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Rand Paul: Letís get marriage out of the tax code
Hotair ^ | 03/14/2013 | AllahPundit

Posted on 03/14/2013 7:41:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

This isn't news because it's novel for a Paul to be saying such things --- his dad once called for getting the government out of marriage on a GOP presidential primary debate stage --- but because of Rand Paul's growing prominence in the GOP. If he could rally a hawkish party to oppose the president's power to use drones against terrorists in certain circumstances, can he rally a socially conservative party to find an accommodation on gay marriage?

Paul says foreign policy is an instrumental way to expand the GOP, but it’s not the only way. Social issues are another area where he thinks Republicans can make a better argument to independents and centrists without departing from their principles. Gay marriage, for instance, is one issue on which Paul would like to shake up the Republican position. “I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage,” he says. “That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”

I assume that’s part of a broader ambition to make marriage a wholly private function, which is vintage Paul insofar as it’s a clever attempt to sell libertarian wine in conservative bottles. He does the same thing vis-a-vis foreign aid to Israel: Cutting aid will actually lead to more robust Israeli self-defense because Israel will no longer feel obliged to seek American approval when responding to Hamas. I’ve seen other libertarians and paleocons argue for cutting aid to Tel Aviv and, needless to say, the idea that it might make Israel more aggressive towards its enemies was … not a key factor in their reasoning, to put it mildly. Likewise here, most libertarians support making marriage a matter of private contract not because they feel angst about “redefining marriage” — the ones I know are all perfectly fine with, if not enthusiastic about, states legalizing SSM — but because it’s a move towards smaller government, especially on moral issues. Paul, however, is pitching this as a sort of escape hatch for social conservatives who don’t want to see blue states or the Supreme Court lend the imprimatur of American government to gays marrying. He supports traditional marriage; he doesn’t want to see marriage redefined. So … why not eliminate state sanction from marriage entirely? Indeed, why not, says Jen Rubin:

If we were starting a system from scratch, I suspect that would be an easier sell. But getting the federal government out of the marriage business, deferring to the states and allowing individuals to, as he says, enter into contracts with one another, can be the way out of the gay marriage thicket for the GOP, I would argue.

The Supreme Court, depending on its ruling in the same-sex marriage cases, may assist this process by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the biggest aggrandizement of federal power on marriage in my lifetime (maybe ever).

Conservatives understand that there is a realm of conduct left to churches, synagogues, families, localities and individuals. The essence of Burkean conservatism is a healthy regard for and respect for those realms and for the customs, habits and beliefs that flow from those free associations. Whatever the methodology, conservatives at the national level need to extract themselves from a losing battle that should not be within the purview of the federal government.

That bit at the end is another reason this is newsworthy: The timing is propitious. Ten years ago, social cons laughed at libertarians for suggesting that marriage go completely private. Ten years later, with several states having legalized gay marriage, poll trends among young voters promising more legalization, and the Supreme Court poised to extend marriage rights to gays as a matter of equal protection, maybe they’ll consider it the lesser of two evils. See, e.g., Frank Fleming’s piece at PJM arguing that marriage is, after all, a religious custom and the state has no business trying to reconfigure religious customs. Better to leave marriage entirely within the private realm so that churches can protect their traditions. The timing’s propitious too in that the GOP’s desperate for ways to build goodwill with younger voters and Paul’s ploy is one likely way of doing it. It’s similar to what Mitch Daniels said about pot a few months ago: The GOP doesn’t need to endorse legalization, all it needs to do is let the power to decide devolve to a more local level of government. In the case of marijuana, Daniels pushed federalism as a solution. In the case of marriage, Paul’s pushing private contract, i.e. self-government at the individual level, as the answer. In both cases, the GOP gets to punt on a hot-button issue in a way that, maybe hopefully, won’t alienate social conservatives. They’re not backing weed and SSM; they’re merely striking a blow for limited government by letting people decide for themselves.

