Gary Johnson Criticizes Obama for Throwing Gay Marriage to the States

Press release from Gary Johnson, Libertarian for President:

May 10, 2012, New York, NY – Libertarian nominee for President and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today said he’s “disappointed” with President Obama’s position on gay marriage. Obama told ABC Wednesday he would let each individual state decide the gay marriage question instead of seeking federal protection of the right to marry. Johnson noted that more than 30 states already ban same sex marriage in one way or another.

In a statement, Johnson said, “Instead of insisting on equality as a U.S. Constitutional guarantee, the President has thrown this question back to the states. When the smoke clears, Gay Americans will realize the President’s words have gained them nothing today, and that millions of Americans in most states will continue to be denied true marriage equality . I guess the President is still more worried about losing Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia than he is in doing the right thing. What is the President saying — that he would eat a piece of cake at a gay wedding if the state the happy couple lives in allows it ?. Where is the leadership? While I commend him for supporting the concept of gay marriage equality, I am profoundly disappointed in the President.”

And in a separate release/blog post yesterday:

GOV. GARY JOHNSON: WHITE HO– USE GAMES ON GAY MARRIAGE AREN’T FUNNY

May 9, 2012, Santa Fe, NM – Libertarian nominee for President and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today called for the Obama Administration to “make up its mind” when it comes to supporting marriage equality for all Americans, citing Vice-President Biden’s weekend comments appearing to support gay marriage and White House efforts since to clarify those comments.

Johnson, who supports gay marriage equality, received the Libertarian Party nomination for President Saturday, and will be on the ballot in all 50 states. “The President is playing cruel, cynical politics with a deeply personal issue for many Americans,” said Johnson. “He should quit trying to have it both ways and take a stand.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Johnson said, “Gay marriage equality is not a trick question, and we shouldn’t be getting trick answers from the President of the United States. Gay Americans deserve better than a President who winks and nods and tries to convince them that he will protect their rights, but refuses to emerge from the closet and support one of the most basic rights – the right to equal access to marriage. And frankly, even opponents of gay marriage deserve the truth from the White House. Is the President for it or against it? Right now, the Administration is trying to have it both ways”

“For a few brief minutes over the weekend, supporters of marriage equality were given a glimmer of hope when the Vice-President expressed ‘comfort’ with gay marriage. I’m sure the White House was delighted to offer that glimmer. But within hours, they were walking it back. And Monday, President Obama sends his spokesperson out to say there is no ‘update’ of the President’s position that marriage is between a man and a woman, but repeats that Obama opposes ‘efforts to repeal rights for same-sex couples’.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what that means and I suspect no one else does either,” Johnson said. “We have a President saying he won’t support marriage equality, but if it somehow becomes legal, he won’t support repealing it? And a Vice-President saying he’s ‘comfortable’ with it? That is not leadership. That is politics, and on such a deeply personal issue for many Americans, it is cruel politics.

“Government exists to protect civil liberties and constitutional rights – not to pick and choose among those Americans who should have those rights. Denying same-sex couples the right to marry under the law is government-sanctioned discrimination. Unlike President Obama, I am not afraid to state, without a wink or a nod, that the government has no right to tell us who we can marry or not marry.


All four blog posts at http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/category/blog after acknowledging his nomination have been about the issue of gay marriage.

58 thoughts on “Gary Johnson Criticizes Obama for Throwing Gay Marriage to the States

  1. Gene Berkman

    I support non-discriminatory marriage, and have opposed the two initiatives that have passed in California which banned gay marriage.

    I also strongly support Gary Johnson as the Libertarian candidate.

    The issue however is a serious change in culture and attitude, and calling for the federal government to impose such a change is questionable to me, and possibly to some other Libertarians, for practical as well as philosophical reasons.

    To be sure, opponents of marriage equality first called for federal involvement, and Mitt Romney wants to empower the federal government to ban gay marriage.

