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How ’bout a Constiutional View of Marriage

June 9, 2009

First, I want to put the following on the table:

  • I am a Christian – which means I am personally and religiously opposed to gay marriage.
  • I am a libertarian – which means that I am politically opposed to a Constitutional Amendment banning or granting same-sex (or any other kind) of marriage.

Here is the basis for my argument:

The US Constitution does TWO things:

  1. It PROTECTS an individual’s rights – it DOESN’T GRANT rights
  2. It BINDS the government to a restrictive rule of law, OBLIGATING them to protect and uphold the Constitution.

First, lets look at what a right REALLY is:

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a right is “inherent in one person and incident upon another .. the power of free action.” Please note that rights are “inherent,” meaning that it is physically impossible for rights to be extracted from a person by ANY means. In other words, someone can kill you – depriving you OF life, but they cannot deprive your RIGHT to life.

A right is something you can do without permission, therefore the opposite of a right is something you cannot do without permission. ANY time you need permission to do something, it is a privilege. Black’s Law Dictionary defines this as, “a particular or peculiar benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person, company, or class, beyond the common advantages of other citizens. An exceptional or extraordinary power or exemption.” Rights and privileges are opposites. Here are some corollaries:

  1. ALL rights are derived from property
  2. EVERY right implies a responsibility
  3. The ONLY limitation on your rights is the equal rights of others

To have a more thorough understanding of the differences between Rights and Privileges please click here: Rights vs. Privileges

For the sake of brevity and applicability, I am paraphrasing the information in the above document for the purposes of this journal.

It may come as a shock to read that there are no “constitutional rights.” This term is misleading because it gives the impression that the Constitution grants rights.

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

The Bill of Rights enumerates our rights, but none of our founding documents bestow anything on you at all. All of your rights precede the US Constitution. The government can burn the Constitution & shred the Bill of Rights, but wouldn’t have the slightest effect on the rights you’ve ALWAYS had. This also means that these rights aren’t exclusive to Americans; America is just the country who has promised to protect them.

“The convention of a number of the states, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

– The Preamble to the Bill of Rights (didn’t know there was one did ya?)

Let’s break this down:

  • Who? The convention of a number of states
  • When? At the time of their adopting the Constitution
  • What? They expressed a desire to prevent misconstruction or abuse of government power.
  • Solution? To add further declaratory and restrictive clauses.
  • Why? To further extend public confidence in the government

When we make an amendment to the Constitution, we are DECLARING to the government that we are claiming a specific right that they may not, under any circumstances, touch. Remember, rights are something that we don’t have to ask for, and something that is inherent in us – we are born with them. If we had to ask our government to practice our rights – then they wouldn’t be rights, they would be privileges (put this in the back of your mind when contemplating any other rights – you might begin to see how unconstitutional our current government is).

So how does this apply to the marriage issue? Let’s break down the argument to its most basic points:

  • Proponents of gay marriage argue that marriage is a right for all couples who are in a loving committed relationship regardless of sexual orientation, AND should be privy to the same “rights” that heterosexual married couples have. (I have rights in quotations for a reason … I hope that you understand this as I go on)
  • Opponents of gay marriage argue that marriage is a right for ONLY one man and one woman, and homosexuality should not be rewarded because of the negative moral and social implications. Marriage is a religious issue and the government has no business in it.

……… *Sigh* Where do I start …….

How about with this: Marriage is NOT a right! ….. For anyone ….. gay or straight …..

