Government licensure — a dangerous power
Government's power to license marriages includes the power to deny this opportunity to undesirable groups of people. When licensure was first introduced, it was used by government to exclude inter-racial marriages; marriage policy was racist.
As society changed, so did the laws—and the decisions of judges, including the U.S. Supreme Court recently deciding on a 5-4 vote to require all states to perform and recognize same-sex marriages. Again, society is changing and a new class of people is obtaining for itself the privileges and protections that come with the state's certification of the marital union.
Common ground, no matter your politics
Conservatives, libertarians, and liberals are increasingly agreeing on the need to limit the government's ability to manage a family's life. Government does not define a church's definition of baptism—and it shouldn't determine and impose its preferred definition of marriage.
As bitter political battles have been fought in recent years over this definition, many are lowering their protest signs, lowering their voices, and beginning to question whether the fight is worth it at all. Has all of this contention perhaps been the result of wrongful government intervention? Might it be solved not by drawing more lines and entrenching each segment of society, but by eliminating that intervention completely?
The path forward
Several solutions exist to reduce, or eliminate, the government's role in the marriage relationship. It won't be easy—child custody, tax law, estate planning, and other issues have muddied the water for decades and need to be resolved by thoughtful leaders as we navigate how best to confine government to its proper role: protecting our rights, not managing our family affairs.
While the government may have an "interest" in marriage, that does not mean it has the authority to do anything about it. Marriage can instead be handled by private contracts, the terms of which are agreed to by each party, which can then be filed with the state and arbitrated in and enforced by the courts.
As more voices are heard, legislators will increasingly feel the pressure to engage on this issue and explore how best to transition Utah away from over a century of marriage control. Sign the petition to add your voice!
Show Your Support!
Make your voice heard—sign the petition to encourage the Utah legislature to protect marriage by getting the government out.
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