I consider this in the specific a moot point. The real issue, in my mind, is having the government involved in marriage at all. I have not researched marriage, so I am largely expressing an uninformed opinion. My impression, however, is that marriage is a personal and religious issue.
It seems to me that a great many of the cultures of the world have marriage as a social institution. It may vary somewhat, but it essentially is a bond between two people within the context of a religion and a larger social order.
How such a social institution is the business of government evades me. Perhaps I will one day study the history, if it ever grabs that much of my attention.
It does make sense for government to be involved in marriage if the church and state share a lot of responsibilities and authority. It would be my guess that this is the manner in which the American government became involved in marriage in America.
If marriage were not entangled with government I don't believe that same sex marriages would be as large of an issue as it currently seems to be. Part of the contention (besides some valid moral arguments by the various parties) is the larger issue of fiscal impact on society as a whole.
Were marriage not entangled in government this would simply be a social issue between factions.
I really would prefer that government not be so involved in our personal lives that marriage and how we define our families would be a matter of policy. Government would oversee shared infrastructure and management of some shared resources. Marriage would not fall under those umbrellas.
Government makes sense in managing things like roads and sewers. Leave other matters to the individuals and the institutions they form when they join freely together.
Then and Now
1 hour ago