Saturday, June 18, 2011

So DOMA Is Now Libertarian? What?

       Yea, you read the title right. A writer over at the Washington Examiner claims that the federal governments Defense Of Marriage Act actually fosters less government intervention in individuals personal lives than a repeal of said law. Naturally, it takes some rather convoluted and illogical reasoning to get there, for only in someones mind could DOMA be a "libertarians dream come true". Let take a look at some of the best parts of the article though. The author - Stella Morabito - states, first off that,
A repeal of DOMA could well prove to be one of the biggest dominoes ever to fall in favor of bigger government.
By providing a simple formula for defining parental responsibilities and rights, DOMA serves as an effective buffer between oppressive state power and individual freedom of association.
If we don’t preserve DOMA, government easily expands into that vacuum. A new body of myriad and complex laws and regulations likely would draw government into our personal relationships, starting – but not ending -- with the core family. the federal government not making distinctions in the validity of civil marriage contracts - and treating them all equal - is going to lead to an increase of "complex laws and regulations"? Actually Ms. Morabito, no new regulations would be needed, because the federal government would treat all marriages deemed valid by the States equal. Additionally, I would assert that the opposite of your statement is true, for DOMA introduced new federal regulations, and thus more government involvement, into a jurisdiction originally meant to be left to the States.

       Then Ms. Morabito goes into some convoluted rant about Libertarians who feel that the government should get out of the marriage business all together - cue Ron Paul. She states that,
First, marriage would become in effect a contractual agreement between any two individuals... Businesses and other types of arrangements would have every reason to take advantage of any new laws that could benefit self-interest in terms of property rights, taxes, immigration, etc...Meddlesome government regulation, further defining for us all the meaning of marriage and family, as well as the family’s obligation to the state, would be only one court case away. 
Second, after a demise of DOMA, unmarried individuals could argue easily that all state-sanctioned marriage is discriminatory and unconstitutional.  “Families” become collections of contractually related individuals—increasingly isolated from family bonds, more subject to government authority, and definitely less free.The push for same-sex marriage thus serves ultimately not as an end in itself, but as the vehicle to abolish all state-sanctioned marriage.
       Did anyone catch what she was saying there? In a nutshell, if the government gets out of the whole marriage business and leaves it up to the church and individuals, then people will be able to contract with whom they wish - an exercise of personal freedom which will lead to MORE government intrusion into private affairs. Yea, that's the conclusion she came to. After that, she takes cues from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan about how the repeal of DOMA will make the U.S. like China and North Korea - or something like that.

I just have one response to this stupidity. She claims to be arguing from a Libertarian standpoint, yet she is basing her argument on the premise that the Government has the authority to define what is and what is not a "family", something that most Libertarians would vehemently oppose. Most Libertarians think that Government should not be able to define an institution that is both extremely personal as well as could be construed as religious...for that is not the Governments place - it is instead a decision that should be left up to the individual.  Thankfully, most of the commentators on the Washington Examiner are pointing out her argument for what it is: incoherent, illogical, and definitely NOT Libertarian.

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