All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage, I’ve never understood why social cons would go for this. At the core of the anti-SSM argument, as I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference. It’s not that state sanction operates as some sort of “benediction” for straights, it’s that it a mechanism of differentiation with all other types of unions. If you move to Paul’s paradigm where everything’s a matter of contract, there’s no longer any such mechanism. Every couple with a private agreement is effectively equal; the state will enforce an agreement between gays just as it will an agreement between straights. How does that satisfy the social-con objection to SSM? Likewise, some conservatives support state sanction of marriage because they believe the state has a role in promoting marriage as a social good and domesticating force. I’ve always thought that was a good argument for gay marriage too, but we needn’t argue about that; the point is, if the state gets out the marriage business it’s no longer officially promoting anything. And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract? A multi-party contract would place polygamous groups on the same legal footing as couples. If polygamy’s your chief concern, you’re probably much better off sticking with state-sanctioned marriage and taking your chances with the Supreme Court. Exit question: What am I missing here? Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: 113th; homosexualagenda; libertarians; marriage; randpaul; samesexmarriage; taxcode; taxes
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1 posted on 03/14/2013 7:41:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Rand Paul: Let’s get marriage out of the tax code

I'd rather see the Patriot Act brought up, discussed, and recinded. It has bred a police state.

2 posted on 03/14/2013 7:46:44 AM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: SeekAndFind

The problem is that, it is not what the gay agenda wants....They want to force every institution, to consider gay marriages on par with heterosexual ones, and force religious institutions to give them equal weighting, and they will not stop until they get it.

You give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.


3 posted on 03/14/2013 7:50:29 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind
At the core of the anti-SSM argument, as I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference

Apparently, Allah Pundit doesn't understand the core of the conservative argument against same sex marriage.

1. Same sex marriage will make our culture more dangerous.

2. Heterosexual marriage is potentially procreative. Homosexual marriage never is. The state has an interest in the best arrangement for rearing children; it has none in who you get your jollies with.

3. Children have a right to be raised by their own mother and father.

4. The above means that if you allow the word "marriage" to cover anything, then eventually reality will force you to come up with a new word so you can distinguish those relationships that are potentially procreative.

4 posted on 03/14/2013 7:51:25 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

#3. is your most powerful argument in today’s society, but I’m intrigued by #1. Can you elaborate and provide details?


5 posted on 03/14/2013 8:06:13 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: SeekAndFind

I agree with Paul on this.
Who will play Solomon and ask the state to exit the sacrament business? The State has no business in the Church’s business.
Though, we here know that the radical agenda of “Progressives” is to force the Church by law to accept homosexuality as normal. They mean to rewrite the Holy Script. What will be left of Judeao-Christian doctrine then but a Success for the Left?


6 posted on 03/14/2013 8:08:59 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The fundamental problem conservatives have is not expressing the argument correctly.

Same-sex marriage is not about EQUALITY. It is about the redefinition and destruction of marriage.

If redefined, polyamorists, Muslims, Mormons, and anyone lese with money will be able to redefine it as well.


7 posted on 03/14/2013 8:13:43 AM PDT by struggle (http://killthegovernment.wordpress.com/)
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To: SeekAndFind

At this point I think all governments should just get out of the marriage business altogether. Stop issuing mariage licences and make everyone file taxes as a single. Then if their church, temple, coven, lesbian action league, gay men’s choir group or whatever wants to proclaim them married they can knock themselves out.


8 posted on 03/14/2013 8:15:02 AM PDT by Poison Pill (Take your silver lining and SHOVE IT!)
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To: SeekAndFind
“I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage,” he says. “That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”

Amen!!!

9 posted on 03/14/2013 8:19:08 AM PDT by ExCTCitizen (More Republicans stayed home then the margin of victory of O's Win...)
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To: dfwgator
They want to force every institution, to consider gay marriages on par with heterosexual ones, and force religious institutions to give them equal weighting, and they will not stop until they get it.

That is CLEARLY true... Even in states where they have been granted EVERY other benefit with a Civil Union, they are not happy... What they want is, for their bizarre behavior to be consider "normal" and "equal"... They crave something that is not reality, and never will be.

10 posted on 03/14/2013 8:20:24 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim ( The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them)
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To: dfwgator
You're right and this is exactly why Rand Paul is also right.

The government, bolstered by voter results in several lefty states, have clearly demonstrated why the government needs to get out of the marriage business and be content with writing laws defining civil unions, domestic partnerships or whatever the hell else they wish to call it.

