Marriage is a privilege, not a right

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I found it interesting how the Post-Gazette editorial board criticized Gov. Tom Corbett in a Dec. 18 editorial for his defending the commonwealth’s Defense of Marriage Act. The editorial stated that the act deprives homosexuals of rights, as if getting a marriage license is a civil or universal right. It simply is not. It is a privilege.

Marriage is something that has always been heavily regulated by the state because it provides some government benefits to the two spouses (which is arguable today) ultimately because the union will be fruitful and result in children. The state has special interest in who is having children because when a child does not have an intact spousal unit, it becomes costly to the state.

For these reasons, it is illegal in Pennsylvania for anyone under the age of 16 to marry and it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to marry without parental/​guardian consent. Further, it is illegal in a number of instances for blood relatives to marry including first cousins. Further, it is illegal to marry more than one person. Homosexuals who want to marry in the commonwealth then need to ask themselves why they should be able to marry and not individuals in the above groups.

The fact is homosexual “marriage” provides no benefit to the state. If homosexual couples want certain governmental or social benefits, these can easily be obtained by consulting an attorney. Hospital visitation, inheritance rights, a living will or designation of a significant other as a trustee are easy legal matters to resolve.

A Gallup poll in May 2012 found that 42 percent of Americans believe homosexual acts are immoral. What homosexuals who want to marry will not admit is that they want to force these Americans to call themselves bigots when in fact they are simply following their consciences. This is a violation of religious liberty.


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