The republican dominated legislature here in Raleigh are submitting legislation that speaks to marriage. However, unlike the vast majority of recent such bills, this one has nothing to do with gay marriage or civil unions.
Raleigh, N.C. — State lawmakers are considering making divorces harder to get in North Carolina.
Senate Bill 518, dubbed the Healthy Marriage Act, would double the one-year waiting period before a divorce could be granted and would require husband and wife to receive conflict resolution counseling, as well as counseling if they have children. Supporters said they believe the restrictions will help cut the state’s divorce rate.
Now, I don’t think that this action in any way excuses the liberty restricting legislation that has passed regarding gay marriage, but it is interesting to see republicans acting on oft cited criticisms of gay marriage opposition laws. Namely, divorce of straight couples.
And, like laws restricting the rights of our gay friends, families and citizens, this law suffers the same faults. Marriage, in the eyes of the state, should be a contractual matter. And if two people want to enter into such an arrangement, they should be able to. And, in similar logic, if they want to end said relationship, they ought to be able to do that as well.
Unless, of course, you buy into the liberal version of the “collective” and reject the notion of “private” relationships. In which case, if the community feels that marriages are better for society, well, then, perhaps divorce should just be outlawed completely.
Having just been divorced, I can say I worked for years, perhaps nearly a decade, trying to save what clearly wasn’t working out and lacked love. I always thought that circumstances were bad and it could be salvaged, I believed in the idea of commitment. Once it was clear that we were both hurting ourselves and our children by staying together, and that it would be better to end it, I would not have wanted the state to impose a long waiting period. Maine has a sixty day waiting period, and that’s about what we took. But we were certain it was the right thing, and I can honestly say we’re both better off now, as are the children.
I think more important ultimately is that people do take commitment seriously (we did – we tried a long time) and that when it happens the children are put first. Luckily me and my ex are still friends and have vowed never to speak ill of the other in front of the kids. We used no lawyers, reached our agreement ourselves, and the only role the state played was to have the judge look over the agreement to assure that it was fair (that one side didn’t manipulate the other side to take a bad deal – which can happen) and then nullify the contract and make our agreement legally enforcable.
While I’m all for seeing the community as an important whole, with individuals not just individuals but also part of something greater, my desire to limit the power of the state in personal affairs stems from recognizing that you can’t treat a cultural problem (high divorce rates) by limiting the freedom of everyone. In this case no law a state passes will change the culture or solve the problem, it’ll simply increase travel to Las Vegas. That’s why I tend to be very libertarian on cultural issues, rather than economic ones (I’m a so-called ‘left libertarian.’)
While I’m all for seeing the community as an important whole, with individuals not just individuals but also part of something greater, my desire to limit the power of the state in personal affairs stems from recognizing that you can’t treat a cultural problem (high divorce rates) by limiting the freedom of everyone.
Agreed. Laws regarding the ability to divorce are just as silly as laws designed to limit marriage.
That’s why I tend to be very libertarian on cultural issues, rather than economic ones (I’m a so-called ‘left libertarian.’)
That’s also called “being liberal.” When you are liberal on cultural issues and liberal on economic issues, you are liberal 😉
I, also, am liberal on cultural issues and conservative on economic issues. THAT is libertarian.