributer 4 times now! Yeah, I keep track. :)

  8. marque2:

    Probably not. the only time it works to anyone's advantage is if one spouse isn't working - or one spouse makes a seriously significant amount less than the other.

    I agree with John, except to allow a Civil Union as a shortcut to drawing up the living wills and such that are necessary to legally allow someone to care for you if you can not take care of yourself - or to allow automatic inheritance if your "partner" dies.

    Any tax breaks should be based on Children produced and children taken care of - along with a bonus for longevity of the union while with kids.

  9. ColoComment:

    With marriage comes divorce, and all the attendant woes and wails. I hope they don't regret what they're wishing for....

  10. MingoV:

    Marriage used to be a religious ceremony with no government involvement. Those who didn't want a religious marriage could pay a local Justice of the Peace to conduct a wedding. Then the state governments decided that getting married is a privilege, not a right, and began charging fees and regulating marriage. Next, the federal government based income taxes and benefits on marital status. Insurance companies also base benefits and premiums on marital status. Expanding the types of marriage has so many effects that unless the expansion is very popular, the government opposes it.

  11. Not Sure:

    "The purpose is to provide a supportive environment for the kids the relationship will hopefully produce."
    So- people who are infertile or too old to conceive should be prohibited from marrying then?

  12. marque2:

    You might want to read what wrote again. Especially this part

    "I would say marriage is yet another thing government has messed, up. Give everybody a state sponsored civil union, if they don't want to draw up the legal power of attorney papers that amount to the same thing, and then change the tax code to make deductions child based, and have nothing to do with marriage. Feds shouldn't even be involved with the civil union. Then if you want to commit to someone do it on your own, in church, or in a Gaea cave, or whatever turns you on."

  13. LarryGross:

    marriage and kids are heavily subsidized by other taxpayers. agree?

  14. marque2:

    Yup, agree completely. Marriage is yet another institution wrecked by government. Used to just go to Church and it was recorded in the church register - or even your family bible.

  15. marque2:


  16. Druid:

    Gay marriage would not weaken marriage if it is acceptable that gay marriage be not equal.

    I doubt that is the point - to be not equal.

    The only way for gay marriage to be equal to traditional marriage is to debase traditional marriage to its lowest common denominator with gay marriage - a piece a paper with the word "married" on it.

    Maybe something else other than a piece of paper, but I got nothing that cannot already be done.

  17. Dan Sherman:

    Yep. Especially through welfare programs.

  18. Scottonian:

    Surely they jest? With hetero divorces at 50% (probably more) and holding.

  19. LarryGross:

    public school - 10K per kid per year. on taxes... joint and head of household boosts standard deduction then exemptions then earned income credits Someone who makes 15K a year with kids can get an 8K refund as well 10K worth of education per kid before you ever get to entitlements (unless you want to count all the things named as entitlements).

  20. tjic:

    I am a cultural conservative and I don't want my church to be forced to endorse or perform same sex marriages.

    On the other hand, I wish that every divorced politician who pontificates on the sanctity of marriage would eat a basket of cocks.

  21. mesocyclone:

    Until the kids grow up and subsidize the older generation. The people who choose to not have children are the ones who ultimately place the greatest cost on society. Compared to what the parents put into raising kids, these "subsidies" are trivial. Parents are sacrificing to raise the next generation, one we all need and benefit from.

    Beyond that, what is a society without a future?

  22. mesocyclone:

    You think there's not a correlation between the general debasement of the idea of marriage as the correct place for sex, and as the place for children, and the high divorce rate? The sexual revolution has gravely damaged our culture. Gay "marriage" (an oxymoron of the highest order) is just one more straw on the camel's back.

  23. LarryGross:

    do we need subsidies to raise kids and carry on the generations? So are we saying that Medicare and Social Security are just the kids paying back for all the subsidies that were given to them originally?

  24. LarryGross:

    if marriage was totally a non-govt issue - including in the tax code .... and kids were the direct responsibility of their parents not other taxpayers..via taxes - Federal, State and local - would that be a correct approach to keeping the govt out of marriage and marriages that seek to have kids - natural or adopted?

  25. Eris Guy:

    As long as no one in word, thought, or deed is compelled to act as if he or she believes in homosexual marriage, then it’s not a problem. If the state will compel bakers, photographers, churches, etc. to “recognize” homosexual marriage, then, well, whatever results isn’t liberty or Libertarianism, it’s fascism.

  26. Mark Alger:

    I find much more compelling an argument Coulter made in another venue: It is not incumbent on those defending the status quo to make their case. That has already been made. After all -- check it out -- status quo.

    No. It is incumbent on those wishing to overturn millennia of custom, law, and social practice (not to mention overwhelming public resistance) to make their case.

