As I said before, I am not so sure I agree with the Church on the issue of civil marriage under the state of one man to another or one woman to another (Of course, as a sacrament, I am fully in line with the Magisterium). But this argument (found here) I have yet to see refuted:
. . . [T]he freedom to marry is not a right. A few quick examples should show why:
- Marrying an already-married person is illegal. If marriage were a right, then this restriction would be unjust and should be illegal.
- All states restrict certain persons from marrying (to some degree or another): aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, children and parents, even in-laws (who aren’t related by blood). These restrictions would constitute another breach of a “right” to marry whomever one chose.
- Marriage has an age of consent; there’s no “age of consent” for our rights to speech and religion.
- One must pay the government a fee in order to marry. But rights are free and automatic, not available for purchase.
It’s also worth asking why rights exist at all, and where they come from. Are they granted by governments? If that were the case, the government could also take them away. Are they simply innate, then? But if so, how do we know that? What does that mean?
I still think under our Constitution there is a way around this argument through the Equal Protection Clause. Nonetheless, there is still great widespread thoughtlessness on this issue from the side that seeks “compassion” before reason, and I saw it previously when people claimed access to healthcare was a right. But it isn’t, nor is marriage…