Responding to a post I wrote on Aug 7, Get government out of the marriage business?, Christian Miller sent me some detailed and thoughtful documents describing his own perspective on the issue. When I inquired further, I was impressed to learn that Christian has engaged others in correspondence about the matter, including the ACLU and people from the religious community and the GLBT community. I then asked if he would write something I could share with readers of this blog. Happily, he agreed. Here’s what he wrote:
Guest Post by Christian Miller
It will be difficult to convince people that government should withdraw from the marriage and civil union business by our statements and arguments because it is an issue that most people have not considered. Government has always been heavily involved in marriage during every living person’s lifetime. Another approach is to help people convince themselves by having to answer questions they have not considered before.
Ask the questions that supporters of government marriage cannot or do not want to answer:
What would happen if government withdrew from the marriage business and the civil union business?
- Would people stop falling in love?
- Would people stop having beautiful weddings?
- Would churches stop marrying people?
- Would people stop living together in caring committed relationships?
- Would people stop forming families?
- Would people stop making babies?
- Would parents stop caring for their children?
- Would people stop doing the things that we associate with fulfilling marriages?
Does the government policy of providing Social Security benefits to 65 year old spouses who would not otherwise qualify, weigh on the decision of a couple in their 20’s to marry?
Are the bundle of default marriage laws, such as spousal inheritance, superior to specific legal documents such as wills?
What percentage of married couples have a critical need for the government financial perks given to couples with government marriage licenses?
What is the government’s definition of marriage? Not who can get married , but what marriage itself is? How can the government accuse the marriage of a Russian woman to a US citizen for the purpose of coming to the United States as being a “sham”? What about the brief Las Vegas marriage of Britney Spears?
Do marriage laws prevent multiple sex partners, disease, incest, or statutory rape?
Should there be separation of church and state?
Should single people get equal government benefits?
How many times have you had to show your government marriage certificate?
[When I asked Christian how he would like me to describe him, he said this:
- Christian Miller
- Retired engineer and entrepreneur
- Beneficiary for 40 years of government largess for married folks
Thanks again, Christian!]