Secondly, society has gotten itself into this quandary by accepting the creeping intrusion of government into the realm of marriage. Where we used to have two widely separated, but still minimally interactive, realms, governance and custom, we now have these two realm more tightly integrated, so governance changes can have large impact on the customs of society. Customs have a very powerful effect on life outcomes for citizens. To give you an example, in much of Africa inheritance flows from father to the children of his sister because relationship customs in marriages are such that husbands cannot be sure that the children borne to him by his wife are his own. This custom ripples through society and affects all sorts of downstream issues:The downstream consequences of government taking an active role in changing societal customs and then promoting and incentivizing the redefinition of marriage and family can affect everyone in society.There are two reasons 11-year-old Chikumbutso Zuze never sees his three sisters, why he seldom has a full belly, why he sleeps packed sardinelike with six cousins on the dirt floor of his aunt's thatched mud hut.
One is AIDS, which claimed his father in 2000 and his mother in 2001. The other is his father's nephew, a tall, light-complexioned man whom Chikumbutso knows only as Mr. Sululu.
It was Mr. Sululu who came to his village five years ago, after his father died, and commandeered all of the family's belongings -- mattresses, chairs and, most important, the family's green Toyota pickup, an almost unimaginable luxury in this, one of the poorest nations on earth. And it was Mr. Sululu who rejected the pleas of the boy's mother, herself dying of AIDS, to leave the truck so that her children would have an inheritance to sustain them after her death. . . . .
Actually, the answer is simple: custom. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa the death of a father automatically entitles his side of the family to claim most, if not all, of the property he leaves behind, even if it leaves his survivors destitute.
We don't live in a society which is characterized by a minimalist government. So, until we do it's a fool's game to pretend that governance can be enacted while leaving the enforcement of customs strictly to the community.
Lastly, libertarianism is NOT solely about gay marriage.