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Libertarians should protect marriage, analyst argues

April 04, 2012

Jennifer Roback Morse explains why, although she sympathizes with libertarians on most political issues, she totally disagrees with their suggestion that the state should not be involved in defining or defending the institution of marriage. She argues that paradoxically, a move to “privatize” marriage would lead to a dangerous expansion of state powers. In recent decades, she observed, developments that were introduced as expansions of personal freedom—such as the acceptance of “no-fault” divorce and of out-of-wedlock birth—have led to grave social problems, which in turn produced more calls for state intervention.


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  • Posted by: FredC - Apr. 05, 2012 10:47 AM ET USA

    The referenced article is worth reading. Privatizing would mean more work for lawyers -- the same profession that enacts the laws.

  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 04, 2012 11:42 PM ET USA

    As our society disintegrates, we are seeing what happens when the state does not provide a legal framework that supports marriage and protects children. Our governments have made it easy to dissolve marriages and avoid the obligations of parenthood. The problems with children in single parent or foster parent families who feel unloved and unwanted are just beginning as these children become the parents of tomorrow and raise children as they were "taught".