Lately, there has been much ado about whether some states will grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The argument is fashioned around the root idea that state governments have the exclusive say to decide who does and does not have marriage rights.
No matter what side of this argument you fall on, chances are high that your position pivots on WHO the government should allow the “privilege” of a marriage license… But how about the root question? How about asking the question: Why does anyone have to ask permission from the government and pay for a license to marry at all?
Now THAT is a good question! So how about a history lesson ?…
George and Martha Washington did not need to ask permission from government to get married and neither did the Lincolns. They either had a contractual agreement or they were married by their church, both of which did not require any license from the state. They understood marriage rights and rights in general. The mere thought of having to ask permission for what they considered a common right would have them spinning in their graves.
The very first “marriage license” was issued after the emancipation of slaves. When blacks and whites wanted to “intermarry” (mix the races), some decided this was unsavory, pushing through a law stating that blacks and whites who wish to marry needed to receive permission via the acquisition of a license.
So, as time ticked on, some couples, acting like sheep, started asking the governments of their various states for permission (getting a license) even if they were not a mixed couple, until all started assuming it was necessary. So, rather than freeing the blacks and recognizing their equal rights, all were now acting as though marriage were a privilege granted by the State.
I’m sure you’ve heard of a “Common Law Marriage”. Well, Common Law still stands as the law of the land. You need only to defend your right to freely contract with whomever you wish, as long as they too are a consenting adult.
You may be thinking, “That’s all fine and dandy, in theory, but my state doesn’t recognize common law marriages. Isn’t that just the same as shacking-up?”
First off, there is a huge difference, legally, between something not being recognized and something not being legal. Common law IS the law, so it is very legal. Much more-so, in fact. Of course there are states that want you to believe they are all-powerful, but that is just the nature of governments in general.
…And second, a “common law marriage” is REAL marriage. It is not “shacking-up,” or some kind of second-class coupling. Not to offend anyone who asked for a marriage license and has been living happily for years in marital bliss, but of the two methods of marriage, yours comes in second.
When you ask for permission, you invite the state into your contract as a stake-holder. The state now has a legal say in your marriage. They also bribe you with
benefits, such as special tax incentives and such; however, a couple who gets
married under common law does so without this intrusion, but also without the bribes. Your choice.
So take your pick… Rights? Or privileges? To learn the difference is to respect yourself.
For more information on common law marriage rights and what is required for true common law marriage, click the following link: