Glenn Greenwald has a post that touches on a matter personal to him, though he tries to remain detached in his commentary. As a despicable troglodyte with no sympathy for gays or immigrants, I should be on the opposite of the issue. But inspired by Mark Kleiman, I’m willing to put on my consequentialist hat and say “let’s make a deal”: Allow family-unification for same-sex couples, get rid of it for everyone else. Gays are a small minority, so that means less people overall, and as a bonus they don’t have kids. For somewhat similar reasons I have advocated scrapping state recognition (and the benefits that go with it) for straight marriages in exchange for giving civil unions all the visitation rights and whatnot they ask for. The total number of people receiving state benefits will thus go down. Plus, as Robin Hanson points out, state support seems to cripple the little platoons of civil society. Having a free-market in religion not only resulted in a more religious America, but made the religious more favorable toward free-markets. Bryan Caplan has argued that state marriage law (especially regarding divorce) makes it less attractive to men. Snooty liberals like to point out the high divorce rate of red-states (neglecting to mention the low marriage rates of blue states) and ask why conservatives don’t focus on how divorce is undermining marriage rather than gays. As I’ve said before, a social reductio ad absurdum can also be viewed as a proof of necessity. It makes good sense for traditionalist conservatives to go after no-fault divorce. What prevents them for seeing the absolute reasonableness of my ideas is that their politics is really about raising and lowering the status of those they like vs dislike, and my plan would signal a raising of the status of gays and lowering that of traditional married couples.

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