Indiana’s Libertarian Party chair, Dan Drexler, announced in early November his opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent Indiana from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. But the libertarian reason he gave for his opposition does not support that opposition.
Drexler stated, “Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. . . .Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.” He added that he supports efforts “to remove government from intervening in personal relationships altogether.”
Clearly, the logical libertarian conclusion would be to keep government out of the relationship-licensing business as much as possible, not to support the extension of governmental “seals of approval” from heterosexual friendships to homosexual ones as well.
Society may have to license and reward different-sex relationships in order to stabilize them for the sake of any children that may be born of them, but why would a libertarian wish to extend the bureaucratic regulations and restrictions surrounding marriage to couples that are inherently non-fertile?
Drexler’s position may emerge from a common confusion, the idea that gay people are not now free to form any sort of relationship they wish, and that a governmental marriage (or civil union) registry is necessary in order to liberate them. But in fact Indiana’s consenting adults, gay or straight, are already “free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships” and the proposed constitutional amendment would do nothing to limit their liberty. Gay sex would be in no way prohibited by the amendment.