Stupid Meme: Libertarianism & “Gay Marriage”

One of the more annoying memes I am often confronted with is the automatic assumption that libertarians must be for “gay marriage.”I can understand why some people automatically assume such things in good faith, but I can also tell when the leftist media is attempting to exploit an apparent rift between libertarians and conservatives on the right. Whenever I read somewhere that there may be tension between different wings of the American right on an issue such as “gay marriage”, it is almost never a conservative or a libertarian writing it.

Is it consistent with libertarianism to be an uncritical and loud advocate of “gay marriage”? In my view, the answer is no. In fact, it is more consistent with libertarianism, at least in the current political climate and given the way the issue is currently framed, to be opposed to the “marriage equality” movement. The word “equality” ought to be the first indication to a libertarian that something may be amiss, since egalitarian movements are often statist, sometimes outright totalitarian movements that seek to achieve an ideal of equality by sheer force. Communism is the most obvious example, but what feminist and certain racial groups have achieved on college campuses is only a microcosm of what they would like to see in society at large: free speech utterly silenced, opposing views ostracized, careers denied or ruined over the utterance of a heterodox opinion (just view the archives of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for countless examples). To some extent this already does happen in society at large, but only selectively – for now.

The aggressive “marriage equality” movement has already infringed on the legitimate property rights of Christian business owners in the United States, and this follows similar infringements on property rights, religious liberty, freedom of thought in countries such as Canada, the U.K., and elsewhere. In all of the cases that have unfolded thus far in which Christian business owners refuse service to a gay “married” couple, there hasn’t been a single case of discrimination on the grounds that the would-be customers are gay, something individuals generally cannot control or alter, but rather objections to the freely chosen, absolutely voluntary decision to act as a married couple. This, as any serious Christian will tell you, is not a morally legitimate lifestyle and we are in fact under a moral obligation to refuse to recognize as such. Forcing Christians to participate in the life choices of others constitutes a violation of our natural and civil rights. It would be just as absurd to force a Christian photographer to photograph a Satanic ritual. If “freedom” now means the power to compel people to act against their consciences, even when there are perfectly reasonable alternatives available, then the word “freedom” may as well be consigned to the ash bin of history. It is a meaningless word signifying nothing real.

I don’t doubt that there are many libertarians, especially of the secular bent, who personally hold no moral objection to “gay marriage.” Many appear to be of the opinion that the state ought to have nothing to say at all about marriage. In theory, that sounds fine. In reality, the radical egalitarians are fighting for state power, and succeeding in some cases by judicial or legislative fiat, against the express wishes of the voters in states such as California. Meanwhile, the individual rights of gays appear to be rather secure: under existing property rights and contract law, all of the legal aspects of what the state considers a “marriage” can be arranged between two people of the same sex, except perhaps for tax breaks – which aren’t rights, by the way, but privileges.

Confronted with this undeniable truth (and I have confronted them with it many times), gay rights advocates insist that it is unacceptable that gays should have to fill out extra forms to obtain what married men and women are presumed to have by law. This is seriously what the debate often boils down to in the end. So the definition of marriage must be legally transformed, the civil and property rights of millions of Christians denied, and endless barrages of media, government and Hollywood propaganda aimed at schoolchildren, all so that a relatively small number of people don’t have to fill out a few forms?

Say whatever you want about this utter stupidity, but don’t insist that libertarians must sign off on it. Champions of individual liberty should stand on the side of private property rights and religious liberty, and not on the side of those who are quite obviously attempting to use the coercive power of the state to impose their moral vision on the rest of America. This is really a no-brainer as far as I am concerned, even for libertarians who harbor no personal moral objection to “gay marriage.”

24 Responses to Stupid Meme: Libertarianism & “Gay Marriage”

  • Thank you for your post. Re-define. To call something that isn’t is. What will be the next grab for power. Pedophiles are “minor attracted people”. Life site .com posted a disturbing piece coming out of Germany regarding the move to lower children’s consent requirements, (age). Placing more children in harms way of the M.A.P.
    When will this stop? It seems to me as God is pushed out of the public square, the old foe slithers in. “What’s foul is fair…and what’s fair is foul.” Old Bill saw it coming.

