While I was originally exposed to the concept of marriage privatization through libertarians like David Boaz, it has recently been bleeding into more and more mainstream arenas – to the point that it was featured in Time magazine. For this we have Pepperdine law professors Douglas Kmiec and Shelley Ross Saxer to thank, who wrote an article in the San Francisco Chronicle during the state supreme court challenges to California’s controversial proposition 8. Powerfully, they write:
“Marriage is of religious origin; it should remain there.[...]
“Some faiths accept same-sex relationships and others profoundly object. As a matter of religious freedom, both must be accommodated, but how? Separate state and church.[...]
“Now, of course, the state of California can only decide for itself. But just as California protected the right of those of different races to form a family almost two decades before the U.S. Supreme Court, there is reason to anticipate that the federal government will once again follow California’s lead.
“By not over-reading Prop. 8, and reaffirming the separate roles of state, a result without religious animosity is possible.”
This echoes what marriage privatization advocates have been saying for years – the only real solution to the controversy over same-sex marriage is to get government out of the marriage business. It is not only more equitable, but it also falls in line with the American tradition of separation of church and state. It is the only solution that all sides should be able to agree on.