Progressivism has become a parody of itself
It’s cliche, I know, but we’ve nearly reached an Orwellian singularity:
The Washington state Health Department will be changing marriage and divorce certificates in response to the same-sex marriage law that takes effect Dec. 6.
Words such as “bride,” ”groom,” ”husband” and “wife” will likely be gone. The department wants to use gender-neutral terms.
Spokesman Tim Church told KIRO-FM [...] they could be replaced with something like “Spouse A” and “Spouse B.”
The forms will still include gender so the state can track the number of same-sex couples in the state.
It’s really not too difficult to predict that the next step is to push for a Spouse C, a Spouse D, and onward, then to create available categories for what comes to count as a “spouse” in the first instance. And this idea about including gender? Well, the LGBT lobby will get rid of that particular hate crime soon enough. For freedom!
Now, the libertarian in me doesn’t necessarily take issue with consensual relationships (with certain exceptions that create conditions for significant health risk, like inbreeding) as agreed upon contractually; but the constitutional conservative / classical liberal in me also takes note that there’s been an historical aversion to tinkering with the definition of marriage as sanctioned by governments in successful civil societies — and I would argue that that is not an accident: it may not be causal, but it certainly seem corollary. The biological and social truth is, children benefit most from a one-man, one-woman family structure. And while there are always exceptions to every rule, the rules nevertheless become the rules because of their history of success.
The civil society has a right and perhaps even an obligation to promote its own healthy continuation. And government, from the classical liberal perspective, is permitted to play a (limited) role in creating the parameters for such self-perpetuation. This is what separates the classical liberal from the pure libertarian — the idea that government does have some legitimate interest in protecting the social contract, not just in protecting individual rights and providing for defense.
That having been said, I also believe in federalism. And if the people of Washington state want same-sex marriage and Spouse A / Spouse B relationships, more power to ‘em. Just don’t insist that those of us who, as voters in other states, think the idea a bad one, be forced to recognize what Washington state or New York, etc., decided to enact.
The tension comes when the courts, as is their wont, step in and demand we all accept what only some, in a federalist system, are attempting — usually under the rubric of a “civil right” that is no such thing. People have a “right” to enter into contracts; they have a “right” to choose a partner. But they don’t have an inherent right to marry (ahem) their own definition of what comes to constitute a state sanctioned union to a thing that has always had a clear and stable definition.