Certificate of Morality
Let examine the extrinsic value of the marriage certificate.
(1) It cannot be traded like stock and bond certificate.
(2) It does not give one’s ownership, such as car title, house title, patent or trademark.
(3) It is not a license that grants you certain privilege like driving, opening a restaurant, or practicing a profession (like professional license).
(4) It is not even a contract which states clearly who has to do what and what the obligation each person has.
But it does poorly that these function too. Marriage law differs from one locality to another. If the couple moves, then expectation and obligation concerning marriage will change. Marriage certificate fails to provide clear obligation, duty and right. It does not enumerate these things. All those things depend not on the marriage certificate itself, but on local laws which there are fifty of them. In fact a contract is better served for such a purpose. It enumerates clearly the obligation, duty, and right. Since it states in plain text, the meaning is the same wherever one go.
Then why is such a thing exists despite providing no extrinsic or utilitarian value? The marriage certificate is nothing but a moral certificate. The government through the control of such certificate is defining the moral values, which activities are moral and which are not. Those they grant marriage certificate to, they approve of their morality. Those they refuse to grant marriage certificates to, they deem immoral.
In the interest of individual liberty, we need to remove the government from the moral defining function and give that function back to the rightful owners: the individuals, the families, the communities (which they free associate), and the churches which they freely choose. It is the family, the community, and the church which an individual belong to and has emotional tie with - not the government. The government has no personal relationship with a person to play a role in his or her private life. The government is at best a benign faceless bureaucracy and at worst an oppressive and intruding leviathan.
They should not be allowed to make moral judgment. Of course, for now, the harm from government issued marriage certificate is abstract and not concrete. The government has not cracked down on people activities. Nobody is hauled to jail. Nobody is even monetarily fined – whether they are heterosexuals living outside of marriage or homosexuals who practice their orientation. But the justification for sanction is already there – waiting to be used. It is true that it is very unlikely to punish those they deem unworthy of a marriage certificate. But one must keep in mind the government has and is punishing activities that harm no one – what we call victimless crime - this range from cancer ridden patients who smoke marijuana to women who choose to sell their sexual services. So it is improbable but not impossible.
Regardless whether you find these activities (homosexual marriage, marijuana, prostitution) offensive or acceptable, you do not want to involve the government. It is better that you accomplish your goal through persuading your fellow citizens from such activities – rather than calling in the government. Because once you give the government the right to crack down on activities you deem offensive, they may start to crack down on activities you find acceptable – perhaps even activities you cherish.
With that in mind, let empower yourself, your family, your community, and your religious institution by supporting an end to government exclusive control of marriage certificate. Gay activists, in the interest of their own liberty, should stop asking the government to grant them marriage license. They are simply putting themselves into a position of subservience. They should instead ask that the government stopped granting the absurd certificate of morality altogether and be free from the grip of the leviathan.
NOTE: There are those who will interpret this essay as an opposition to the institution of marriage (it has happened before). It is not the case. The opposite is true. I value the institution of marriage and value it so much that I want it to be free from the government.