  • Mother and Father becomes Parent A and Parent B.

    only a bureaucratic detail. only. mmhmm

  • Thank you, Bonchamps, for a discerning essay. I am in close agreement with much of what you’ve written here, especially in the third and fourth paragraphs.

    Among some self-identified libertarians in the blogosphere, “the opinion that the state ought to have nothing to say at all about marriage” has great initial appeal. But who was it who said that for every difficult problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious and wrong? And wrong it is; a libertarian should be quick to see that upon considering what individuals have to say about marriage.

    Eventually people will laugh at attempts by judges and legislators to make same-sex sham marriages equivalent to real marriages just as we laugh at stories of attempts to legislate pi = 3.

  • The great 19th century Catholic historian, Lord Acton, pointed out on many occasions that the passion for civic equality and the hatred of noble and clerical privilege is usually accompanied by a tolerance of despotism, whether the absolutism of a Napoléon (whose regime was the consummation of the Revolution, not its reversal) or the tyranny of the majority.

    The egalitarian likes strong government, believing, as Acton notes, “Government must not be arbitrary, but it must be powerful enough to repress arbitrary action in others. If the supreme power is needlessly limited, the secondary powers will run riot and oppress. Its supremacy will bear no check.” Hence, “The modern theory… which has swept away every authority except that of the State, and has made the sovereign power irresistible by multiplying those who share it.”

  • I think you are neglecting two aspects of this:

    1. Civil marriage is a set of voluntarily assumed obligations. It is also an official delineation of social boundaries as are the property deeds in the county clerk’s office or copyrights registered at the Library of Congress. That delineation guides the resolution of disputes that inevitably arise in a society between private parties. The default mode of libertarian social thought is to conceive of a sharp delineation of state and society in which the latter is put upon by blunderbusses employed in the former. This sort of discourse is found in the writings of people who are critics of license (see William L. Anderson and Joseph Sobran) as those who are celebrants of it. In this mode of thought, the act of civil marriage is reducible to the issuance of a license and the refusal to do so is an unacceptable imposition on the autonomous will of Adam and Steve. That is an adolescent way of looking at the world, but what do you expect?

    2. Advocacy of these stupid burlesques is now a social and cultural marker in certain age cohorts. You do not really believe Reason‘s constituency is composed of people who do not care if they are confounded with evangelicals, do you?

  • With the moving words:

    “Champions of individual liberty should stand on the side of private property rights and religious liberty, and not on the side of those who are quite obviously attempting to use the coercive power of the state to impose their moral vision on the rest of America.”

    You have managed to more eloquently express the libertarian argument against anti-“gay marriage” legislation than you have defended yourself from what appears to be an entirely invented accusation that all libertarians must think and act the same.

    The larger issue of this meme – the concept that all libertarians must agree on gay marriage – well, you are correct there. You don’t have to support it.

    It will, however, make you less of a libertarian in the eyes of many. Take solace, however, as you can simply count it among the dozens of areas where the Christian faith and libertarian ideals do not meet eye-to-eye in the real world.

  • know what? I guess I am so naive as to think about this. If God would have wanted this kind of lifestyle there would be no proliferation of the human race. Without the act of procreation what is the point of anything? Everyway I turn I am learning of the homosexuals in my family. I love them as God loves them, but I cannot nor will I condone this behavior. No one will confront it in this Catholic family. Catholic mothers and fathers sisters and brothers. We are forced to, in every family gathering to put up with behavior that gags me. Married couples at these gatherings are not blatantly affectionate. It almost seems like an assult, or “dare ya” attitude. My grandchildren are exposed non stop. Please God. I don’t care what political direction you take this is, and will be disaster on our race. Without respect for marriage and procreation we are truly lost.

  • There are a number of problems with the essay that I take issue with. You brought up the situation with the photography studio in New Mexico as a warning about the dangers of marriage equality. Only problem is, New Mexico doesn’t allow same-sex marriage. The claim against the owner was one of discrimination in public services, not marriage. The state ruled that businesses that offer services to the public cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation (amongst other criteria). Just a reminder, a photography studio is not a church, and people that are religious “chose” to be religious. They weren’t born that way. So for your position to be valid, one would have to argue that ANY choice people make in their lives can be used to justify discriminating against anyone that they want. In a secular society, this is unacceptable. Choosing to become religious does not give you a “free pass” to enforce your religious ideology on the rest of society. Don’t want to provide service to ALL of society? Then don’t open a business in the public sphere. Pretty simple philosophy, huh?

