The marriage dodge

A note on this “separation of marriage and state” dodge that is becoming popular with libertarians and others who want to avoid confronting the “gay marriage” issue. All modern Western states have inherited the fundamental social institution of marriage, which has existed for millenia. States neither invented it, just as they did not invent its natural basis, nor have they (or “the people”) any power to change its basic meaning, which is grounded in biological reality and the oppositional and complementary nature of the two sexes, and in actual (not simulated) sex and natural reproduction. Its purpose is as a moral covenant between a man and a woman and it is a framework for reproduction and the family. States, like our civilization itself, exist because of marriage, not the other way around. Likewise states have inherited much of the legal framework (states have not invented the law either) that supports and adjudicates marriage. That does not give said states any power to fundamentally mess with marriage. In other words, marriage means something. In the Western civilization it has been optimized as a monogamous institution, just one man and just one woman. Marriage can exist without the state, but since it has as clear a meaning as 2 + 2 = 4, it cannot be redefined by individuals any more than it can be redefined by the state. Individuals can do as they please, but marriage is what it is. It is something, the way a road or a house is something. If the state or “the people” pretend to change it, they are in fact destroying it by destroying its meaning, which is as well the destruction of meaning itself, which no civilization can survive.

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