    As Barry Goldwater said,” a government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have.”

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    GB@4,

    There’s a line — it may not be sharp and bright, but it’s there — between “imposing” a change and “recognizing” a change.

    The instant one state legalized same-sex marriage, it became partially a federal matter because according to the Constitution a couple that gets married in one state remains married if they move to or travel through another state (“full faith and credit”), and some states are trying to weasel out of that.

    Even if one doesn’t take so expansive a view of the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause as to assert that it requires all the states to license same-sex marriage themselves, it still means SOMETHING. Hypothetical:

    A couple gets married in Massachusetts.

    The couple moves to Texas.

    One member of the couple is accused of a crime, the other is subpoenaed to testify as a witness.

    Does Texas have a law that exempts spouses from testifying against each other? Is it going to deny that couple the protection of said law if the couple consists of two men or two women instead of one of each?

    If so, it’s a federal matter. The 14th Amendment says that states don’t get to deny people equal protection of law, and it says that the feds are the ones who enforce that.

    It would be preferable if the feds didn’t rely on state licensing at all as a determinant of whether you are married for “federal purposes” (filing a tax return, for example, or Social Security survivor benefits). If you say you’re married, you’re married, end of story.

    That’s probably not any more likely to happen than the federal government publishing one last Federal Register entry (“out of business — have fun”), but what SHOULD happen, at a MINIMUM, is that the feds treat ANYONE with a marriage license from ANY state as married, including for matters of constitutional enforcement like full faith and credit / equal protection.

    It would still be unconscionable that a couple from Birmingham might have to spend a couple of weeks in Boston to get married instead of being able to do it at home, but at least once they did that, Birmingham’s and Alabama’s governments wouldn’t have the option of continuing to impose its apartheid bullshit on them.

  3. paulie Post author

    I’ve seen speculation that Johnson taking on this issue has forced Obama to make his move.

    Apparently at least some people in Obama’s camp are afraid they could lose votes to Johnson on civil liberties issues.

    Similarly, I saw speculation that fear of a right wing rebellion going towards Barr led the Republicans to switch their VP offer from Joe Lieberman to Sarah Palin.

  4. Carol Moore

    Obama is a closet bisexual. Of course he supports this! And this might be his last chance to do something about it if he’s NOT elected. (Though he could become a big old activist in that case. Making Jimmy Carter look tame??)

    Maybe this is his way of being LESS Blackmailed by all those big special interests (esp. foreign policy and civil liberties wise) blackmailing him now about his boys in college and his boys in the men’s club in Chicago; and probably some white house guys. Wayne Madden collected all the dirt.

    IF he gets elected we can check out blackmail theory and see if he goes against those special interests.

    And I still have some faint hope he wouldn’t charge into war vs. Iran if Israel attacks; but maybe even Romney wouldn’t even. And I’m crossing my fingers on Johnson on that topic… sigh…

    “Denying same-sex couples the right to marry under the law is government-sanctioned discrimination.”

    Yeah, I guess so. But it still seems Obama and Johnson STILL making statist arguments in not just saying: the STATE at any level should not be involved except for contract enforcement.

  5. Brian Holtz

    @7 (Brian backs away slowly, avoids eye contact, and wishes he’d known a few days ago that some people are self-discrediting…)

  6. johncjackson

    The Obama delusions here are fabulous! According to one newer but high-profile Libertarian, no one ever saw or heard of Obama during his college years. According to another long-time Libertarian, he was spending all his time banging dudes.

  7. just reading

    @5 , You’re forgetting the second sentence of the full faith and credit clause:

    “And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”

    Hence, the Defense of Marriage Act, in which Congress prescribed that only one-male-one-female marriages need be granted full faith and credit.