    I also find it interesting that you believe the word “equality” should bring up red flags. The reality is that most states and our government have gone out of their way to foster discriminatory laws aimed solely at gay Americans, making sure that gay people will never be considered equal under the law. (Which is what this is about. Not legal forms.) This is the antithesis of what America represents: freedom, liberty and equality all citizens. Religion cannot be allow to override those ideals. In a secular society, one should ask themselves why our government is enforcing an obvious religious ideology on its own citizens without a rational “legal” basis. Our government shouldn’t be promoting ANY type of religious ideology. When Congress passed the extremely unconstitutional DOMA law, their “rational basis” was that DOMA will help ensure that straight couples will procreate responsibly. Perhaps you can explain how preventing gay couples from getting married will help straight couples be more responsible when having sex? Are the gay couples going to provide condoms to all those straight couples? Are straight couples going to get married in greater numbers because they know that gay couples can’t get married? By any stretch of the imagination, the rationale behind DOMA was drenched in anti-gay animus (based on religious beliefs) and nothing else. These people simply didn’t want to treat gay people as equal members of society. Their position is fundamentally wrong and inherently immoral.

    By the way, the public doesn’t have the final say when it comes to passing laws, the Constitution does. Just because a majority of people vote for something (the express wishes of the voters) does not make them right, or their decision just or legal. Slavery ring a bell? How about the subordination of women? Bans on interracial marriage? People justified all sorts of bigotry throughout our history… and used the Bible to support their position. Enforcing your religious beliefs into our laws pushes us one step closer to becoming a Christian theocracy. Our Founding Fathers escaped religious tyranny. Our society cannot allow that to ever happen here.

  • I’ve pointed this out to the Libertarians on Ricochet who push for homosexual marriage. Their response is the same as about abortion– they make excuses that the thing consistent with their stated philosophy gives the government too much power, and then promote expanding that power, on the stated theory that if anybody can do it, EVERYONE should be able to do it.

    Then, if you pay attention to what college PotLibertarians do and point it out as an example of Libertarianism, they respond it’s inconsistent with their theory– and when you point out that their stance on killing humans up to a set stage of development is also inconsistent, or forcing others to support the lifestyle choice of two adults, you’re suddenly “just being nasty.”

    Can’t win. Either you pay attention to the theory of Libertarianism but aren’t allowed to call them on inconsistencies like promoting expanding gov’t power for their pet views, or you pay attention to what MOST Libertarians one meets think, and you’re accused of lying. For noticing that Ronulans and Liberaltarians (PotLibertarians that somehow always manage to vote straight Dem tickets, and love their college freebies) exist in real life. *headdesk*

  • What is far more disturbing to me, and most moral conservatives, is that libertarians do not support morality. At all. Libertine freedom is the enemy of morality- it is the right to sin. Real moral conservatives, at least Catholic ones, are authoritarian monarchists: They support the Kingship of Jesus Christ and the rule of his Vicar the Pope in all matters of faith and morals. Morality for moral conservatives IS objective; personal likes and dislikes do not change what is right and wrong the way it does for libertarians.

    THAT is why you see people thinking libertarians will support gay marriage, the way libertarians support the right of women to choose abortion, and the right of people to destroy their own lives and the lives of their families with drugs- because at the base, the false liberty of the right to sin is the cause.

  • Igel,

    “You have managed to more eloquently express the libertarian argument against anti-”gay marriage” legislation than you have defended yourself from what appears to be an entirely invented accusation that all libertarians must think and act the same.”

    Entirely invented? Gee thanks. I guess you’ve never read… anything at all. Really? You’ve never come across the standard line, usually from some left of center pundit, that conservatives and libertarians are necessarily divided on the issue of gay marriage? Pundits and commentators make broad and stupid generalizations all the time, especially when it serves their purposes. In this case, the purpose is to deepen the rifts on the right.

