Mark's Interview with Philip Baruth for the Vermont Daily Briefing Blog
(excerpts -- comments on marriage issue)

Campaign 2006: The VDB Interview with Mark Shepard   

April 13, 2006

VDB: I would go back to your earlier statements, about liberty. It seems to me that a Libertarian would say, Who I marry or what I do in my house, in my domicile, is my own business and government regulation at that point is not just unnecessary, it’s threatening.

You talked about the moving target — and you said you would only regulate it if impacted other people. So why is there a need to regulate in that area?

Shepard: Making gay marriage is regulating it. Not having gay marriage is not regulating

But as far as the government having some purpose . . . the basis of marriage shifts. It’s shifted from having some purpose around reproduction and raising children that you biologically produce — and of course there are exceptions, but laws should be made in the norm, not in the exceptions. Except in the case of civil rights.

So that’s what marriage is fundamentally about. And we have a huge breakdown there, you’re talking about huge costs. So I think it’s important to have marriage be about that. If you move it to being about how much you love, well, government has no way of detecting how much somebody loves somebody, number one. Number two, where do you draw the line? How can you make any defense against any type of group marriage, if you go that way? Polygamy, or whatever else?

If you use the logic that it’s consenting adults who love and care for each other, you can make no distinction between those things. And you open up the gates for anything. Is that where we want to go?

VDB: I don’t have a problem in my own mind limiting marriage to two people.

Shepard: But why? What’s your rationale?

VDB: I guess I’m thinking about each person making a lifelong commitment to another person, an exclusive commitment.

Shepard: Suppose three people do that? Where’s the rationale?

VDB: So the way you see it there’s no difference between polygamy and same-sex marriage?

Shepard: This is what you’ve reframed marriage to be, people that are saying they want to be committed together, and that they love each other. That’s the basis.

VDB: But what’s the matter with that?

 (read Mark's full commentary & link to full article).

"... many politicians talk the talk about doing something tangible about new jobs and it doesn't go much further. Sen. Shepard walked the walk."
"Sen. Shepard's big accomplishment, and it is a significant one, lies in the major role he played in bringing the Bennington Microtech Center into being."

Bennington Banner State Senator Endorsement Editorial, October 29, 2004

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