The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Another victory for gay marriage

The Treasury Department yesterday ruled that same-sex couples who were married in a state or country where it was legal and subsequently moved to a state that does not recognize that marriage will be considered married for income-tax purposes. They can file as single people until Sept. 12 of this year if they choose to, but afterward will have to file either as married filing separately or as married filing jointly.

It's probably a good thing, but will lead to some interesting complications. Before the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional, same-sex couples had to be treated as single individuals under Federal law, so they'd have to file Federal returns as single even if their state permitted them to file jointly. Now, the reverse is true: same-sex couples whose state does not permit them to file jointly can do so on their Federal returns.

Of course, if couples like John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, whose Maryland marriage had not been recognized in Ohio, succeed in their suits (Arthur and Obergefell did get a judge to rule in their favor, though Ohio may appeal), based on Article IV of the Constitution, this anomalous situation where couples can file Federal returns as a married couple, but not state returns, will eventually fall. That is, obviously, the best solution: in states like Virginia they may yet be unable to get married, but by crossing over to another state, they will marry, and their states will have to recognize it. Eventually a Loving v. Virginia sort of ruling will come, even though in 2013 it's too early for that.

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