Letting the State Define Marriage

Since I was in the middle of helping people bypass the state’s censorship of 3D printer models I didn’t have time to comment on the Minnesota House passing the bill that will likely legalize gay marriage here. Since I’m gifted with a wide variety of friends I have seen both positive and negative reactions to this news.

To my religious friends who are unhappy with this news please know that this outcome was made possible because of the previous actions of your religions. When the state first declared it had the right to define marriage most of the better known religions of the time supported the state’s expansion of power. They supported this expansion because the state was defining marriage according to their terms. What those religions should have done was tell the state that defining marriage is the job of religious institutions and refused to sign any marriage certificates issued by the state. Since those religious organizations stood by and did nothing the state obtained the power to define marriage. These religious organizations apparently failed to realize that once the state obtains a power it can change the rules at any time it desires. In all likelihood same-sex marriages will be legal in all 50 states in due time.

To my friends who are happy with this news please know that the same lesson applies to you. What you won was a temporary victory, one that can be taken away by the state at any time in the future. Much like the religious organizations of the past you seem to support to state’s declaration that it can define marriage because its definition agrees with your beliefs. However the religious organizations could gain more influence in the future and have same-sex marriages made illegal again.

The lesson everybody should take away from this post is that all attempts by the state to grab more power should be opposed, even if one of its power grabs favors your beliefs. While the power grab may favor your belief today it may oppose it tomorrow.