  8. LibertarianGirl

    Im thankful for Obama’s back tracking and record of supporting something in election only to never follow thru after i.e ending wars , supporting medpot , ending med pot raids , closing Gitmo

    perhaps the best aspect of the Johnson campaign for me is his ability to draw from the left , something we’ve been severely lacking..

    and coming to this party as a drug war opponent, a Johnson- Gray ticket is freaking awesome:)

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    jr@11,

    “You’re forgetting the second sentence of the full faith and credit clause”

    No, I’m not forgetting it; I’m just recognizing that it’s not applicable, because the Constitution has since been amended.

    The 14th Amendment forbids the states to deny equal protection, and charges Congress with enforcing that prohibition. Congress may not, therefore, “prescribe [an] effect” for the purposesof allowing the states to deny, rather than preventing the states from denying, equal protection.

  10. Paulie

    perhaps the best aspect of the Johnson campaign for me is his ability to draw from the left , something we’ve been severely lacking..

    and coming to this party as a drug war opponent, a Johnson- Gray ticket is freaking awesome:)

    Exactly

  11. JT

    Knapp: “The 14th Amendment forbids the states to deny equal protection, and charges Congress with enforcing that prohibition. Congress may not, therefore, “prescribe [an] effect” for the purposes of allowing the states to deny, rather than preventing the states from denying, equal protection.”

    Members of Congress can’t enforce anything, even Constitutional laws.

  12. Gene Berkman

    Tom – I totally support the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. I have as early as the 1990’s argued this point with conservatives.

    And I think that Obama by executive order could implement non-discriminatory policies for federal workers.

    Congress could deal with the income tax issue as you suggest, not requiring proof of marriage for people filing joint returns. I actually filed joint returns with my partner for years before we were legally married, and no proof of marriage was ever asked.

    My issue with Governor Johnson’s release is two fold. He seems to be calling for the federal government by law, or federal courts by judicial decree, to mandate that each state implement equal marriage rights. I support the same goal, but empowering the federal government in this area is dangerous, considering its record in other areas.

    The Los Angeles Times today has a front page article on the potential effect of President Obama endorsing equal marriage rights. The article points out that opponents of gay marriage bans are hesitant to use President Obama’s statement, because they want the votes of people who might not support the President. And they think that having local voices on their side is more persuasive to undecided voters.

    The LA Times also notes this:
    But unlike civil rights struggles of the past, the federal government has largely been a bystander as the gay marriage movement gained momentum in recent years. And when Obama finally climbed aboard Wednesday, he went out of his way to declare that he didn’t want to nationalize the cause.

    “I think it is a mistake to try to make what has traditionally been a state issue into a national issue,” Obama said, alluding to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s support for a federal constitutional ban on gay marriage.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gay-marriage-next-20120511,0,7388339.story

    This is finally a libertarian type civil rights struggle with minimal federal involvement. And that is what Gov. Johnson shoujld emphasize.

  13. just reading

    @13 – There’s no “protection” at issue here.

    The laws protect people from having their natural rights violated, from their being robbed or killed.

    A government marriage is a privilege granted by the state, not a “protection. ”

    Homosexuals and polyamorists don’t need to be “protected” from their neighbors’ one-man-one-woman marriage… they are not being robbed or killed.

  14. Carol Moore

    Blackmailing of politicians for behaviors that should be legal and accepted (including banging dudes if your wife gives permission 😉 is common. We can’t fight it if we are in denial about it.

    Some sex workers and an old alleged boyfriend claimed George W. Bush was bisexual also, going to be gay parties in Mexico, so it’s not just a race thing vs. Obama. And think of the Hillary accusations. Wouldn’t the powers that be WANT an easily black mailed candidate? And deep closet sex is such an easy thing to do it on.

    Read Wayne Madsen’s article. A bit conspiratorial, but… when you’ve known as many closet bisexual guys as I have, rather convincing… I’m all for getting rid of the need for closets!!

    http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20100522 is here.
    May 24, 2010 — SPECIAL REPORT. Obama and Emanuel: members of same gay bath house club in Chicago

    Search title for various mirrors that contain some or all of the article.

