Skip to comments.DOMA is an abuse of federalism (George Will tastes the rainbow)
Posted on 03/21/2013 4:02:21 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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If policy says that two individuals who are married have to pay one rate to share a car, and two individuals who are not married have to pay a different rate, how should the clerk determine what rate to charge people?
A major problem with the "marriage is just a contract" notion is that for a variety of reasons, many institutions, individuals, and companies want to provide various benefits to people who have a particular kind of relationship. Anyone from whom a couple would seek such benefits would have an interest in being able to establish, quickly and easily, whether the couple does in fact have that kind of relationship. The only practical means I know of via which such a thing can be achieved is to have an official process for recording such relationships. Otherwise, just about any pair of individuals could claim to be married whenever it suited them, offering as "proof" copies of contracts they filled out with each other, but dissolving such contracts as soon as the immediate need to prove the "marriage" had abated.
BTW, here's another thought: suppose every state gave any couple that was or had been married there an option to voluntarily fill out a form with the state that specified that in the event they wished to dissolve the marriage, they would pay some amount of money as an extra "divorce" tax [to be paid by the party at fault, if any, or else split between the parties]. Suppose further that couples could specify the amount as either $0.01 or $5,000, and specifying the larger amount would offer no benefit except that every couple's stipulated amount would be searchable public record. Do you think most couples would rather be recorded as having $0.01 worth of confidence in their marriage or $5,000? I doubt many couples would want to go on record as not having at least $5,000 worth of confidence in their marriage, even if doing so could save $4,999.99 in case of a divorce.