Libertarian Views on Same-Sex Marriage

Marriage is a fundamental personal right,
but it’s also good for families and for society. There are about 9 million gay people in the
United States, and according to the 2010 Census, about 640,000 same-sex couple households.
That’s a lot of people who are denied important legal and social benefits unless gay marriage
is recognized. Gay families have been living as real families
for decades now, even in the absence of the full sanction of marriage. They’ve shown that
they have the same capacities and need as other families for love and support. There
are already a million children in this country being raised by gay parents. The social science
data suggests that parental sexual orientation has no relationship to good parenting. Every
major child-welfare organization and every major psychological professional association
supports same-sex marriage as a way to improve children’s lives. But like everyone else,
gay families have their problems with illnesses, with injuries, and with unemployment. Yet
they lack the irreplaceable social and legal rights that marriage confers. Marriage is designed to impose obligations
and confer rights and to sustain a couple in times of crisis, as when one person is
in the hospital and you need to get access to that room, or when you need to take time
off to take care of a partner. By social expectation, and to some extent by law, marriage encourages
spouses to commit to each other. It gives to them a common language in which to speak
about their relationships and a common framework in which to think about their obligations
to each other. That gives them a degree of legitimacy and support that civil unions and
domestic partnerships, which are each a separate and new status under the law, simply cannot
confer. On the other hand there’s no evidence that
allowing gay couples to wed has any effect on heterosexual marriages. In fact in the
states and countries where same-sex couples have been allowed to marry, there’s been no
harmful effect on marriage rates, divorce rates, or out-of-wedlock child births. Massachusetts,
which was the first state in the country to recognize gay marriages, still has the lowest
divorce rate in the country. It’s not good enough for the government to
tell gay people that they’re free to marry someone of the opposite sex. That’s like telling
a Catholic that he’s free to go and worship God in a synagogue. That’s a mockery of freedom.
The bottom line is marriage is fundamental in the formation of personal relationships
and families – for gay people just as for straight people – so the government shouldn’t
limit their freedom to marry.

About the author


  1. Please keep in mind that "LearnLiberty" doesn't take stances on issues. The professors in our videos present their opinions, but LearnLiberty is just a platform for them to do so. Thank you for watching!

  2. You have no case whatsoever here. What's to stop them from ignoring your marriage too? The exact same thing that didn't work the first time.

    Allowing marriage is not a fix, it is still unfair. Nobody has to recognise anyone as a member of your family, you cannot force them to do that. My solution includes everyone, yours is just a greedy hypocritical talking point.

    I think we're done here, unless you can actually come up with an argument.

  3. Just admit it, all you really want is for the govt to legitimize your relationship, and it never can. You can not force others to accept your way of life through govt. Even if you are both married they could still place some sort of arbitrary gender cap..

    If you couldn't achieve that with civil unions, then you won't get any farther with a govt sanctioned "marriage". That is my whole point, the URDC would give ANYONE the legal footing for those things, they couldn't discriminate or even know –

  4. — that you are a couple.. You could grant those rights to a best friend just as easily, a distant cousin, coworker, etc.. They would only know you were even a couple if you made it a point to tell them. Children need only to have the right persons listed as guardians, again non-discriminatory.

    How is your solution fair to single people, polygamists, people that don't wish to marry, Incestuous couples? It isn't.

    Why is that ok, but not allowing you and your spouse these "rights" isn't?

  5. How come even a professor can't distinguish between the debate about whether or not same sex couples should have the same legal rights akin to marriage and the debate about whether or not that should be called marriage,

  6. …because there is no such distinction. "Marriage" is not a term owned by any religion. It's a term written into law which makes it, by default, secular.

  7. I like learn liberty, but this is not the most libertarian approach to marriage. It is a reality that in America we will not agree on the morality of certain behaviors. We will not agree on whether weed, or gay sex, etc. are moral things to do. This is why the government SHOULD NOT subsidize any of these behaviors. Gay marriage is just another government subsidy/penalty. The government is a business designed to protect us. It has no business subsidizing any of our personal relationships.