  15. JT

    Carol: “I’m all for getting rid of the need for closets!!”

    I’m all for you walking into a closet (alone) & not coming back out.

  16. Jill Pyeatt

    CM: I know Obama’s religion, place of birth, and sexuality are a huge topic of conversation for many people, but does it really matter? He’s a horrible president in every way, and we should all work to replace him.

  17. Kony 2012

    Since this is such an important civil rights issue , should President Johnson bomb Africa until they agree with his definition of marriage (which he adopted six months ago)?

  18. Lake, presenting

    Carol Moore // May 11, 2012:

    Obama is a closet bisexual ???????????

    Whom forwarded my tapes ????????????

    Talk is cheap, talk is cheap ………….

  19. paulie Post author

    A government marriage is a privilege granted by the state, not a “protection. ”

    Equal protection of the laws just means the laws have to apply to everyone equally, and the feds are required to make sure that state laws don’t discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, etc. That includes marriage laws, naturally.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    24 p, right, so would this entail, say, federal prosecutors arresting county clerks in jurisdictions that would not marry same-gender couples in states that have laws prohibiting it?

  21. Carol Moore

    @21 Jill Pyeatt
    CM: I know Obama’s religion, place of birth, and sexuality are a huge topic of conversation for many people, but does it really matter? He’s a horrible president in every way, and we should all work to replace him.

    CM: Sure, we should work to replace him, but if he’s blackmailed into starting war with Iran before the election, or after he’s elected, any blackmail-able issue is a concern, especially if there’s wide speculation on it.

    Sex and politics are connected, kids. Get used to it.

    Bruce Majors and I were all over it last night at Gary Johnson meetup, much to enlightenment of others. (Hmmm, wonder if he and another closet guy we discussed, George Clooney, have been having a thing?)

    Not something easily verified except I guess by Lake,Presenting who won’t release the tapes.

    I guess some closet bisexuals may be enraged by the idea people might want to free them to open the closet. If they want to stay in, it’s just their business and their sex partners, who hopefully they are being honest with. (I have much fonder memories of my honest bisexual boyfriends than the closeted ones I ferreted out because of my great bi-dar.)

    All tipos corrected. (Note my newly created spelling of typos.)

  22. paulie Post author

    Since this is such an important civil rights issue , should President Johnson bomb Africa until they agree with his definition of marriage (which he adopted six months ago)?

    Civil rights issue =/= reason for US regime to invade and occupy the world

  23. Nick Kruse

    I would like to quote for all of you what the Bible says about homosexuality:

    “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

    I’d like to quote the Bible for you all, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about this issue.

  24. Nick Kruse

    It truly is amazing how the Republicans and others opposed to same-sex marriage can just make facts up out of thin air.

  25. JT

    Nick, have you ever heard of “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination”? Or “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them”? Both are in Leviticus.

    I’m not into mysticism, but that’s a fact.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    jr@17,

    You might want to try reading the actual laws in place.

    In Missouri, a clergyman who “solemnizes a marriage” involving a same-sex couple can be fined and jailed.

    If he “solemnizes the marriage” of an opposite-sex couple, it’s all good and well.

    Licensure is just the tool used to control/audit that. It isn’t a “privilege,” it’s a tax and a tool of control.

    I oppose the tax and tool of control, but if they’re going to have it, they don’t get to check inside trousers and under skirts to decide how it applies.

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    Gene @16,

    I’m pretty much with you on not federalizing marriage as such (e.g. telling the states that they have to issue licenses this way or that).

    But, full faith and credit. If you and I run off to Boston, Massachusetts and get married (you dashing stud, you!), if we settle down in Mesquite, Texas we are still married. Texas doesn’t get to decide that we aren’t.

  28. Gene Berkman

    Tom – as I said @ 16
    “I totally support the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. I have as early as the 1990?s argued this point with conservatives.”

    I have lived in Texas, but (to quote Rabbi Kahane of the JDL) – Never Again!