Leave marriage to the churches and synagogues alone to define.

If a worker demonstrates gross incompetence in a necessary skill-set and no inclination to improve but, indeed, a heightened stubbornness to cling to said incompetence, you assign them to a different line of work or get rid of them completely. So it should be with our government's involvement in marriage.

11 posted on 03/14/2013 8:21:25 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SeekAndFind
RE :”Rand Paul: Let’s get marriage out of the tax code”

If DOMA is over-turned by the SCOTUS then it would make sense to do that, but otherwise it looks like another attempt to ‘end discrimination against gays’

12 posted on 03/14/2013 8:21:55 AM PDT by sickoflibs (O's sequester Apocalypse tour just proved why we need the 2nd amendment more than ever NOW!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Treating Gay Marriage differently under the tax code is, legally, the SAFEST part of the conservative position. The goverment doesn’t have to treat everyone equally with taxes...

It’s all the other stuff, like benefits, that are the problem.. IMO

That said, I agree that, getting government OUT of the marriage business altogether is now the only way to save “Marriage” as God intended.


13 posted on 03/14/2013 8:23:17 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim ( The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them)
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To: SomeCallMeTim
What they want is, for their bizarre behavior to be consider "normal" and "equal".

I would dare say, they won't even be happy with "equal". They don't want to merely be "tolerated", they want to be "celebrated."

14 posted on 03/14/2013 8:29:06 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: griswold3

I agree with this for the most part. I also don’t think government should be able to marry people in offices. A marriage is done in a church, or some other kind of religious temple. It’s a ritual. If you’re an atheist, you can’t really be married, though you can sign onto a union of mutual financial interest and responsibility. A marriage is before divinity, a pact not only with a person, but with God.

This may be the best way to win the argument. Get government out of marriage, then homosexuals will have to join “homosexual churches” to get married, and as such progressive churches quickly lose membership and collapse, eventually, they just won’t be able to get “married”. They’ll be back in the deviant wilderness with the zoophiles and the polygamists.


15 posted on 03/14/2013 8:30:42 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: SeekAndFind

While Paul’s idea is interesting from a theoretical perspective, there is a perfectly rational reason that government has given a privileged position to marriage in the first place. Traditional families have been integral to the formation of society and human beings are social animals. In times of need, people have historically turned first to family. The raising of children, emotional and economic support and other social benefits derive from the traditional family. If we do away with this, the need will remain and people will demand that an ever larger government fill the role of economic, emotional and social support that is now provided by the family. I doubt this is Paul’s desired outcome.


16 posted on 03/14/2013 8:37:02 AM PDT by Lonely NY Conservative
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To: xzins
Same sex marriage will make our culture more dangerous.

Exactly! Another concern I have had since the beginning of the gay marriage argument has been gay foreignor rights to live in the US if they marry a gay American.

17 posted on 03/14/2013 8:37:52 AM PDT by tsowellfan
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To: Lonely NY Conservative

A problem is that with LBJ’s “Great Society” and welfare, which replaced a parent with a government paycheck, that ship sailed a long time ago.


18 posted on 03/14/2013 8:38:14 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind; darrellmaurina
If we were starting a system from scratch, I suspect that would be an easier sell. But getting the federal government out of the marriage business, deferring to the states and allowing individuals to, as he says, enter into contracts with one another, can be the way out of the gay marriage thicket for the GOP, I would argue.

The Supreme Court, depending on its ruling in the same-sex marriage cases, may assist this process by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the biggest aggrandizement of federal power on marriage in my lifetime (maybe ever).

Conservatives understand that there is a realm of conduct left to churches, synagogues, families, localities and individuals. The essence of Burkean conservatism is a healthy regard for and respect for those realms and for the customs, habits and beliefs that flow from those free associations. Whatever the methodology, conservatives at the national level need to extract themselves from a losing battle that should not be within the purview of the federal government.

Kuyper "spheres of sovereignty" PING

19 posted on 03/14/2013 8:40:05 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: dfwgator

They are a tiny per cent of the voting population. Why does anyone listen to them?


20 posted on 03/14/2013 8:41:19 AM PDT by jch10 (Hey GOP! Only Conservatives get my vote.)
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