The Goal is Free Love

On Friday, June 26th, the United States Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 margin that same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution.  State-loving progressives are cheering the Supreme Court’s ruling as a victory for “our democracy.”

As a libertarian, I too celebrate the decision, although many of my reasons for doing so are far different than those of the so-called progressive camp.  I am proud to say that I fully support LGBT rights, along with the right of everyone to live as they so choose as long as they do not coerce others. But as a libertarian, I am quite appalled that the state believes that they have the final say in who can and cannot enter into committed relationships.

Many consider marriage an official sign of commitment and love toward each other. There are also tax benefits and other legal protections that come with this ritual, so long as married couples purchase a license from the state. This is what happens when we let marriage become a creature of the state: only those couples who have a state-issued piece of paper proving the relationship’s “legitimacy,” are thrown the government’s scraps.

I sincerely believe that society should reawaken the free love movement, as advocated by the likes of Emma Goldman and Emile Armand. Sometimes presented as people having affairs with whomever they want, free love is simply the process of removing the state from all such personal matters. Free love says that we may choose to marry someone of the same or opposite sex or have relations with several people at once, provided such relationships are voluntary. No one may dictate to us how we manage these kinds of affairs. No authority figure, state bureaucrat or otherwise, determines what may or may not be considered a marriage. The only ones who have a say about their relationships are the ones involved; and that is final!

To celebrate the ruling, the Twitterverse has adopted the slogan #LoveWins. But I do not believe this ruling emanated from the hearts of 5 Supreme Court justices. While the public largely comes at the issue from a position of love, I believe the state views it as an issue of control. With the Obergefell decision, the state is saying “yes, same-sex couples may now marry, provided we are still the ones who grant them that privilege.”

Progressives can celebrate all they want about the legal victory for the LGBT community. But the true victory will come when the state no longer has a say in who can and cannot be together, or anything else for that matter.

Translations for this article:

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory