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Published May 17, 2012 in Talking Points by Sharon Harris
The issue of gay marriage is in the headlines right now.
Libertarians, of course, have the best solution to the conflicts now raging on this issue. The libertarian position ends all the political arguments over how government should define marriage and what government should and should not allow.
To cut to the heart of this issue, try using this simple phrase: “separation of marriage and state.”
A conversation might go something like this:
“Just like almost all Americans favor separation of church and state, libertarians favor separation of marriage and state -- and for much the same reason.
“Adults should be free to engage in any voluntary relationships and contractual associations they wish. They should be free to have their union blessed by a religious leader of their choice who is willing to do so, and they should also be free to have a marriage ceremony without a religious leader.
“If they want to make contractual obligations, the private sector is quite capable of drawing those up. How others choose to regard any particular union is similarly their own business, just as we are free to have opinions on religious and political matters.
"Just like separation of church and state, separation of marriage and state will create social harmony. There is no need to have government involved in this extremely private and personal matter.”
Ron Paul has said something very similar, and his phrasing is very useful as well: “I'd like to see all governments out of the marriage question. I don't think it's a state function, I think it's a religious function. … I am supportive of all voluntary associations and people can call it whatever they want."
The libertarian position ends all the contention, all the anger, all the coercion that inevitably comes with government involvement in marriage -- just like separation of church and state eased and ended religious conflicts in our society.
The phrase “separation of marriage and state” can help make that clear -- and quickly define a common-sense position that many people have not yet heard.
Get tips and suggestions from Sharon Harris along with experts Michael Cloud, Mary Ruwart, and David Bergland with The Very Best Ways You Can Communicate Libertarian Ideas - Panel Discussion.