“Marriage partners, not government, should define the terms and spiritual orientation of their union in accordance with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom.”

— Michael Badnarik

Constitution of the United States

17 September 1787 — It is notable that this document does not mention marriage even once, and as such, it should be abundantly clear that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (and any other federal laws dealing with marriage) is wholly unconstitutional.  Not once!  Read it for yourself, if you don’t believe me.  Also check out the first amendment, which Thomas Jefferson correctly pointed out effectively erects a wall of separation between church and state.  Bouncing off of Jefferson, Michael Badnarik (see below) points out that individual churches should be free to create their own policies regarding marriage, including policies accepting of homosexual unions.  Why, after all, need the government be involved in defining the terms of this most personal and sacred union?

The Marriage Contract of Robert Dale Owen and Mary Jane Robinson

12 April 1832 — This “simply written contract,” authored by Robert Dale Owen himself, declares open moral objection to the legal conferring of statist privileges and imposition of duty unequally on the sexes.

Legal Disabilities of Women by Sarah M. Grimké

6 September 1837 — In this letter to the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, the abolitionist, Quaker, and individualist feminist Sarah M. Grimké compares the legal status of woman to that of the slave.  At the time, a man was not seen as a mere companion to his wife, but rather master over her and her possessions.  In a very literal sense, women were slaves to their husbands, as this letter aptly demonstrates.

Love, Marriage, and Divorce, and The Sovereignty of the Individual by Stephen Pearl Andrews

1853 —

The Marriage Contract of Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell

1 May 1855 — Also known as “Protest Against the Laws of Marriage,” this document served as the marriage contract of Stone and Blackwell.  At the time, patriarchal government regulations conferred property rights, the right of contract, and even self-ownership, of any married woman to her husband.  This contract aimed at defying these unjust laws.

Cupid’s Yokes by Ezra Heywood

1876 — In this essay, the individualist anarchist Ezra Heywood advocates free love and challenges the legal institution of marriage.  Heywood was actually arrested for distributing this work through the mail, as it was considered “obscene” and thus in violation of the Comstock Law.

The Odd Women by George Grissing

1893 — Having not presently read this novel myself, I do not feel I can adequately present it.  However, I did read a review of the book titled “Irrelevancies” by Bertha Marvin, and based upon this review, it seems appropriate that the novel be included in this archive.  The review was published in Liberty 14, no. 25 (1905): 4–5.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

1966 — In this classic science fiction novel, one finds a variety of different marriage structures that have evolved by 2075 on the moon (see esp. pp. 42–43, 44, 111, 165, 214–218, 259–262).

The Politically-incorrect Marriage of Lillian Harman and E. C. Walker by Wendy McElroy

1982 — McElroy discusses the non-state, non-church marriage of Lillian Harman and E. C. Walker, and their subsequent arrest for defying the state’s law that no marriages can occur without state sanction.

Reject ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ by the Libertarian Party

July 1996 — This press release opposes marriage discrimination, saying that government should “stay out of personal romantic, religious, and legal decisions of adults.”

They’re Made Out of Meat by Terry Bisson

2000 — Although this short work of science fiction has nothing specifically to do with marriage, it does deal with the issue of prejudice, and as such I felt it was appropriate for inclusion in this archive.

Here’s How to Defend Marriage by Harry Browne

18 February 2004 — In this article, the late, great Harry Browne explains that alternative marriage structures are not actually a threat to your marriage, nor to the marriages of anyone else.  It is not the government’s place to define marriage, love, gender, or the “proper” methods of raising your children.

Should Gay Couples Be Allowed to Marry? by Michael Badnarik

16 June 2004 — This article, originally written for Badnarik’s 2004 run for the presidency of the United States as a Libertarian, points out that government licensing of marriage has opened the door for government discrimination.  He argues that marriage partners, rather than the state, should define the terms and spiritual orientation of their unions.

Rights, The Constitution, and the Ninth Amendment by Tibor R. Machan, Ph.D.

7 December 2005 — Dr. Machan points out that the ninth amendment, which states that “[t]he enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” is unfortunately all-too ignored, and that the people do retain the right “to dance, to sing, to write books, to garden, to travel, to make love to anyone who will make love to us in return, to teach anything someone hires us to teach them—yes, to do anything that isn’t violating any rights of others.”

Marital Mythology: Why the new crisis in marriage isn’t by Julian Sanchez

1 June 2006 —

Gay Marriage Ban Blues by Tibor R. Machan, Ph.D.

7 June 2006 —

The Libertarian Case for Gay Marriage by Jon Henke

10 June 2006 —

The Trouble With Government-Licensed Marriage by Brian Miller

16 January 2007 — Mr. Miller discusses various evils that arise when we allow government to license the act of marriage.

Millions of Americans Denied Equal Rights on Valentine’s Day by the Libertarian Party

16 February 2007 — The Libertarian Party points out in this press release that although the last of the laws prohibiting racial intermarriage in the U.S. were struck down in 1967, “homosexual partners are still denied the same basic rights.”

Marriage and The State by Alexander S. Peak

4 October 2007 — In this article, I argue for the complete separation of marriage and state, pointing out that conservatives and “liberals” alike contradict their own premises in so far as they support government intervention into and defining of marriage.

A Reply to “Why ‘Sex’ Is Not Equal To ‘Race’” by Alexander S. Peak

4 June 2008 — I point out in this piece that a ban on gay marriage requires the aggressive actions of the state to limit the right of contract.  Aggression, i.e. the initiation of force, is always in violation of natural law.  We are behoved to oppose the illegal bans on gay marriage, regardless of the arbitrary feelings of some majority faction.

Libertarians in 2004 protesting against heterosexist marriage laws

A libertarian gentleman showing his support for his daughter’s freedom of choice in 2004

Photo © 2008 by Bonnie Cline

Photo © 2008 by Bonnie Cline

Lucifer the Light-bearer, an individualist anarchist, free-love paper from the nineteenth century

Image © 2006 by Travis M. Wright