Ryan Anderson on Why the Promotion of Marriage is Critical to Limited Government


Ryan Anderson writes at America's Future Foundation in response to a libertarian argument that government should not regulate marriage:

"...Shelton reaches her conclusion that marriage supporters “are essentially advocating for the Church and the State to be one and the same. They are fighting for bigger government and cronyism in marriage, although they claim to want more individual freedom and personal liberties elsewhere. The inherent contradiction is astounding.”

But there is no contradiction here once one considers the actual arguments advanced by Shelton’s opponents and left unaddressed by Shelton herself.

In our article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy “What is Marriage?” my co-authors and I have argued philosophically that marriage by its very nature is a union of a man and a woman. (Later this month Encounter Books will release an expanded and enhanced version of the argument.)

At the heart of the argument is an understanding that natural (not supernatural, sacramental, or religious) marriage is a pre-political institution springing from human nature itself. Prior to any governmental diktats, marriage has its own essential structure and norms and serves its own ends. Our marriage law should reflect the truth about what marriage is."

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