    Which, to date, seems to amount to: "But we're in LUUVV!" or "You HATE us, you-- you-- HATER!"

    So far, not entirely persuasive.


  27. marque2:

    The government was subsidizing you when they sent you to 13 of reeducation camp. Hopefully you have a job and have paid back what they spent on you for this education. In fact that is what the government is counting on, so your income can go to pay the promises the government made to the retired - to keep the retired non-productive.

    Marriage has a tax penalty it cost more for most people to be married than it does to be single.

  28. marque2:

    Education is a subsidy to you, which you will hopefully pay back as an adult, if you don't get caught up as a 99 weeker, or become an Obama welfare case, which I am guessing is actually the case.

    As for the bloated education costs. - if you count for inflation it probably cost half as much to educate me, and my education was probably better - and even that was overpriced. I would gladly the government refund the portion of my taxes used for education, and I would educate my own kids - thereby giving the government a double gift.

  29. marque2:

    This is why they reeducate the kids in school now. GBTL etc, is the new norm. It is the Hetero's who are the odd ones.

  30. LarryGross:

    so when you graduate you owe about 120k back for your education and that money goes for the next generation via your taxes and other taxes pre-pay for your own retirement.... right?

    why if it costs more for two ( which I doubt when it comes to sharing a roof) but anyhow, why does that merit a subsidy from others?

  31. LarryGross:

    re; actually the case.. ???? explain? re: bloated education... still a subsidy - is there an advocacy to have parents pay for it themselves instead of other taxpayers?

    what OCED/Industrialized nation does that? any? How come the other OCED countries pay less than us, and beat us academically? aren't they even more "socialist" than us?

  32. marque2:

    Give back the money they gave you then.

    Anyway. You are a statist you believe that the government should be subsidizing everyone preferably from that one rich guy, so this is a pointless argument.

    As I said, give me back the portion of my taxes I give for schooling and I will gladly educate my own kids on my own dime - giving them a personal gift for the future.

  33. drB:

    How about marriage between one man and several women then? It was a custom of this land until it was changed by force after millenia of custom, law, and social practice. Choctaws could marry as many women as they wished.

    Or millenia of custom and law apply only to YOUR view of marriage?

  34. LarryGross:

    actually I do not but I do insist that we speak the truth on these things - not propaganda or wishful thinking or unrealistic political thinking.

    As someone who has paid for education for others . your comment of "give it back" is silly to the extreme. I have easily paid back and more, for decades, and continue to pay significant taxes for education for others. And I'm pointing out that this is a significant subsidy that you and others have benefited from.even as you shout "statist", chances are your property taxes don't come close to paying the actual costs.

    you could send your kids to private school but you'd still owe taxes for education for others just as those without kids do. Everyone has to pay for it - including single people, including same-sex married couples...

  35. Daublin:

    It clearly dilutes the concept the more pairs or trios or whatever you allow into the club. Similarly, also dilutes the concept when divorce gets easier.

    I'm in favor of this broad trend toward marriage being a weaker, hazier institution than it was historically. Times are different now: we have birth control, and women are in the workforce. I'm in favor, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that marriage for all is going to be the same as when the word actually meant something.

  36. cal_culus:

    Your happiness is not threatened by heterosexual marriage.

  37. cal_culus:

    How about we establish a civil Marriage of Convenience and/or Pleasure for heterosexual, eunuch, and LGBT couples who want legal and financial rights and a separate civil Marriage of Procreation for those who believe marriage has traditional moral and religious connotations ? In my mind, tThat seems to be the gist of the dual arguments. Would not that satisfy the civil rights and equality issues?

  38. cal_culus:

    Most gay men want nothing to do with marriage and the military.

  39. LarryGross:

    clearly none of this matters if each person had the same legal right and was treated the same way in the tax code - regardless of their social "status".

    isn't this really about how people get treated by the laws and tax codes?

  40. drB:

    Choctaw definition of marriage definitely satisfies their traditional moral and religious connotations as well as procreation. Yet, it is illegal.

    May be it is best to get state out of marriage altogether. Church can declare marriages according to beliefs of given church, local communities can register civil marriages according to their standards etc. Also remove all tax deductions that result from marriages and then perhaps this issue will become moot.

    My point with the above Choctaw example is that religious fanatics/conservatives have been/are trying to impose THEIR view of what marriage should be onto other people. And now they complain that OTHERS will be imposing THEIR view of marriage onto them.

  41. mesocyclone:

    In an ideal world, we wouldn't have the government involved in all this stuff. But in the real world, it is, and yes, the kids, among many other benefits they bring, pay back (many times over) the small subsidies given to marriages. But the important thing about kids is that they are the future, and all societies through history have recognized the need for the society (government or otherwise) to incentivize the creation and training of that future.

