Obama Czar Wants to Abolish Marriage

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

President Obama’s controversial regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, says the U.S. government should consider getting out of the marriage business by abolishing it’s sanction of marriage.

According to a report by World Net Daily, the statements were made in a book Sunstein co-authored with Richard Thaler in 2008 in which he proposes that marriage be privatized, with states granting only civil union contracts to couples who wish to enter into an agreement.

In the book,”Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness,” Sunstein says marriage licenses are unnecessary because people can remain committed to their marriage, much like they remain committed to their country club or homeowner’s association, without government interference.

“Under our proposal, the word marriage would no longer appear in any laws, and marriage licenses would no longer be offered or recognized by any level of government,” he wrote.

He goes on to explain how his approach would ensure that “the only legal status states would confer on couples would be a civil union, which would be a domestic partnership agreement between any two people.”

He proposes that instead of being recognized by the government, marriages would instead be “strictly private matters, performed by religious and other private organizations,” he wrote.

“Governments would not be asked to endorse any particular relationships by conferring on them the term marriage,” added Sunstein.

Calling current government recognition of marriage “an official license scheme,” he goes on to say that when the state grants marriage, “it gives both maternal and symbolic benefits to the couples it recognizes. But why combine the two functions? And what is added by the term marriage?” he asked.

Sunstein explained terminating the issuance of state marriage contracts would not affect the commitments of those in the “partnership.”

“People take their private commitments serious,” Sunstein wrote. “Members of religious organizations, homeowners’ associations, and country clubs all feel bound, sometimes quite strongly, by the structures and rules of such organizations.”

Sunstein also endorses federally funded abortions in cases of rape and incest.

“I have argued that the Constitution … forbids government from refusing to pay the expenses of abortion in cases of rape or incest, at least if government pays for childbirth in such cases,” Sunstein also wrote in his 1993 book, “The Partial Constitution.”

If the state funds only childbirth, it would have the “consequence of turning women into involuntary incubators,” he wrote.

Sunstein also has no problem with forcing taxpayers to fund abortions even if they morally object to the procedure. 

“There would be no tension with the establishment clause if people with religious or other objections were forced to pay for that procedure (abortion),” Sunstein wrote. “Indeed, taxpayers are often forced to pay for things – national defense, welfare, certain forms of art, and others – to which they have powerful moral and even religious objections.”

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