Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Libertarians praise Maine, D.C. marriage bills, but urge better policy

America’s third largest party praised Maine Governor John Baldacci (D) for signing a bill legalizing gay marriage and the Washington, D.C. City Council Wednesday for voting to recognize gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions, opening the door to marriage equality in the District, but urged Baldacci and council members to take the proper approach to marriage equality and repeal government definitions and regulation of marriage entirely.

Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) is expected to sign the D.C. measure. Since Washington, D.C. is a federal district and not a state or entirely independent city, the legislation must be approved by Congress. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) plans to introduce legislation next year legalizing gay marriage in the District.

“While Baldacci’s and the Council's intentions are noble, they are taking the wrong approach. Marriage, in the eyes of government, is a legal arrangement between consenting adults. Politicians have no right to refuse to recognize consensual agreements they don't agree with,” said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.

“The Libertarian Party position is simple. The government should not police consensual agreements between adults. Government should recognize the marriage of any consenting parties entering into an agreement, and businesses and individuals should retain the right to choose for themselves who to bestow private benefits to,” said Ferguson.

"We are the only party that not only supports marriage equality, but would completely do away with government's ability to restrict it."

Libertarians urge the Maine Legislature and D.C. Council to propose legislation repealing laws defining or regulating marriage and instead recognize all current and future marriages between consenting adults as private legal agreements.

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