Obergefell and libertarian angst

I have already voiced my opinion on marriage equality ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges by the Supreme Court here. Some libertarians have voiced opposition to the ruling based on a confused notion of states’ rights.

I wonder how these libertarians felt about the Kelo vs New London decision? Were they happy that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of states’ rights over individual rights? Of course not. And the issue in Kelo was a power explicitly granted in the US constitution, eminent domain.

We currently live in a society where in order to be recognized as married, a couple must get permission from their state government. Some state government have been denying this designation to same sex couples on purely arbitrary grounds. As a libertarian, I believe the state has no authority to decide who can and cannot get married.

Given that the state is forcing people to ask for permission to exercise their right to marry, limiting the states ability to deny couples their right to marry is not unlibertarian. The states have initiated aggression against us and the Supreme Court ruling limits the scope of that aggression.

To those of you who believe that marriage equality is a states’ rights issue, what individual liberties do you feel that states can violate and the Supreme Court should back down from protecting? Should the Supreme Court only protect our rights when they are explicit in the constitution such as freedom of religion or gun rights?

If you are upset about both the Kelo and the Obergefell rulings, how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance of support for individual liberty in one case and the right of the states over the individual in the other?

If you are a libertarian like me, you should feel as I do that Obergefell was a victory of individual rights over the government but hollow because it affirms the notion that we have to get permission from the state to marry.


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