Originally Posted by Olderwoman
About the reason/excuse: making sense "economically to be or stay married..."
That is similar to how the Federal government controls and enforces its laws on the states by "bribing them" with federal funds. If a state wants to have more "home rule" and be more independent, they can't be taking bribes (funds) from the Federal government. They need to be independent. If they refuse to follow the Federal government guidelines or laws, they risk losing their funding.
There is a price to pay for independence and freedom. If you don't want to pay that price, then you have sold your freedom down the tubes.
A marriage is a contract with "THE STATE." They tax you to get married and they charge you to get divorced and lawyers make a lot of money in the process.
Some things are a lot harder to get out of than into...
It used to be easy for a woman to get out of a marriage when the state had funds to help her file for divorce. Depending on the state in question, its not so easy anymore. It costs so much in some states to get divorced some women can't break that tie legally because they don't have the money to file the papers.
You can try to convince yourself that a marriage will not change your relationship, but you are only fooling yourself if you think that. It means "I own that person... and he owns me."
Now everyone knows that nobody owns anybody, but that idea is burned into the subconscious mind, where marriage is concerned. You aren't going to get it out.
If you don't believe me, then I suggest you give it a try. Suggest to your partner that they dissolve the marriage and observe how both you and your partner begin to 'feel' about that idea.
While I agree with your basic sentiment, I don't agree with all of the implications you suggest.
The state takes a levy on any contract that it has a role in enforcing or regulating - you pay a fee when you want to incorporate, etc. This is not unique to the marriage contract.
My freedom is not fundamentally constrained by paying those levies - if I value the enforcement of the contract.
Marriage also goes beyond the simple contract - in a legal sense. It has a set of implicit and explicit expectations (sometimes actively negotiated, sometimes not) that go far beyond what you are contractually obligated to perform. That is, people value it for reasons that go beyond the state's interest in supporting marriage.
Marriage has a priviledged position in our society (most others too, I presume). It is tax priviledged; it comes with social priviledges; it has social currency. I don't necessarily agree with it's priviledged status - particularly in the context of current value wars being waged (with respect to gay marriage). I'd much rather the state take a disinterested position in the parties in the contract and simply administer it (which would open up gay as well as plural marriage - or whatever you want to call it).
My freedom is constrained in ennumerable ways. In the vast majority of cases, I prefer those constraints (e.g., I'd prefer on most days to drive well above the speed limit - triple digits. I have the skill to do so. It is useful for me - and others with less skill - to be constrained from doing so). I do get quite prickly when my freedom is constrained in a way that is unjustified or unfair.
But, the tax advantage/economic advantaged position of marriage is not one of them. I would abolish those advantages as an unnecessary policy. The arguments for the state's interest in maintaining and supporting marriage don't sway me. For me, this is not a issue of abridged freedom.