Government doesnâ€™t belong in the marriage business.
Thatâ€™s what a chorus of prominent libertarian, conservative and Catholic voices have been saying for some time. They argue that thereâ€™s no good reason for the state to regulate marriage and predict that making marriage a purely private affair will bring a blissful end to the same-sex marriage debate.
If the state isnâ€™t defining marriage, it canâ€™t redefine it either, they reason.
That sounds good to some, but privatizing marriage would make matters worse, say experts in law and family policy. Marriage is a fundamental public institution that demands a state role, they say, warning that private marriage would jeopardize children and give marriage the same status as alternatives like polygamy.