  8. Government should have nothing to do with marriage. the word marriage should not be redefined by the government. Gay marriage is not a policy of liberty, but rather a policy that forces the opinion of a minority onto the majority through redefining the word marriage. When the government defines words they are engaging in social engineering.

  9. Or how about, each individual couple gets to decide how their union is defined, which would lead to gay marriage by proxy, however without the government trying to redefine nouns.

  10. My fiance's father is a gay man and just to get close to the rights that I will enjoy (with heterosexual marriage) with his partner, they had to pay 10,000 dollars in legal fees. I will have to pay $25. Even though I'm not too sure I even believe in marriage as a governmental institution in the first place, at least gay marriage is a step closer to equality.

  11. If you think a video that explains why tax paying Americans shouldn't get married just because it makes some people uncomfortable, then you DO NOT know what liberty actually is.

  12. Just because something is beneficial does not mean the state has a right to control it.. It could be argued that all our citizens attending mandatory college would benefit society with smarter workers, but that doesn't give the govt a right to force anyone to attend college..

    It doesn't matter why they are involved if legally (by the constitution) they aren't allowed to be.

  13. So far this is the only learnliberty video i have ever disliked. I more than dislike this its shameful to see learnliberty argue to bring more government intrusion into the lives of americans. Its total bullcrap. Liberty 101 knows that getting government out of marriage is the correct answer not involving it more.

  14. Yeah I get that, but I would have thought that if the name on the form was different that would pale in significance compared to having the same legal privileges.

  15. If etymology really is the issue here rather than legal rights, then I don't really think the government should be deciding how words should be defined, however that should be down to every couple how their relationship is defined not the government, which would allow gay marriage by proxy.

  16. How us allowing gay marriage government intrusion? Did laws allowing women to vote intrude in your life as well? Because I'm pretty sure the oppressed party in both cases would see this as a huge extension of their rights.

  17. There are many bad things about homosexuality. Having that been said, the government does give special things to those who have a marriage license. Which is a bunch of garbage in the 1st place. Why do we ask for a government right to marry? that comes from God. So actually there is no such thing as gay marriage, because marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

  18. Yeah, god forbid a kid be raised by two dudes who have anal sex, but being raised by someone who can't spell, that's perfect!

  19. You have to support same-sex marriage, for the benefit of the world- here's a reason why.

    Since you need a man and a woman to make a baby, if we encourage gay and lesbian marriages throughout the world, the birth rate and population should slow down and eventually decrease.

    This is great because the global population is skyrocketing, and it will ever-increasingly strain resources.

    You'd never justify genocide- I feel that homosexual marriage is the only ethical way in which to do this.

  20. that theory only works if it were proven that people can be converted to homosexuality, which isnt true. and gay marriage does not induce homosexuality in anyone. so, while i suppose your support for gay marriage is generally appreciated, your reason for it is extremely inaccurate.

  21. your spelling is forgiven, but your attitude is not. if you immediately assess the environment of a family simply based on what happens in the bedroom, then you are a very ignorant person.

  22. 1) there's nothing wrong with homosexuality

    2) "marriage" is whatever man defines it as, so we have the power to change the definition if we choose. if "marriage" is so holy, then why does it come in a packaged deal for the right to file taxes jointly, visit loved ones in the hospital, inherit property & other things? what do any of THOSE things have to do with such a sacred union?

    nothing. there is absolutely no reason to legitimately deny same sex couples the right to marry.

  23. your argument seems to come from principles; this video seems to come from pragmatics. i too would like to see the government get out of the business of marriage. but UNTIL that happens, the state governments need to start recognizing same sex couples' rights & allow them to marry.

  24. I could have worded that better, for which I apologise. I was not suggesting that homosexuality can 'spread' or be 'caught'.

    I should have said that I think that marriage between members of the LGBT community should be tolerated, accepted, and have happiness expressed at them for doing so.

