Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Taking Marriage Private
C called my attention to this startling article in yesterday's Times in which Stephanie Coontz takes us on a worldwhirlwind tour of marriage. Here's support for my thinking that the only reason for that license is the facilitation of rights and the distribution of assets and that government ought to grant it to whomever wants it, or, ought to get out of the business entirely. There is one thing she doesn't mention for which I was looking, and therefore about which I remain curious: the amount of public revenue generated by the issuance of marriage licenses. These days, it can't be significant, and newer "records retention" rules add to the cost of maintenance. Next up for battering: that other institution that hasn't been around for very long: the income tax.