    What you call “anti-gay marriage legislation” is NOT an attempt to use the coercive authority of the state to impose a moral vision on America. People who think it is simply have not thought the issue through, and are reacting with pure emotion and irrationality. It is a response to the aggressive and 100% statist “marriage equality” movement. A ban on so-called “gay marriage” doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s legitimate individual rights (is there a natural right, now, to have your romantic preference recognized by the state as a “marriage”? When did this happen?)

    The push FOR “gay marriage”, on the other hand, is an attempt to force private property owners and government institutions to recognize a lifestyle choice as morally valid.

    A libertarian who isn’t opposed to that is either an ignorant fool who knows nothing about the foundations of his own philosophy, or a total fraud who ought to be cast into political outer darkness.

  • Fox,

    I guess I came to my quasi-libertarianism (I hesitate to identify fully with any label other than “Catholic”) through Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard, F.A. Hayek, Judge Napolitano (a trad Catholic like me) and the Austrian school, which offers clear moral reasoning on every issue, even if I don’t agree with it 100% of the time. Of course this is a subset of a broader school of thought. Of course there are other factions within libertarianism. But the kind of people you describe sound like brain-dead fools.

    Ted,

    I don’t think this statement:

    “What is far more disturbing to me, and most moral conservatives, is that libertarians do not support morality.”

    Is fair at all. All of the names I mentioned above are extremely supportive of morality, and are in fact among the most morally conscious thinkers I’ve ever read.

    Of course libertarianism proposes, basically, that individuals ought to have the right to do as they please as long as they don’t infringe upon the basic rights of another person. But then you have Paul, Napolitano, and other very high profile libertarians who argue forcefully that abortion does exactly that, and so does this “marriage equality” movement. Abortion robs a human being of their right to life, and so-called “marriage equality” robs Christians and other individuals who are morally opposed to participating in “gay marriages” of their religious liberty and their private property rights.

    It is absolutely shocking to me that the average libertarian doesn’t see this.

  • Of course this is a subset of a broader school of thought. Of course there are other factions within libertarianism. But the kind of people you describe sound like brain-dead fools.

    They’re usually in college. Mentally, if not still physically. That’d make at very least the fools part mostly redundant…..

    To be more fair, I think they’re usually male liberals who got burnt or at least noticed the damage caused by extreme feminism, and so react by being exactly the opposite…but still on left-wing foundations. Part of why it usually looks like conservatism built by liberals.
    If you don’t have a foundation, you MIGHT be able to build some things; say, anti-abortion, anti-slavery, anti-theft, everything has to be a freely entered agreement. Which causes issues when folks actually do what they desire, and a third party becomes involved involuntarily, especially if their involvement puts a demand on the initial folks involved.

    Being pro-abortion and denouncement of forced child support as exploitation of the guy who willingly had sex in the first place is against the stated principles, but it’s very emotionally tempting if you don’t have a good bedrock.

  • David in Houston,

    Thanks for your extensive comments. I will address what I think are the most relevant parts.

    “The state ruled that businesses that offer services to the public cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation (amongst other criteria).”

    The business didn’t discriminate “on the basis of sexual orientation.” The test of such discrimination would be whether the business refused service to a homosexual individual because they were homosexual. That is manifestly not what happened; rather, the business morally objected to participating in a “gay marriage”, a voluntarily chosen activity. There is a world of difference between these two things.

    “So for your position to be valid, one would have to argue that ANY choice people make in their lives can be used to justify discriminating against anyone that they want. ”

    That’s more or less exactly what I believe. I believe it because of a thing called private property rights, as well as freedom of association. I believe these rights are fundamental to a free society, especially when there are a multitude of alternatives available on the free market.

    It is not the job of the state to force everyone to like each other and serve each other. It is the job of the state to protect natural rights.

    “In a secular society, this is unacceptable. Choosing to become religious does not give you a “free pass” to enforce your religious ideology on the rest of society. Don’t want to provide service to ALL of society? Then don’t open a business in the public sphere. Pretty simple philosophy, huh?”

