Marriage’s open frontiers in America

A few days ago, I commented about a profound problem with the Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA:  before DOMA, we had a societal consensus that marriage was between one man and one woman.  During DOMA, we had a law that said marriage was between one man and one woman, even as the societal consensus broke down.  Post-DOMA, we have nothing.  There are no boundaries, and there is nothing to stop a “loving” marriage based upon bestiality, incest, pedophilia, polyamory, etc.  The boundaries are gone.

In addition, the demands on government will change substantially with this “new frontier” approach to marriage.  A friend of mine who knows all things military sent me this email:

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is how recent Supreme Court decisions have rendered marriage and family meaningless. For instance, if I were a young private or PFC in the military I would find another guy to get married to (contract marriages between service members are nothing new. It’s a great way for two otherwise unattached people to get free money for being married). Getting married is often the best way for service members to get themselves out of crappy barracks life so I could marry a male service member from another unit and move into my new house. We would not even have to be gay to do it. Then we could run around with as many women as we wanted and essentially be room mates and get paid a basic housing allowance (x2) for being married. If I were caught in some kind of adultery situation (hard to prove usually) I would simply state that I and my life partner are straight and though we are married we do not sleep together. Further, who is to judge how we choose to run our family/household? Anything goes according to the Supreme Court and if two gay men can get married why can’t two straight ones?

So that’s two of us figuring out that Anthony Kennedy’s decision creates tremendous societal problems.  Can we add three of us or four of us?  Yes, we can!

I don’t want to tread upon copyrights, so let me just direct you to Michael Ramirez’s post-DOMA cartoon and Terminal Lance’s post-DOMA cartoon (warning:  ever so slightly risque).  They both make the point perfectly, one with regard to society at large and the other with special focus on the military.

Andrew Klavan is right that we need to view this as a Democrat “squirrel” moment, one in which the Democrat powers that be distract their sometimes mindless constituents from more important issues such as the economy, or the fact that Syria is imploding, Egypt is on the verge of imploding, and Turkey is working towards imploding.  However, we cannot ignore the legal ramifications flowing from the Supreme Court’s rulings, because these ramifications can become very expensive very quickly.

If nothing else, the end of DOMA is one more reason that the tax code and IRS should be done away with and a flat tax instituted.  After all, the current tax code gives married couples distinct benefits, with an eye to advancing a stable, two-parent family.  Since that’s now out the window, we better revisit where all those tax benefits are flowing.

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  1. bizcor says

    There was an episode of the TV show Boston Legal where the William Shatner character and the James Spader character got married to get around inheritance taxes. Shatner’s guy wanted to give the Spader guy his money but rather than leaving the money in a will and since they were in Massachusetts they got married. No more inheritance tax. Neither character was gay. It was strictly a financial ploy. Not so different from what your military friend was thinking.

  2. Charles Martel says

    A lot of the move to legitimize homosexual marriage has an adolescent motive behind it: Who doesn’t dream of a dreamy wedding with an elaborate layer cake, volleys of strewn rice, pretty clothes, colorful bouquets, and cheering onlookers? Before the Supremes stepped in, gays could only press their noses against the window, forlornly looking at the goodies within but not welcome inside.
    Now they can go full tilt consulting wedding planners, hiring hip videographers, and poring over vacation plans and B&B homepages. Oh, bliss!
    But after that, what? Lesbian bed death will continue to bedevil the Sapphic sisterhood, this time to the accompaniment of a higher tax rate. And male homosexuals’ legendary incapacity for fidelity will make a farce out any classic wedding vows, which is why I’d bet good money that most gay guys’ nuptial vows are going to contain a lot of homemade hems and haws.
    The next big question, now that gays have won their Pyrrhic victory, will be how to handle photography fees for polygamous weddings—which are now only a few years down the road. Who foots the bill? Mabel Jean? Etta Mae? Pearly White? Phew, gonna have to check those guns at the door!

  3. says

    @Charles:  I can’t see why all of the things you mention couldn’t have been done before the SCOTUS decision.
    The real difference is financial, in regard to government exemptions and outright payments. 
    Plus, of course, the chance to “stick it to” all the icky Christians who have a “thing” about this.  I’m guessing that any number of traditionalist churches that take the Biblical view of marriage seriously are going to be losing their tax exempt status real soon……

  4. Michael Adams says

    Earl , there was a famous case in the thirties, in which Oregon, I think it was, wanted to tax parochial schools out of existence. I believe that it was in this case that Learned Hand wrote the famous line that, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”  The gist of it was that, since the state is forbidden to regulate, it is forbidden to tax.  The use of tax-exempt status as a regulatory bludgeon would seem to be forbidden, unless stare decis has become just a starry-eyed dream. People who hate churches always rant about the tax exemption, but it was thought to be pretty thoroughly reasoned, up to now.

  5. says

    We’ll see, Michael.  I hope that you are right, because you seem to be saying that it’s not going to happen.
    Of course, if I’m renting an apartment above my garage, I can’t refuse to rent to unmarried couples.  If I’ve got a small business, I can’t offer my employees a health plan that doesn’t cover abortifacient drugs. If I have a photography business, or a bakery, I can’t refuse to cater to same-sex weddings.  Etc. Etc.
    Twenty years ago, who would have thought that the government would stomp my first amendment rights to the free exercise of religion to this degree?  Yet here we are.
    This Administration shows no strong signs of being committed to several of the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, including #1, and I’m not noticing any groundswell in our population to insist that they do so.  That’s the source of my pessimism about the uses to which Obama will attempt to put his power to tax.  Remember, someone once said that the Supreme Court follows the election results!  That’s profoundly depressing if I let it be.


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