  25. (Apologies for double-posting. It's not usually my style)

    If both sexes are equal, which they pretty much are in most respects within sensible nations, then why would it make a difference if men marry women, or other men? (same goes for women choosing to marry other women). It doesn't make much of a difference, so let it happen! Why not?

  26. Marriage falls under freedom of religion, the government should not be involved in marriage either straight or gay.

  27. The problem with your worship example is that in one case, you recognize that there is a definitional and fundamental framework to a group (Christianity) and mind you, that isn't mocking freedom at all. With the other group you are denying that a definition even exists, or you are simply making up a new one for your own argument sake, the arguing from that basis. Marriage has a definition, of you want to change the law, change the definition.

  28. Can we look at this from another perspective? I am a recent divorcee. I was with for 8 years, legally married to her for 4 years. If I had that to do all over, I would have never married her. I would not have been pressured into taking trips we could not afford. I would never had to be around her alcoholic, stoner family. Gays have no pressure to be married. They should relish their freedom, as I do now. I am in no hurry to walk down the aisle again. I may never again. Anyone regardless of their sexuality should have their sanity questioned, if they would willingly be married.

  29. I think libertarians are looking at same sex marriage wrong, because they want to be accepted by the masses.  

    I agree on almost every issue with libertarians, except this one.  No, I am not religious, and no, I am not against gay marriage.

    I am against the federal government having ANYTHING to do with marriage.  Any kind of marriage.  How about government gets their nose out of our business?  Isn't that what libertarianism is all about?  Less government intervention, not more?  Instead of arguing for government to accept gay marriage, why isnt the argument to get the govt out of marriage altogether?  Then gay, straight, doesn't matter.  We are free to marry who we want because it bares no consequence on anyone.  I don't believe there should be a single financial benefit to any marriage.  A benefit for a married couple is at the expense of me.  It is also a punishment to anyone who chooses freely to not get married.  Why am I being punished?  

    How about we just set up a system where you can appoint someone to be your significant other, who you allow to make decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated?  

    I find it strange that libertarians are arguing for more government with this one issue, when in every other topic we can all agree that less government intervention is better.

  30. What kind of libertarian says that state's should recognize someone's "right" to get married?  Gay or straight, doesn't make a difference to me, it's not a right.  We have a very specific bill of rights, marriage is not one of them.  The government shouldn't be able to stop you from getting married, especially if it is your religious belief, but they shouldn't have anything to do with marriage.

  31. standing on the principle of liberty, i think the goverment should not be involve in legality marriage nor offer special benefit for the marriage.. as people whom, can have special access, we can put it in without the need of fomality in marriage (law).

    this way, everyone can have their own "marriage" in their own religious and/or ideological concept, term n condition. without offending each other..

    so, there no expensive and abusive divorce court too..

  32. goverment, should stay away from legality of marriage. let religious and/or ideological association, decide and formalize the wedding. their should not be a divorce settlement and so on..

    how about the costudy? if the marriage nor divorce is not recognaise by state,.. how to determine costudy? costudy is dertemine at the time of birth, by both biological parent.. if she did not know, the biological parent, she could ask if anyone (same sex or otherwise) willingly joint the costudy.

    so there can be a court to determine, the break up of costudy. let say, she decide to raise the kids on her own and he did not agree.. then she can present her case to the court with reason n proff. just like anyother dispute.

    and when the costudy is break, whover raise the kids. would have to do it alone. the other partner did not have to paid anything. (by law)

  33. The way I view marriage we have 2 different types. Not gay and straight, but civil and religious. A civil marriage is a marriage recognized by a government. It often comes with various benefits for that couple. On the other hand religious marriage is a marriage recognized by a religious institution. They are often symbolic and have few, if any benefits.

    All couples regardless of sexual orientation have a right to a civil marriage, but not a religious one. It is the religious group that decides whether or not it recognizes a gay couple as a married couple. This is where I often have concern with gay marriage legislation, it often attempts to force religious organisations to recognize and support gay marriages.