    Our modern society now strongly disincentivizes children. The paltry income tax incentive in marriage helps, but doesn't come anywhere close to the enormous cost of raising kids - especially the grossly inflated educational costs ( driven up a lot by government policies, but also by rent seeking professional guilds, etc, and by the idiocy of businesses requiring overcredentialling). Combine that with a loss of the social contract that marriage is to raise kids, and sex is to be in marriage, and the improved technology of contraception, and many societies in the world are headed for demographic collapse. If you think the fed's meddling in the economy creates economic problems, consider that they are nothing compared to a significantly declining population (it's already started in Japan). Most developed and even many underdeveloped countries no longer reach the replacement fertility rate, meaning that
    without change, their populations are going to drop - in many cases precipitously (e.g. Europe).

    Turning marriage into just a convenient place for non-procreative and often temporary love runs strongly against the critical social goal of raising the next generation If government grants any marriage when marriage isn't about kids, then what *is* about kids? And if marriage is about providing benefits, why should it provide benefits to unions that do not, in turn, return those benefits over time (other than things like spousal medical privileges, inheritance, etc)?

    Gay marriage isn't the only thing threatening marriage (also, lax divorce laws, over-zealous child protective services agencies, and a loss of moral values related to sex and procreation). But it is one of the more dangerous because it seeks to equalize all forms of marriage, removing the last vestige of government interest in a focus on creating natural child rearing units, and conferring privileges relating to children to un-natural and demonstrably sub-optimal child raising arrangements - thus objectifying children. A recent article comment: nobody has a right to children - children have a right to parents. I would modify that a bit: people have a *natural* right to create and raise children in the natural way.

    The gay rights movement has made it clear that it will accept nothing other than full equality (even when the term is ludicrous - there's nothing equal about same-sex vs heterosexual marriage) in all things, and will viciously attack and attempt to destroy any institution, organization or person who gets in the way. This is another reason that gay marriage is so dangerous.

    As far as other legal benefits of marriage - there's no reason why society shouldn't extend, through a non-marriage means, privileges such as inheritance and "spousal" medical privileges to groups of 2 or more people who want them.

  42. LarryGross:

    well you get a 3800 exemption for each child. That's 3800 off your taxable income. If your income is 25K or less - you get several thousands dollars of earned income credits. Your child gets a free 10K education plus good stamps, medicAid and reduced/free lunches.

    these are incentives you agree with?

  43. drB:

    I believe most American Indians were not gay :). Neither are Muslims with their 4 wives, or Mormons :)

  44. marque2:

    Yes, times are different, but kids haven't changed. If the family is in terrible shape divorce may be better, but it is better in general to try to support loving two family homes for the kids, rather than have dad run off because he is now bored with his wife after five years, cuz she has to share her time with the two kids, and decides to try some homosexuality.

  45. LarryGross:

    about 1/2 the traditional man/wife marriages fail - and a good number of at-risk kids who need extra teacher support in the schools - come from these "families". When families break up - Mom (or Dad) often becomes a head-of-household tax filer and gets earned income credits for the kids.
    Many of those households end up not only not paying taxes, but they get money from the earned income credits.

    traditional marriages AND divorces are treated preferentially in the tax code.

  46. marque2:

    Yes, need the teacher because government officials will do a much better job of raising kids than a stable family. Parents get in the way of all that PC teaching anyway. Bravo for this analysis.

    No longer do I think we should have policies shaped at reasonably keeping a family together. let them dissolve and let them get earned income tax credits, food stamps, welfare, 99 weeks, disability, whatever it takes. Giving money away like that expands the economy after all. That is the answer.

    Thanks Larry, I finally see the light.

  47. LarryGross:

    some kids don't have parents or parents that can help them. These kids, if not educated will grow up to become entitlement or incarceration burdens on other kids who grew up that did get educated.

    It's not about "keeping families together" (that may or may not be a legitimate focus of "government officials). It's what do you do when the family does split and the child loses parental support.

    Don't you think this happens a lot guy? Folks that I know that teach tell me a 1/3 to 1/2 of their kids come from broken families..

    what would you do instead?

  48. marque2:

    Scottonian, the new Fox Butterfield. Of course our 40 year history of debasing marriage is causing the divorce rate to go up, and is causing folks not to get married, much to the detriment of women it turns out. Seems like the feminist ideal is actually empowering men, and giving women fewer choices.

  49. marque2:

    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. - Yoda

  50. marque2:

    Actually the government is subsidizing your education personally and then as you said, the kids grow up to pay for all the promise the government made to retirees, who are less productive now due to government largess with the kids money. Why should I work past 65 gubmint says that is my retirement age, and is giving me money and an Obama phone.

    As a parent, if I were not forced into the government re-education system, I would happily give my kids the gift of an education.