Tuesday, April 05, 2005

No or yes on marriage amendment?

I'm not voting, but, if I did what, hypothetically, would I vote? Honestly, I don't know.

I haven't fully grappled with the implications of the twin views I have. The first view, which I will call the "Neolibertarian view" for lack of a better term, is the basic argument that I made in my column last week and fleshed out a little more in the previous posts. But, as I said, I don't adhere completely to this view. I also view this from what could be called the "Hayekian cultural evolution" view, a view that I have mentioned but haven't described (I refer you back to Goldberg's take on it for a quick reference). I haven't tried to mesh these views, or see if they are even compatible or comparable.

Either way, I really don't know the implications of either view. In the past, I have not been loathe to support gay marriage if my reasoning lead me in that direction. And neither would that be the case here. It may be that the amendment should be opposed because it not only affects "gay marriage" (insofar as such a concept can exist) but also affects civil unions, which might be permissible under the Neolibertarian view (as any contract entered under freewill should be). Certain things, like delegating who your inheritance goes to, and who you want by you on your death bed making decisions for you, should be able to be decided by any person, regardless of marriage.

If I want the Milkman to make life and death decisions for me, and he agrees and we sign a contract, why should the government be involved? Perhaps this is a naive view, and I certainly don't know to what extent the government actually is involved. But suffice to say that people should be able to enter into contracts with whoever they want, for whatever they want, as long as such does not affect others in an undue way. So if the amendment makes it impossible for people to enter into freewill contracts with other people, it should be voted down according to the views I have previously explicated, I think (but by no means am I any degree of "sure").

But, on the other hand, if the amendment just prevents "gay marriage" from recieving benefits from the government, it is entirely unclear to me at the moment what the proper choice would be. Surely preventing crusading courts from imposing gay marriage on an unwilling populace by autocratic means is a laudable goal. But the very unchangeability of an amendment, once passed, could make it harder for a Hayekian cultural evolution to take place as the opinions of the population change.

So, in conclusion, a qualified "whatever."

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