  34. None of arguments are legally true. If civil union doesn't confer the same benefits it would have been easier confer them on civil unions. Redefining marriage is legally unsustainable impractical. 
    Every single person who studies the law knows in fact marriage as it stands today is a trap. 
    He also fails to state that EVERY same sex marriage country has had a drastic reduction in the number of marriages and the birth rates have fallen to critical levels. Well below replacement levels. He misrepresent what the government considers a "gay family" which is often a single lesbian mother or gay dad who is not married and has no partner.  

  35. He summed it up in the first ten second Marriage is a PERSONAL Inalienable right …. NOT CIVIL anything civil translates to subject to an external powers authority…and as he glossed over briefly since the govt grants marriages thru the issuing of a license they now take jurisdiction over the party and production (kids) involved and it being a civil privilege you are now subject to duties and obligations (its a trap its why dfs can take your children a stranger can force you to pay alimony to a cheating spouse garnish your wages or throw you in jail if you dont fulfill the obligations they set upon you) if having the govt micro manage you family bedroom and child rearing still looks like a bonus by all means join the rest of us enjoined serfs… All candor aside legal is legal and lawful is lawful it is perfectly lawful to have a common law marriage without govt involvement… #LonglivetheMockingJay

  36. I don't think gay marriage legalization is a huge deal.
    Why? Well, because you can already live together, be in a loving relationship, share bills and money while raising a child.

    That is marriage! Sure legal stuff is nice, but a paper is not what makes a marriage. But the papers creates legitimacy, something many people don't wanna give to homosexuals. In my country (Brazil), there are people that refuse to call gay couples couples! They look for bulshit grammar reasons to say couples in the sense of people in a relationship can only be a man and a woman!

    While this legitimacy is important and should be fought for, but not having it isn't the end of the world. The state can't prohibit gay marriage with prohibiting homosexuality.

  37. In the case of gay marriage, the 'human rights' component is directly related to the legal benefit of being married.  I think that having a separate legal union for same sex couples is a generous compromise that cannot be construed as a violation of human rights, even by the most sensitive of standards. Atleast not rationally. Same sexes want a marriage synonymous to that of a traditional marriage, but that (legally) adopts the definition of sodomy for grounds of marriage consummation in heterosexual couples, which is not sanctimonious.  They are gaining perceived value of marriage at our expense. Mankind can LABEL gay marriage as sanctified, but that does not make it so. The nature of their union is different, so why is it so offensive to be labeled differently? It is a simple concept really. Offering gay's the same legal rights under a different title, and their dissatisfaction with that compromise is a testament to their vigor for entitlement for none other than the sake of devaluation of marriage. The appeal for them in having the same terminology as we do in traditional marriage is only appealing for the enmity it carries, and attention seeking behaviour, and for the sake of being controversial. Any other underlying reason would not make sense because how then is a separate legal arrangement a violation of human rights? By rejecting a unique legal arrangement that offers the same social benefits on the basis of inequality is a insecure stance by the same sex community, because the inequality of such an agreement is based on their own perception of their union being inferior. What other reason would they not take pride and have contentment in their own legal union tailored to them? Since they are adverse to Christianity, why would they want traditional marriage founded in a belief in God, for reason's other than de-valuing it? Classic case of a dog wanting the bone just because the other one is chewing on it. Because a sizeable percentage of straight couples still care about Biblical doctrine, there remains a supply of moral property which is available to toy with as something of a play thing. To me their arguments are transparent.  A picture I paint is the heterosexual community demanding that the 'pride' parade be called 'shame' parade. The compromise would be having our own 'straight' parade. But that's not good enough, we will accept nothing less than they term theirs shame parade. In actuality, we just let the parade be. We don't have this burning desire to be contrary, and force our definition of their parade on them, and kick up a big fuss. So don't rain on our parade. We just want to keep what is ours. Gay marriage is not being attacked. That is manipulative wording. The established party being encroached upon by an interfering party is the definition of the attackee. The interfering party want's someone else's (moral) property,  so rather than settling somewhere uninhibited, (separate legal arrangement) they attack. They do not want uncharted territory, they want the spoils previously cherished by the long standing and rightful owners. It is more dramatic that way. Of course the interfering party can spin this around and cry intolerance because they are to highly emotional to be reasoned with, which therefore somehow makes them the ones being attacked. After the marriage bill is passed it is laughable that they will be satisfied. Next, Obamacare will be covering 'trans gender' surgery. If tax payers/ premium payers don't cover that, of course that will be the most grave of human right violations. I wonder if they're laughing to themselves when they're “consummating their marriage“ via sodomy, for the sake of pleasure alone, that we take the 'sanctity of their union' so seriously and we delicately tippy toe around the eggshells of our precise un offensive wording. (as I find myself doing on this post in order to avoid the most vile of personal attacks I receive only on the topic of gay marriage from men who desire oppositional words be handled with velvet gloves, whilst the double standard of tolerance does not permit me the same luxury.) Meanwhile they get off on the sheer ecstasy of their inequity and the demonic energy produced by what they engage in. They simply cannot change what the Word of God say's,  no matter how much they victimize their own social position. Society may stand for it, but He does not.