  29. Jed Siple

    @34 Jesus was the fulfillment of the old covenant, and gave us the new covenant. Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality, at least that we know of. Therefore, while the Jewish faith has claim to believing that homosexuality is a sin, Christians really don’t. Paul says some things about it, but Paul seems to say a lot of things, many contradicting Christ’s example and teachings. Plus, there’s some debate about whether or not that is a correct translation, or if the word they believe means homosexuality actually means pedophilia.

    Regardless, specific faiths and religions have no place in government. Separation of church and state must be maintained.

  30. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 38 Paul seems to say a lot of things, many contradicting Christ’s example and teachings.

    Sound like some I hear about in the LP. Whoda thunk?

  31. Trigg

    JP @ 29 & CM @ 27. I (a guy) tried to fuck GWBush in 2004 but Barack Obama hopped in Bush’ bed and cock-blocked me. True story, lol.

    I’m talking ballot access and not sex, but I at least made myself laugh. Bush was gonna miss the IL deadline for certification on the ballot because of the late GOP convention. I fought to hold Bush to the rule of law. Barack Obama was the Chair of the Local Government committee in the IL Senate who voted to pass along the bill to let Bush ignore the IL deadline. Obama wouldn’t agree with me to make Bush go get 25,000 sigs like we had to do if he wanted on the ballot. Thus, I tried to fuck Bush and Obama cock-blocked me by getting in bed with Bush.

    RC @ 25 and P @ 26 – I would suggest the 14th Amendment does not name counties. If states grant marriages they should have to do so for everyone. If states don’t define marriage or have anything to do with them, but their state constitution allows counties to define them, from my reading of the 14th, that wouldn’t a problem. The state still isn’t in the marriage definition business even if counties want to take a stab at it. Its an idea.

    I tend to believe if we are going to have government powers, they should mostly be at the county level anyway. Its really hard to move out of the US if you believe in gay marriage. Its almost as hard to move out of a state. Moving to the next county, assuming, is much more doable, perhaps even for a majority. All those bible belt rural counties out there would have nothing to worry about if the big city slickers in their state wanted to let gays get married.

    In my county, I’d still like to see government silent about marriage, but if they allowed same-sex marriage and didn’t give them benefits a single person couldn’t get I’d be fine with it.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    40 t: If states grant marriages they should have to do so for everyone. If states don’t define marriage or have anything to do with them, but their state constitution allows counties to define them, from my reading of the 14th, that wouldn’t a problem. The state still isn’t in the marriage definition business even if counties want to take a stab at it. Its an idea.

    me: It seems clear that the State IS in the marriage definition business, else this would not be an issue. We can construct an ideal social configuration in our minds…but that’s the easy part.

    The hard part is making change. That requires a sense of direction as well as a recognition of the state of play, the obstacles and the opportunities.

    Waving our hands and offering interpretations of 14A is not gonna get it done.

  33. paulie Post author

    Trigg,

    Do you see that system working for so-called interracial marriages? BTW, there are a number of countries that have gay marriage legal now:

    per wikipedia Since 2001, ten countries have begun allowing same-sex couples to marry nationwide: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden. Same-sex marriages are also performed and recognized in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, Mexico City and parts of the United States. Some jurisdictions that do not perform same-sex marriages recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere: Israel, the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, parts of the United States, and all states of Mexico. [..] As of 2012, proposals exist to introduce same-sex marriage in at least ten other countries.

