Rand Paul: Is governmental recognition of marriage a good idea for either party?

The Constitution is silent on the question of marriage because marriage has always been a local issue. Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married, not to Washington, D.C.

Current law allows individuals in every state to engage in civil contracts or legal unions. I have long felt that contracts should be adjudicated at the local level and, just as I don’t want my guns registered in Washington, neither do I want my marriage overseen or regulated from Washington.

Read the opposing veiw:Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul Marriage Act votes prove they are okay with intolerance

Justice Clarence Thomas was correct when he wrote in his Obergefell v. Hodges dissenting opinion: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”

The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.

Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.

The 14th Amendment does not command the government endorsement that is conveyed by the word “marriage.” State legislatures are entitled to express their preference for traditional marriage, so long as the equal rights of same-sex couples are protected.

Perhaps it is time to be more careful what we ask the federal government to do, and where we allow it to become part of our lives.

Alex Wong, Getty Images
Supporters rejoice June 26 after the U.S. Supreme Court?s ruling allowing same-sex marriage nationwide. The ruling was one of many victories this term for liberal justices on the court.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26:  Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 561888119 ORIG FILE ID: 478626320
Alex Wong, Getty Images Supporters rejoice June 26 after the U.S. Supreme Court?s ruling allowing same-sex marriage nationwide. The ruling was one of many victories this term for liberal justices on the court. WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice after the U.S Supreme Court hands down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 561888119 ORIG FILE ID: 478626320

Background:Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul vote against advancing protections for same-sex marriage

The Constitution was written by wise men who were raised up by God for that very purpose. There is a reason ours was the first where rights came from our creator and therefore could not be taken away by government. Government was instituted to protect them.

We have gotten away from that idea. Too far away. We must turn back. To protect our rights, we must understand who granted them and who can help us restore them.

Rather than elevating one groups rights above another in passing the Respect for Marriage Act, let’s get government out of the marriage business altogether.

Rand Paul
Rand Paul

Rand Paul is a Republican U.S. senator from Kentucky.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Rand Paul: Is government recognition of marriage good for either party