that tell people what they can or cannot do. Examples: laws against public nudity
, gun control
, age of consent
, drinking age
, drug laws
, voluntary euthanasia
legislaton, and many, many others.
The underlying idea here is that the government should 'watch out' for it's citizens by making dangerous and/or immoral things illegal. Or, at least, what the majority of the country considers to be dangerous and immoral. Basically, the majority dictates what is and what is not allowed.
This is not the way America is set up. At least, that's not how it's supposed to be, as Jefferson and all the others signed it. As it's supposed to be, the Constitution and Bill of Rights simply outline certain rights humans have claim to. Namely, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The government is then supposed to enact laws that prevent citizens from infringing on the rights of other citizens, and punish those that choose to do so.
At no point is it said that the government is supposed to tell the citizens how to live, or how not to live. The whole idea behind the American government is that it is possible for a government to exist that doesn't get in the way of it's citizens, doesn't tell people how to live. Make no laws in respect to religion, that type of thing. Government is simply supposed to be a framework that allows human beings to exist side by side and to protect the rights of each individual citizen.
Is it the government's place to say whether two men or women may be married? Absolutely not. Define marriage? Do you really want the government doing that?
Is it the government's place to say whether a man can choose to end his own life? No. To deny his right to death is to deny his right to life. They are one and the same. It is a choice of free will, to end one's life, and it endangers no one's rights.
There's thousands of other places where the government oversteps it's bounds. For example, there's no legal basis in the concept of 'income tax'. When it was first passed, the government really thought that they were needed, so they ignored the legality of it. It still passed by only a thin margin. We are just so used to them now that we don't even consider it.
Morality must not be legislated. The only moral value that this country should legislate is the right of each person to choose and live their own life, as they see fit. Anyone who pretends to be a friend of democracy and liberty and the Constitution should be able to see this.