The state and marriage

My particular take on state involvement in marriage is that it really doesn’t belong there. This is religion’s purview, and as such, not the state’s. The main legal purposes of it, as I understand it, are some power of attorney foo, mandatory support for the spouse, inheritance, custody, and taxes. Secondarily there are health care benefits, but those are breaking into the field of domestic partner benefits.

If all of these (except the taxes) can be accomplished through other avenues, why do we civil marriage?

The mandatory support for the spouse (see alimony payments) ought to be covered under a basic safety net for all citizens (also, we ought to pay house spouses for their labor, rearing the next generation, contingent upon their proper execution of their duties, blah, blah, blah).

I’ve never really understood the motivation for the tax angle.

Power of attorney and inheritance issues can be handled separately (though wills have been overruled by courts before, though I’ve never really understood why)

That leaves custody. And I cannot think of a compelling reason that co-parents must be unrelated individuals of opposite sexes engaged in some romantic relationship, and furthermore, that they must be limited in number to two. Especially given the number of children with only 1 or no parents.

In short, the government should leave marriage to the churches, imho.