  34. Trigg

    41 RC – I’m just doing some brainstorming and thinking outside the mainstream box. I agree with you that that isn’t the same as going door to door for candidates or showing up every day at the state legislature pushing for legislation. I’ve done both of those with little effect, as I didn’t have a likeminded mob with me. In my experience, the LP is lazy and punishes actual activism. I had more success in the courts, actually. (Lee v. Keith, 7th Circuit, Independent ballot access laws ruled unconstitutional on 1st and 14th Amendment grounds.) So, basically, waving my hands and offering interpretations of the 14th Amendment to the 7th Circuit DID get it done it that case, but your point remains mostly true. As for a sense of direction, the Constitution as written would be a great director IF the people would ever wake up and start following it again and holding the Ds and Rs to it. Otherwise we are going to continue down this path of mob rule. Waiting until an issue is popular enough before we start recognizing individual rights on that issue is how it works now, even though that is wrong to me.

    paulie – Probably not. At whatever level, I suspect government can and will screw it up somehow. I’m just brainstorming through a reading of the 14th and the Constitution as it relates to marriage. The feds are supposed to stay out of it, other than courts enforcing equal protection, and the states are supposed to treat us all equally if they are in it. My curiosity was piqued as I considered counties. Could states have a 10th amendment like provision in their state constitution that left “marriage” up to the people or the counties (whatever subdivision) that would not run afoul of the 14th? Looks possible to me, even if not practical or successful. No clue how it would work. Hypothetical fluff, as RC points out, that doesn’t change much.

    I’ve got no problem with same-sex marriage. I have a problem with them not recognizing polygamy as deserving equal protection and getting government “benefits” single people can’t get, but not them getting married.

    We don’t lock gay people in cages any more for being gay or saying they are married. We do lock polygamists in cages for being polygamists and saying they are married. That bothers me more I guess.

    Good for those countries recognizing gay marriage. Even more countries recognize polygamist marriages. Mohammed had 11 wives and there are billions that follow Islam. Because we lock polygamists in cages in the US, many of them see that as an attack on their marriage traditions and their culture. Thankfully, I don’t believe the US taking over Iraq and Afghanistan led to us outlawing their traditional practice of polygamy (polygyny actually in their case.) Think about it from their perspective though. The US is willing to allow gay people to get married but they will still throw Muslims in jail for practicing their marriage traditions that are as old or older than their Christian traditions. It make me think anyway.

    Anyway, thanks for indulging me Robert and paulie.

  35. paulie Post author

    I’m all for legalizing polygamy and polyandry, but I’m for making more of an issue of things that are at the stage where we are on the cusp of policy change. Gay marriage is at that stage; polygyny, not so much. Medical marijuana is; recreational meth, far less so; etc. I think the Johnson campaign is smart to focus on issues that are at the forefront of the general public debate while pushing the envelope very slightly.

  36. Trigg

    paulie, I agree. Not criticizing the Johnson campaign/LP on this or think he should even utter the word polygamy in his campaign. Mental masturbation mostly and perhaps a touch of taking an opportunity at a “teaching moment” for those same-sex activists out there.

    Now, how many LP members have started walking their precinct for Johnson/Gray, if any at all? Badnarik and Kohn(US Senate), got more votes in my precinct than in every other precinct in my county. (There were about 800 total voters per precinct in my county.) In turn, my county gave those LP candidates the 2nd highest percentage in the state. Piddly in the grand scheme of things (there are more public teachers in my county that people that voted for the LP as an example) but it has an effect even if we haven’t been doing it every election for more than a century like the Ds and Rs have done.

    I really have no interest in being an LP member again, but the Johnson/Gray ticket is encouraging and might get my vote.

  37. Cody Quirk

    Sorry, but the full faith & credit clause doesn’t apply to marriage, otherwise common-law marriage, marriage to one’s second cousin, or marriage to a 16 year old with parental consent should apply to all 50 states, yet it doesn’t.

    Plus the wording doesn’t truly address marriage at all -but if we’re going to use the argument that it does, then apparently congress has the power to regulate it, which would only play into the argument that the federal government can indeed regulate it.

    Plus, if we’re also going to use the argument that gay marriage is a civil right and not a privilege; then polygamy, polyandry, underage marriage, even incestual marriage should be considered a civil right as well.
    If you exclude the other types of marriages I have listed above as a “civil right”, then you are a hypocrite and shouldn’t even call yourself a Libertarian.

