Further thoughts on gay marriage...
I suppose this is one of those issues that separates conservatives from libertarians. Conservatives believe that tradition should determine the future. I disagree. Tradition can have a place in the life of the individual if he or she so chooses, but the only tradition that the government should stick to is the tradition of liberty.
There has been a lot of talk in these anti-gay marriage articles about the traditional definition of marriage. For all the talk of tradition, they leave out a lot of important information. For thousands of years, in virtually every culture (certainly the Monothestic cultures) women were considered property of their husbands. They were chattel that passed from the father to the husband. As social mores and gender roles changed, so did the definition of marriage. I see no reason why the definition must be frozen now.
Another element of traditional marriage was that it was simply a private contract between man and wife. In Judaism, fiances still sign "ketubahs" (contracts) right before thet have their marriage ceremony. Why can't we go back to this tradition? That's what marriage is, a contract. And suddenly libertarians are expected to believe the government should tell us what kind of contracts we should sign?
Can we know all the consequences of ending the prohibition of same sex marriages? No. Can we know all the consequences of ANY policy change? No. Also, what about the unforseen consequences of leaving things "as is"? As technology progresses and society changes, certainly there will be new consequences for old policies. Shouldn't we be just as concerned about these?
All the arguments against gay marriage have essentially been selective and conservative arguments. I still see no reason why a libertarian should be against gay marriage.
Of course, debate is great. I enjoy reading articles that challenge my views, and I appreciate the multiplicity of voices in the libertarian discourse. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I still can't see how a libertarian can be for government regulation of one of the most personal issue there is. And let's be clear: If you're not for gay marriage, you are for the status quo, making you against gay marriage. Does this mean every libertarian needs to be "out in the streets" supporting gay marriage? No. There are too many issues, and everyone has some issues they care about more than others. However, given a choice between the status quo and allowing same sex marriage, libertarians should clearly be on the latter side.