You must ask permission to be married; you must ASK you significant other if you can marry them. If they say yes, you are granted a privilege to be a part of the person’s life “as long as you both shall live.” If they say no, you have NO legal recourse; you simply cannot marry that person; you’ve been denied that privilege. If marriage is a right, then the government is OBLIGATED, by the law of the Constitution, to protect your right. This DOES NOT happen! If Johnny asks Suzy to marry him, and Suzy says no, Johnny cannot sue her, and the government doesn’t come to the aide of Johnny in order to protect his right to marry.
Even if you get past the first hurdle, the two of you STILL do not have a right to legally marry. You must ask permission from religious clergy or a JOP to marry you – they can also refuse – and you must apply for a license in order to do it. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a license as “a personal privilege to do some particular act or series of acts on land without possessing any estate or interest therein, and is ordinarily revocable at the will of the licensor (red flag) and is not assignable.” Did George Washington have a marriage license? (No.) Did Thomas Jefferson? (No.) Did they simply ask the women they loved to settle down with them and perhaps raise a family? ….. Uh Yes! Ever heard of a Common Law marriage? Did you know that the ONLY reason why we have marriage licenses to begin with was to “approve of” interracial marriages. (red flag)

Because rights are derived from property, the ONLY way for marriage to be a right, is if you OWN your significant other. Owning a person is slavery and it not a right because (we all know this), it infringes on a personal liberty. Your rights cannot infringe on my rights and visa versa.

The Constitution was not designed to give the government the power to grant privileges to certain (or any) groups of people for any reason. Let me say this again……

“We the People” NEVER gave the government the authority to license , permit, or otherwise grant special privileges to anyone for anything!

The authority lies with in our own power to exert our own rights. For this reason (marriage) licenses are unconstitutional. However, under the current law, their is a civic injustice which discriminates against a certain group of people – in this case homosexuals.

So to the PROPONENTS of homosexual marriage ……

If you want the government to grant to homosexual couples the unconstitutional privileges that heterosexual couples enjoy, then keep doing what you are doing. HOWEVER, true liberty CANNOT thrive while our government continues to act illegally. If you want true justice you should be fighting to get the government OUT of marriage by calling for the immediate discontinuation of the issuing of marriage licenses, the discontinuation of government endorsed privileges associated with marriage (and while we are at the penalties too), and revoke the authority of Justices of the Peace to marry couples. After all, the only reason to legally marry under current law is to reap the benefits associated with it. No one has any business telling homosexuals that they cannot have a common law marriage. If your significant other grants you the privilege to marry than it should be your right as a couple to live how you deem fit; you shouldn’t have to ask anyone else beyond that. (This principle should apply to heterosexual couples as well). If a homosexual couple desires to have a clergy marry them and conduct a ceremony, then seek out a clergy who supports your relationship. While this may be outside the Christian faith (at least) why would you want to force someone to do something against their will?

And to the OPPONENTS of homosexual marriage ….

Please remember that I know why you feel the way you do; I feel the same way but with a major exception. If marriage is a religious issue and the government has no business involved with this, then why do you ….

  • permit the government to license marriage?
  • permit (and accept) government endorsed privileges?
  • try to misuse the Constitution -which dictates federal law – to fight a culture war?

Remember, the Constitution doesn’t grant rights but it also doesn’t restrict the people. The Bible may say that homosexuality is an abomination but it never says that we can use the government as our mouthpiece and coerce people to submit to Biblical law against their free will. Jesus Christ NEVER forced ANYONE to follow Him against their free will. I believe that we are a nation founded on Christian principles, but that doesn’t make us a Christian nation. If we were, then the founders would have established a theocracy and not a Republic; a government that protects the rights of the individual over that of the group. If you want true justice you should be fighting to get the government OUT of marriage by calling for the immediate discontinuation of the issuing of marriage licenses, the discontinuation of government endorsed privileges associated with marriage (and while we are at the penalties too), and revoke the authority of Justices of the Peace to marry couples. After all, the only reason to legally marry under current law is to reap the benefits associated with it.

OMG! These two completely polar opposite positions have a common ground on which they can fight upon: To get the government to follow the Constitution and get out of marriage in order to allow us to live as “We the People” choose to live.

Imagine how powerful we can be when “We the People” speak!

Imagine taking back the power we have relinquished over time to the government!

Imagine the freedom YOU would have!

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