Libertarian David Boaz on Gay Marriage

Libertarian David Boaz on Gay Marriage

Complete video at: Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute and Libertarian thinker …



20 Comments on “Libertarian David Boaz on Gay Marriage”

  1. See you ruined your own claim at being a libertarian. "But if the government is involved then equallity ought to be the rule, In other words,any 2 or more consenting adults should be allowed to marry," That's not a libertarian statement; that says you wish to oppose the self expression of those to whom marriage is a contract of the traditional manner. You are not libertarian.

  2. No,that's a perfectly libertarian statement inasmuch as libertarianism is about choosing amongst the various nonaggressive options. If,as an adult,I choose something that does not involve force or fraud that choice is libertarian. I do not oppose your right to have a traditional–even a religious, marriage if you want,but I do insist that those with different values be allwed to have marriages to reflect their values.

  3. The case for the use of the word is not good.

    It's certainly not a Libertarian position to have government altering the socially established definition of words.

    Words are the means by which human beings understand the world, and the idea of government redefining words with long established meanings is disturbing. The states that have had referendums have rejected redefinition, and this is significant not because of majoritarianism, but because it confirms the accepted definition.

  4. Words change as do our values. Government would not be altering the institution of marriage,but like Switzerland the government would be neutral. It would allow each individuals the freedom to determine what constitute marriage to them according to their own values. There is nothing more libertarian than that whereas for the law to define marriage according to the society's values is to impose the will of the majority on those who disagree. Defining marriage is no affair of the State.

  5. When words change it is an organic change over time within society itself, as opposed to an intentional and concerted campaign involving legal action. You cannot scorn the "will of the majority" here because a word by definition consists of the conventional use embraced by the majority.

    I agree that the state getting out of it is the MOST Libertarian alternative, I was responding to the idea that the second best alternative would be redefining marriage in the way that Boaz says.

  6. Libertarianism is ultimately about the expansion of individual choices and if I can't get the State to leave the marriage business alone–which would be best,the 2nd best option and the one which increases the choices available to the individual, is legalization of same sex marriage(also legalization of polygamous marriages). I would rather government not be in the business of deciding which lifestyles are acceptable,but one can't always have what one desires.

  7. Choices are about rights, and I do not believe there is any right to have words defined in a certain way . As I said in my first comment, I am discussing the use of the word "marriage" rather than the benefits associated with the Institution.

  8. I'm ambivalent about whether or not we ought to use the word marriage while granting full marital rights. It's been my experience,having attended a few gay marriage ceremonies that irrespective of what the law says people are calling them marriages. You've said that words change organically over time–a good conservative–even Burkean, answer by the way, and if that is true then the use of the word marriage to define gay unions has already moved into common parlance.

  9. Which people are calling them marriages? the people that consent to the concept of same sex marriage?

    Your last sentence ignores the content of the very sentence you've quoted from my comment.

    "When words change it is an organic change over time within society itself, as opposed to an intentional and concerted campaign involving legal action. You cannot scorn the 'will of the majority' here because a word by definition consists of the conventional use embraced by the majority."

  10. But I may have misunderstood you. You may be saying that what you describe is happening, and that it will expand over time, rather than that this change ought to immediately be put into law because it has already happened.

  11. Actually,what I'm susgesting is that to a sizeable percentage of the population–if not a majority,at least a significant minority,the change has already happened. Not merely LGBT people and their liberal and libertarian fellow travelers,but many traditional minded people with gay friends and family members(Think of Dick Cheney). Right now traditional minded people(of whom I am often a member) are dominant,but our numbers are growing and we will have the laws changed with time–short time.

  12. And a great deal of this change has unfolded in the last 10 years as a consequence of a concerted political effort. Social opinion has been virtually altered overnight not as a consequence of a gradual evolution, but of the same kind of heat of the moment political fervor that characterized the kinds of revolutions that the aforementioned Edmund Burke was skeptical about. But anyway, back to the subject of what this should mean from a Libertarian standpoint.

  13. If a majority has come to the conclusion you describe, then for good or ill this ought to be legally recognized, which takes us back to the state referenda. In every state in which the matter has been put up to a vote same sex marriage has been defeated, but if you are confident that this will change, then we ought to allow the matter to settle itself (rather than act federally).

    If the individual states are confident about this they should ALL allow referenda; unfortunately many are not.

  14. I am also a libertarian, and I lean towards the Rothbardian perspective. I would like to know how a libertarian, as you state you are, comes to the conclusion that "2 or more consenting adults should be allowed to marry" why would you limit it to two adults? I am honestly asking because I want to know the logic used.

  15. Simplistic view. Divorce ? Assets ? Raising the Children ? Social Security benefits ? Death benefits ? We have society in free fall because the Family is under assault. Gay Marriage will further exacerbate that decay. To purposely bring children into the world 1/2 orphaned is immoral and cruel. If Gays want to play house, fine. I agree with your answer. Raiding children ? NFW. Very bad idea. We see how well Detroit is doing minus one parent in the household. The culture needs FAMILY.

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