NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 16, 2013

Keep the state out of marriage

To the editor:

In response to two recent letters debating the issue of same-sex marriage, I would like to remind readers that, in early America, there was no marriage licensing by states at all. In fact, it was the church that you chose to belong to that recognized your marriage. If you did not agree with a church’s conclusion on some controversy, there were others to choose from that might be more in keeping with your own faith. In a free society, one was free to worship God in any way one saw fit.

In his “Notes on Virginia,” Thomas Jefferson, the patron saint of libertarianism, goes one step further. “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Indeed, when John Adams married Abigail Smith by a Congregational minister, and when George Washington married Martha Custis in a grand ceremony, the church that they belonged to — not the state — recognized their marriages. Marriage certificates were signed by witnesses and blessed by God, not by the state or some bureaucrat looking down on us from their ivory towers.

In a self-reliant culture where parents enjoyed a wide array of low-cost private schools, the state’s role in our lives was kept to an absolute minimum. We should get government off our backs, out of our daily lives and out of our pockets. The state has no place interfering with the marketplace or that sacred institution of marriage that has so recently been turned into a political poker chip by the divorce lawyers’ powerful political lobby.

Max Abramson

Seabrook

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Serious Flash Flooding in Arizona Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment Breaking: Officials release name of police officer in Ferguson shooting Man Shot As Protesters Defy Curfew in Ferguson Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Back Together for Two ‘Secret’ Dates
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans