Here are a few examples of how wise governments have dealt with the question of whom one should be allowed to marry:

“Sec. 1999. Intermarriage with a Negro, etc., Declared Void.
Hereafter it shall not be lawful within this state for any white person, male or female, to intermarry with any negro, Chinese, or any person having one fourth or more negro, Chinese, or Kanaka blood, or any person having more than one-half Indian blood; and such marriages, or attempted marriages, shall be absolutely null and void.”

Nazi racial purity laws? South African Apartheid laws? No–the law in the state of Oregon (long noted for its liberalism), overturned in 1951.

Here’s another:

“Sec. 1128. Concubinage between a person of the Caucasian or white race and a person of the colored or black race is a felony, and whoever shall be convicted thereof in any court of competent jurisdiction shall for each offense be sentenced to imprisonment at the discretion of the court for a term of not less than one month nor than one year with or without hard labor.”

This was Louisiana law until 1967. And then, of course, there’s Alabama, also overturned only in 1967:

“[tit. 14, sec.] 360. Marriage, adultery, and fornication between white persons and negroes. –If any white person and any negro, or the descendant of any negro intermarry, or live in adultery or fornication with each other,each of them shall, on conviction, be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than two nor more than seven years.”

I don’t know how many people were ever actually tossed into the penitentiary for seven years for the FELONY of marrying outside their race. That the state ever even had such power is nauseating.

To see how many states actually had such despicable laws on the books, take a look at the map.

This is just one reason why libertarians are amazed that anyone, gay or straight, would seek the creepy sanction of the state for their own marriage. Has the state ever demonstrated some sort of divine wisdom in deciding who can and cannot get married? Why would any self-respecting person seek such a sanction?

If you want to marry someone, that is entirely a personal decision (assuming you are a legal, reasoning adult). You may consult your family, your friends, your church, or anyone else whose opinion you value. But the government? You must be joking.

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