From the rust belt, this statement was made (and apparently affirms at some level … of sophistry):

Justin and I both accepted a crucial premise that neither one of us bothered to support: that “marriage” should be a legal institution for any arrangement of people.

Well, there you go, jump that shark along with the Fonz. What might be some of the consequences of that notion:

  • Kiss the inheritance tax goodbye, after all just “marry” your beneficiaries for spouses don’t pay that tax. 
  • That will really help the power relationship between pimp and his flock now that he can “marry” them and really control their lives with legal machinery at his beck and call. 
  • I’d bet a clever lawyer might combine marriage and employment in ways that might be serve as a good union-buster. 
  • Or on the flip side, unions could “close shop” to only those in the family and get new ways to enhance their power.
  • For the controlling parent, “marry” your kids to enhance your hold on their life after age 18. 

When you try to make a blanket statement that marriage should be allowed for any random arrangement of people you need to step back and consider the sorts of things which marriage allows, merging of finances, relaxation of privacy between members, and a the option for a shared corporate presence for the state. There’s going to be lots of ramifications when you decide any group can don that cloak. 

In the early years after the framers finished the Constitution, they were quite taken aback and surprised that Mr Burr formed a electoral machine in New York and almost grabbed the Presidency. They hadn’t “figured” on the consequences of their laws. Likewise it pretty clear that a decision that the legal status of marriage assigned to “any arbitrary group” of people is going to be similarly used by people lacking the preconceptions-as-constraints under which your discussion labored. 



Filed under: Mark O.Marriage

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