  38. The actual collapse of marriage happened after the sexism revolution of the 60's. That's when things went of the road

  39. On what grounds do the Child Welfare and Psychological Professional Organisations support same-sex marriage as a benefit to raising children? And where are articles to support this?

  40. This is about freedom. People fight for freedom all over the world. When a person's freedom is taken away from them THAT is not right. I am straight but if a man loves another man let him have the freedom to love who he desires. If a lady wishes to love another lady then let her. How does it affect you? It doesn't and you shouldn't care. For all you straight people out there that are against it well it is really none of your business if gays marry. Mind your own. This ia a great lecture.

  41. Marriage is NOT a personal right, not even a civil right. It is a JOB with specific specifications and responsibilities. If you don't qualify then you can't apply. If you can't fly a plane then you don't qualify to fly it. It's that simple. We don't go around re-modelling planes into mobi-peds just so that those who don't qualify to fly them can suddenly qualify to drive them, now do we?

    Further, basing the ONLY qualifying factor for marriage on LOVE, that it be the single prerequisite, is flawed. No-one can see inside anyone else's heart, so as a qualifying factor it fails. Don't you see? If you allow one sector to pervert the law, then by law you must then allow others the same equal opportunity to likewise pervert the law to suit their WANTS, because a precedent at law will have been set.

    The law does not discriminate. Setting this precedent will render the law with no leg to stand on to deny those who follow suit demanding that they likewise have the right to pervert the law and the institution of marriage. The law must treat all as equals. The law is set by precedents. ANYONE will be able to challenge it. ANYONE will qualify for marriage, in the same way that gays demand to be permitted to qualify. Point is, they don't qualify though, do they? … at least not without changing the definition of what marriage means, which ends up not being marriage after all, but a mockery of marriage. Get it now?

    The law will have no legal standing to deny paedophiles, incestuous couples, polygamists and bigamists, with claims that they love those they seek to marry. LOVE is not the constitutional foundation of marriage nor even its purpose and for very good reason, otherwise ANYONE and everyone could qualify for marriage. NONE of these combinations of people QUALIFY to meet the job specification of marriage, just as gay and lesbian couples don't QUALIFY either.

  42. I like the way that you interpreted the meaning of marriage based on your understanding for the Problems that you facing from a legal point are you kidding me gay marriage really is this a solution dear god you're trying to change reality and logic by twisting facts and problem at the same time you trying to find a solution to this matter well The increasing of gays number it's not because it's natural no it's because we are allowing ourselves to become more stupid by time just for socialized political economy problems in this case gays thanks to this Idiocy you just ruined the future for the next generation by allowing them to be more idiots in fact reality logic knowledge and socialize relationship

  43. I don't know but this professor's words are making me emotional. Like yes mister, preach the freedom's worth. It's God's power for us. The power to choose. And he loves us no matter what our colors be like, as long as we love him back and glory his name.

