Not that I was hoping to find such an argument. On the contrary, my hope runs in the other direction. But I’ve seen a few libertarians claim that a pro-SSM ruling would be bad from a libertarian perspective, so I wanted to see if I could make a better case than they have been making. Everything I know about libertarianism says that the government cannot morally exclude gay and lesbian couples from legally marrying, as governments in 13 states have done but will no longer be able to do.
Why is that a proper libertarian position? It is so because libertarians, pending abolition of the state, should want to limit as far as possible its power to commit injustice, to mistreat people or deprive them of their dignity. One way to do that is to eliminate or at least restrict its power to discriminate irrationally or invidiously. Government should not have the power to issue marriage licenses, but when it exercises that power, it should not be free to deny them to gay and lesbian couples. On what libertarian grounds should same-sex couples be turned away from the licensing bureau?
As Steve Horwitz writes: “Classical-liberal principles require the State to treat all citizens as equal before the law.” This, he notes, has been one of the aims of liberal movements from time immemorial. Horwitz writes: