Monday, March 07, 2005

Don't Privatize Marriage

I will disclose as material my own bias from the inception of these paragraphs. I share the Thomasonian persuasion about the traditions of our founding. Indeed, I like the fact that we were founded by a group who believed that they were steered by Providential guidance. The aforementioned incorporated therein to our fundamental government and its tenets this belief in many facets.

My true colors revealed, I have one point in favor of NOT privatizing marriage. Privatization would emphatically render standards for both governmental and private benefits wholly unworkable. Someone must define marriage, for health benefits, tax benefits (they exist whether you like them or not), and other retirement related benefits.

This list of benefits fails even to mention the government/judicial role in divorce, which has become rather well ensconced in our government's function. What a nightmare it would indeed create for "couples," however they define themselves contracting privately ex ante for the distribution of "marital" assets. I sincerely doubt that judges will much enjoy interpreting the enforceability of such agreements (offer, acceptance, consideration, the parol evidence rule and the like; in fact ulcerous would their stomachs become, great many ulcerous) due to the up-coming breach-of-marriage contract actions.

Regardless of views of church and state, the aforementioned would make my colleague's proposal an unwieldy administrative and judicial nightmare.