    I am a christian, and a straight, but I support this. Sorry not sorry but LGBT community has my heart.

  44. This is not natural it's an abomination to God, this country is going down.,they will mess up society with this., totally out of Moral order..

  45. Love is love 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈
    Sorry but if u have a right to marry then why shouldn’t I have that right!!! I am not hurting any one when I am marring a man. It’s 2018 y don’t u stop livening in 1790 and expect thing have change and marriage should be between to humans of over 18 that love each other. Not just men and women

  46. Good job, but I would also argue that gay marriage will allow adoption thus decreasing the number of children in need of a home

  47. I guess ur father fcked his friend from his soccer team and then u were born!!! Honestly do u think it's right to go against the nature's rule… Why were 2 different genders made after all…? Freedom doesn't mean u have the right to do anything bt the right thing.

  48. Why do you all care about gay straight or lesbian when you all can just go solo and live your lives in peace instead of having someone around you every damn day
    -This post was made by the introvert gang

  49. Here is an idea, how about the government not be involved in marriage at all. Forget about being register as a married couple. If you are religious, be married under the institution of your religion and be registered by them. If you are not religious, then what is marriage to you? A declaration of your love and commitment? okay declare it whoever you want and not be registered with some government system. Why is the government involved with our personal lives. oh because of tax benefits and stuff? Drop all of that. Co-owning property and possessions? you can do that without being married in the eyes of the government. Look at business owned by multiple people. Why do we need government contracts to say that you are a couple?

  50. I don't understand. People say that America is the greatest / has the most freedom but why make dumb laws like this. I believe anyone should allow to do anything they want as long it does not negatively affect other peoples freedom. Also adding dumb laws makes the system more inefficient.

  51. Yaa it's true… Because all persons have there own rights and yes.. Our government is also motivated them and help them so please guys we also should help them and support them….. In every field

  52. holy matrimony =🤵👰 however you have the right to marry anyone who consents so it’s your choice if you want to be holy or live like the world


  54. I'll say we'll see how it goes it has recently began I wouldn't say it's gonna end up being a good thing😏

  55. I have gay family members and I'ma against gay marriage. It's not so much to discriminate the person itself, it's just seeing value in a mother and father family structure. A woman cannot be a father plain and simple. Just as a transgender man can't be an actual man because of the opposite hemisphere in the brain that males and female function on. I also see extreme value in tradition and simple Life. With time and technology advancing we are steering to a point of chaos and immorality.

  56. So then the government should recognize civil Tri marriages and quad marriages, Etc and so on?? Meaning the great big wide door of rights needs to be open to Bisexuals also. How can we be so Intolerant? So traditional? So conservative? So bigoted? Bisexuals have their own unique needs, separate and apart from gays. Do they not? All lusts of all people MUST be accommodated. That is fairness and equality and tolerance . Come on Supreme Court, lets get on it! You're lagging behind the times.

  57. What have we became to man, what this world have became to, when was Homosexuality was right in anyways

  58. Yeah but you can't rewrite morality Some agree somewhat disagree But she can't rewrite God and immorality That means we can rewrite meaning morality even Murder

  59. LOL, he is clearly insane. Two men getting married has nothing at all to do with anyone else. My marriage is not affected by another two people getting married, how strange that he thinks a gay marriage affects his marriage when it has nothing to do with him?

    He is saying clearly that his issue is about being told he can’t use ‘marriage’ as a vehicle to discriminate against others, and he clearly enjoys discriminating, he doesn’t want that enjoyment taken away because he is a bigot.

  60. I don't think marriage is a fundamental personal right.
    The only reason for marriage to exist is its fundation for procreation.
    You can choose to love anyone between now and then unless you start to take the responbility for next generation

  61. Genesis 2:24, KJV
    “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

  62. LGBT is a spirit of sexual perversion forcing its way to a decent & genuine society to destroy. The Roman empire crumbled to sexual perversion and so would be the Western society.

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