Monday, 13 May 2013

Do UKIP really want Government to stop "meddling" in marriage? - a test of libertarianism

There has been so much in the media over equal marriage over the last week, where do I start?

How about UKIP first?

UKIP's David Coburn has a point when he said last week:

"If so, it [marriage] is clearly in the domain of the churhc and other faiths - and it is none of the Government's business to meddle with it"

When that it is marriage equality he has a point. It should be left up to each religious group to define marriage as they see fit, and also those of no faith to do likewise. Now I come to the test that shows just how libertarian he and UKIP claim to be (comments he made at the weekend).

You see other members of the party including the MEP Roger Helmer have in the past argued that it lead to incest. Yet it is the Government's "meddling" that stipulates which close relatives are not allowed to marry. So are UKIP wanting this "meddling" to be lifted so that whatever any church, faith or non-faith group decide is acceptable is allowed? Because according to Coburn Government shouldn't meddle, so are UKIP actually wanting them the remove the "authoritarian" legislation that prohibits siblings, cousins, parents and children from getting married?

I don't think so.

Just as the Government stipulates which relatives you cannot marry it also stipulates that marriage must be between one man and one women at a time. We have Government meddling against bigamy, you can go to jail for that. Yet Government meddling also allows the vow "to death do us part" to be broken by divorce, a bit of government meddling that Nigel Farage himself partook of in 1997. So if the Government hadn't meddled in marriage to allow divorce Farage would be a bigamist and should be in jail. Do UKIP want to remove one or both of those authoritarian measures in the pursuit of libertarian utopia?

But then there is another crunch issue. The meddling already in place by government is that it can only be between man and women. So if we lift that bit of meddling and leave it up to faith groups to do what they want about marriage equality there is one problem remaining. You see UKIP are arguing for Government not the meddle, allowing civil equal marriage and those faith groups that want to, to do so surely is the logical outworking of Coburn's comments, isn't it?

Finally something else for UKIP to consider,not all marriages in this country, no matter how much UKIP wish they were, is a religious marriage. Another bit of Government meddling allows them to be carried out in a civil ceremony by a registrar. Now sadly that bit of meddling has to be regulated not by a church or faith group, but by Government. So either UKIP are insisting that all marriages are carried out by faith groups or they also want the Government to do away with all civil union ceremonies as well.

UKIP can't have their selected "libertarianism" going only one way.

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