The idea that limited government would be furthered by the state removing itself from the marriage ‘business’ is often made in these parts. This is appealing to many but the grounds for its appeal are only superficial. In a recent study by the Institute for American Values, entitled ‘The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing’, they cautiously calculated that “family fragmentation costs U.S. taxpayers at least $112 billion each year, or over $1 trillion dollars per decade.” (I would think that the pro rata costs are the same here in Australia.)
In What is Marriage?, Girgis, Anderson, and George, having outlined two views of marriage, conjugal and revisionist, argue that there is a clear state interest in marriage, but that this only makes sense within the conjugal view of marriage. They very recently set out their arguments regarding marriage at a Heritage Foundation function in Washington:
I find their case particularly convincing. I hope you do too.
[Update: Pedro in comments:
… if you want to attack the size of the welfare state, limiting marriage to a man and a woman is a pretty small start.