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The institution of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. It is both in the interest of the government to see marriage promoted, protected, and expanded and in the interest of advocates of limited government to ensure government does not unnecessarily intrude into such a private institution.
The benefits of marriage are clear, including better earnings, better outcomes for children, better health, and more stable communities. In areas where marriage is the exception instead of the rule, social decay and discord are rampant including crime, poverty, substance abuse, and poor health.
Numerous laws, regulations, and practices by government diminish the benefits of marriage. While the tax code has been reformed to remove many financial penalties for being married, other disincentives for marriage remain. To cite just one example, an unmarried couple earning $35,000 each is eligible for subsidies under Obamacare, while getting married would eliminated those subsidies. Likewise the structure of many welfare programs create financial incentives that discourage many women from marrying their children’s father.
States should continue to be allowed to define for themselves what the definition of marriage is, through the legislative or citizen referenda process as opposed to judicial edict. Individuals should not be punished by the state if they choose not to provide goods or services to same sex weddings, or any other event they may find morally objectionable.
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