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Legal Versus Organic Concepts of Marriage

"Marriage is a naturally occurring, pre-political institution that emerges spontaneously from society," writes Jennifer Roback Morse in the April-May 2005 issue of the Hoover Institute's Policy Review. "Western society is drifting toward a redefinition of marriage as a bundle of legally defined benefits bestowed by the state. . . . The organic view of marriage is more consistent with the libertarian vision of a society of free and responsible individuals, governed by a constitutionally limited state. The drive toward a legalistic view of marriage is part of the relentless march toward politicizing every aspect of society."

Peter G. Klein is Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute and W. W. Caruth Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.

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