LP: Reject ‘Defense of Marriage Act’

LP News Archive

July 1996

The government should get out of the business of deciding who can fall in love and get married—and should eliminate all laws that prohibit same-sex marriages, the Libertarian Party said today.

“If two adults want to legally say ‘I do,’ the government shouldn’t have the right to say, ‘No, you don’t,’“ Libertarian Party Chairman Steve Dasbach said.

“Marriage should be a private contract between two consenting adults and their church.  Intolerant laws shouldn’t be part of the picture,” he said.

To help end marriage discrimination, Dasbach urged Congress to reject the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.  The bill, inspired by reports that Hawaii may legalize same-sex marriages, would exempt states from having to recognize same-sex marriages under another state’s laws.

“We’re not advocating special rights for any group, just equal rights under the law,” said Dasbach.  “Basically, Libertarians believe the government should stay out of personal romantic, religious, and legal decisions of adults.

“If Congress genuinely wants to promote and protect marriage, they should start by lowering the burdensome taxes that have busted the family budget, and ending the harmful welfare system that has rendered marriage obsolete,” he said.

Dasbach downplayed some Americans’ fears that legalizing same-sex marriage would somehow corrupt or tarnish heterosexual marriages.

“Marriage between men and women is a social and religious institution that has thrived for thousands of years,” he said.  “Marriage is not so fragile that it will be undermined by extending the franchise to the small percentage of the population that is gay.”

On the topic of equal rights for gay people, the Libertarian Party Platform endorses “the cessation of state oppression and harassment of homosexual men and women, that they, at last, be accorded their full rights as individuals.”