    And if we’re talking about having to force every state to recognize gay marriage (or any type of marriage), then how would that be done in a Libertarian manner?

  38. paulie Post author

    polygamy, polyandry, underage marriage, even incestual marriage should be considered a civil right as well.

    Yes for most of those. Underage is a separate question, since whether it can be informed consent is debatable.

    Clearly at some point in age it can’t. At what point it can become informed consent can be debated, but 18 is not an unreasonable answer given that in most cases that is taken to be the age at which informed consent can be provided for other types of legal contracts.

    I don’t think parental permission gets around that problem in this case, either.

    If you exclude the other types of marriages I have listed above as a “civil right”, then you are a hypocrite and shouldn’t even call yourself a Libertarian.

    As mentioned, if I was a “benevolent dictator” I would legalize most of those, and I would probably lower the age of consent to somewhere around the typical age of puberty (for all contracts, not just ones involving sexual activities or marriage). However, as an LP activist I have to pick my battles. Marriage equality for LGBT folks is an issue that is ready for policy change given public levels of support. The others have a long way to go.

    When picking issues to emphasize we should do something like triage. I think Johnson does that well by picking this issue at this time.

    And if we’re talking about having to force every state to recognize gay marriage (or any type of marriage), then how would that be done in a Libertarian manner?

    While some libertarians, including myself, have a general bias towards decentralism, it is not universal among libertarians and not applied without exception even among those that hold to it.

    It’s the rights of individuals, not states, that matter to libertarians. When the two come in conflict, there is nothing inherently unlibertarian in a larger state “forcing” its smaller component states to stop trampling on individuals.

    Whether that generally produces less libertarian outcomes than strict adherence to decentralism is entirely debatable, and debated, among libertarians.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    47 cq: Sorry, but the full faith & credit clause doesn’t apply to marriage,…

    me: As an religious institution, no, not necessarily. As a contract, the argument is it should. Law and its interpretation is subject to change over time, after all.

    (Alleged) witches used to get burned at the stake, too.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    50 p, yes, that clause in the Constitution doesn’t apply to “marriage” as a “religious institution,” where some faiths consider it a sacrament. As a contract, I would say it SHOULD apply. This would mean that the rights of survivorship, title, and other contractual matters that the State recognizes.

    Clearer?

  41. JT

    Jed: “Therefore, while the Jewish faith has claim to believing that homosexuality is a sin, Christians really don’t.”

    Romans 1:
    “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

    Again, I’m not claiming this is valid.

  42. paulie Post author

    I don’t really care to argue who is right between Jed and JT in Biblical interpretation.

    I hope, and fully expect, that all three of us agree that civil law should not be based on that in either case.

  43. JT

    Paulie: “I hope, and fully expect, that all three of us agree that civil law should not be based on that in either case.”

    He already said as much. I agree. I was originally responding to Nick’s claim.

  44. JT

    Further, I’m not a Christian, so I’d never argue that civil law should be based on the Bible in any case.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    CQ247,

    “Sorry, but the full faith & credit clause doesn’t apply to marriage, otherwise common-law marriage, marriage to one’s second cousin, or marriage to a 16 year old with parental consent should apply to all 50 states, yet it doesn’t.”

    “Common law” marriage isn’t affected by the full faith and credit clause because that clause only applies to “public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings.”

    Full faith and credit does in fact apply to the other instances you cite. I don’t know of any states offhand where second-cousin marriage are illegal, so let’s go with first-cousin marriages. If two first cousins get married (as a “public” act, the record of which is the state-issued marriage license) in North Carolina (where it’s legal), then move to Missouri (where it’s illegal), yes, they are legally married in Missouri.

  46. paulie Post author

    He already said as much. I agree. I was originally responding to Nick’s claim.

    Hopefully Nick K. will agree with also on that. Not really sure why he brought up the Bible at all.

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