What is Marriage?

Marriage is an intimate and expressive association protected as speech by the First Amendment. Powerful interests are lying to you when they claim you have no right to divorce.

The common claim that you have no right to divorce is a claim that the government can compel you to remain married. The First Amendment is very clear that the government cannot compel associations. While this was commonly done in the 19th Century and before, such archaic beliefs can not survive constitutional analysis in the 21st Century.

There are powerful forces at work trying to convince us all that we are still governed by 19th Century archaic beliefs. These 19th Century beliefs make attorneys rich, provide jobs for judges, serve to punish divorce, and gives all political factions a means to control the lives of others. There are billions of dollars changing hands every year based solely upon the false belief that we have no right to divorce.

Title IV-D alone pumps more than 4 billion dollars into the scheme each and every year. While Title IV-D targets child support, the payment of child support only survives if states can discriminate against one fit parent for the benefit of the other fit parent by depriving children of fit parents.

When you read answers to this question from the establishment, look deeper to the money that changes hands based upon they answer they provide. By promoting this false belief, the flow of money is protected. Even respected organizations like Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute are culpable in perpetuating this misinformation campaign.

Even formidible libertarian thinkers are fooled by this misinformation and make critical misstatements regarding Supreme Court holdings such as this statement from Reason, “The Constitution protects the fundamental right to marry the person of your choice, so long as the choice is mutual. But the government can and does regulate the dissolution of marriages.”

What the Supreme Court has said about marital choices is NOT limited to choices to marry vs choices to divorce. Rather the right is expresseds as “Choices ‘about marriage’ are sheltered against the state’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.” Rather than protecting “the fundamental right to marry” as Resaon mistakenly asserts, the constitution protects “choices about marriage, family life, and the upbringing of children.”

Choices about marriage, family life, and the upbringing of children are among associational rights this Court has ranked as “of basic importance in our society,” Boddie, 401 U. S., at 376, rights sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect. See, for example, Turner v. Safley, 482 U. S. 78 (1987), Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U. S. 374 (1978), and Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1 (1967) (marriage); Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U. S. 535 (1942) (procreation); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510 (1925), and Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390 (1923) (raising children).

MLB v. SLJ, 519 US 102, 116 (Supreme Court 1996)

Reevaluating deeply and long held false presumptions is a painful experience. Even those who claim to promote freedom, such as Libertarians, fall victim to the human tendency to avoid pain. Governments prey on this human tendency and use it to wear away constitutional guarantees over time.

Statements about what the constitution protects and does not protect typically reflect the author’s deepest beliefs about the source of individual freedoms. Those who believe that the state is the source of everything will read court opinions looking to see if the court expressly “granted” a particular freedom. This, however, is dirrectly contrary to what the founders of the constitution openly expressed. They held that people were naturally free, read the Declaration of Independence for proof of this claim, which means that it is the government who must prove authority to invade basic human freedom, not the other way around.

Where the government makes laws through democratic processes, it is literally your neighbors who are limiting your freedoms. What source of authority do your neighbors have to limit your freedom other than the threat of force and violence from larger numbers. There simply is NO moral source of authority for your neighbors to vote to restrict your freedom. There is only force and violence. It matters little whether government force and violence is controlled by a sole dictator or thousands of your neighbors when government is using force and violence against you.

Questions About Marriage and the Constitution

Does the constitution protect the right to marry?

Yes, But!… The Supreme Court’s specific holding, which is the definitive statement on the issue, is NOT that the constitution protects choices to marry but rather than the the “constitution protects ‘choices about marriage.'” The choice to enter into the intimate and expressive association of marriage is a “choice about marriage.” Also, the choice to exit from the intimate and expressive association of marriage is a “choice about marriage.” Choices to divorce are most certainly “choices about marriage.”

Does the constitution protect the right to divorce?

Yes! Because the constitution protects “choices ‘about’ marriage” NOT just choices “to” marry. Are you reading false information promoted by the establishement that is seeking to protect entrenched interests? Go to the source to see for yourself, MLB v. SLJ, 519 US 102, 116 (Supreme Court 1996). Entrenched interests will act as middlemen editing the truth to suit thier purposes before presenting it to you as “authority.” They are NOT the authority. The United States Supreme Court is the authority, so long as the people will it so.

Do states have sovereign authority to regulate marriage?

NO! The sovereign authority of states is specifically limited by the Fourteenth Amendment. The First Amendment, applied against state action through the Fourteenth Amendment, protects intimate and expressive associations as speech as the Supreme Court has held, “Association in that context is a form of expression of opinion.” The regulation of marriage is the regulation of speech. There is NO escape from this for the states unless a large body of Supreme Court precedent is overturned. The establishment will tell you otherwise but the establishment is made up of powerful entrenched interests who receive massive profits from the false 19th Century belief that states have a free hand to regulate the intimate and expressive speech and association of marriage.