    It’s simple, but it is also absurd. It is absurd to suggest that people with religious convictions don’t have individual rights to free exercise in their capacity as private property owners (such a notion would have been absurd to the founders as well), it is absurd to suggest that refusing service is equivalent to “enforc(ing) religious ideology on the rest of society” when the market provides many alternatives, and it is absurd to suggest that people with religious views ought to be denied freedom of association by being effectively barred from establishing religiously-oriented business.

    No one is forced to hire or shop at establishments with particular views. But freedom works both ways – no ought to be forced to serve people who are asking them to participate in or facilitate events they find morally repugnant. You shouldn’t have the right to force Christians to photograph Satanic rituals, or Jews to cater Nazi banquets, or for that matter, secular atheists to renovate churches if they don’t want to. That’s also a very simply philosophy, one that doesn’t involve forcing people to act against their convictions and doesn’t deprive anyone of an essential good or service.

    “The reality is that most states and our government have gone out of their way to foster discriminatory laws aimed solely at gay Americans, making sure that gay people will never be considered equal under the law”

    Well, this is simply false. Gays are equal under the law, as individuals. There isn’t a single right that straight people have that gays do not have. Gays can even legally marry – someone of the opposite sex, that is. Gays can, through private contract, establish anyone they choose as legal and medical power of attorney, inheritor of their estate, co-owner of their property, joint bank accounts, and so on and so forth. All they lack, and what they are not entitled to by nature or by law, is the privilege of presumption that married men and women have with regards to these legal matters. There is absolutely no injustice here.

    “In a secular society, one should ask themselves why our government is enforcing an obvious religious ideology on its own citizens without a rational “legal” basis.”

    There is a rational, secular basis for supporting traditional marriage and opposing homosexual marriage. That you’ve never come across it or, as I suspect, even looked for it, doesn’t mean a thing. But that isn’t the issue here. I am not asking the government to enforce a religious ideology, but rather to respect the rights of individuals to free exercise of religion, free speech, and private property.

    ” When Congress passed the extremely unconstitutional DOMA law, their “rational basis” was that DOMA will help ensure that straight couples will procreate responsibly. ”

    I’m not a fan of that rationale. But it is unnecessary. The key provision of DOMA is that no state be forced to recognize the validity of a “gay marriage” from a state that legally recognizes it. That is a perfectly just and fair provision that respects the sovereign rights of individual states. It does not prevent the individual states from recognizing “gay marriage” either, as we have seen. This is another illegitimate complaint.

    “By the way, the public doesn’t have the final say when it comes to passing laws, the Constitution does.”

    Have you read the 10th amendment?

    “Just because a majority of people vote for something (the express wishes of the voters) does not make them right, or their decision just or legal.”

    I agree. Sometimes, however, the majority is right. This time, they are. But in any case, it is not primarily about what the majority thinks, though I do think that is important. This is about the defense of natural individual rights to freedom of speech, religion, and private property.

    As for your comparisons to slavery and the like, the Bible was also (quite obviously, for anyone who knows their history) used by those fighting against slavery. No one complained about that as an “enforcement of religious beliefs” on the rest of the country, just like no one complains when left-wing Christians use religion to justify left-wing policies. No, it is only the socially conservative right who wants to impose religious values, only the socially conservative right who can find no “rational justification” for their policy preferences. The religious left, on the other hand, always gets a free pass.

    Finally, “marriage”, the decision to live one’s life with another person, is a CHOICE. It is not an inherited trait like skin color. Governments and individuals have a moral obligation to treat all individuals equally. They do not have a moral obligation to treat all moral choices as equally valid. If you can’t comprehend the difference, then I’m afraid we will always be enemies.

  • David in Houston said “ the public doesn’t have the final say when it comes to passing laws, the Constitution does. Just because a majority of people vote for something (the express wishes of the voters) does not make them right, or their decision just or legal.”

    But, of course, the public always have the final say; they can always amend or abolish any laws, including the Constitution. As Thomas Jefferson said, “no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. They may manage it then, and what proceeds from it, as they please, during their usufruct. They are masters too of their own persons, and consequently may govern them as they please…”

    Law is the expression of the general will, of the living, not the dead. History may instruct and warn, but cannot guide or control.

  • This is an excellent post. Thanks, Bonchamps. I wish I had the intellect to contribute something. But I am satisfied to learn where I can’t contribute.

  • Many libertarians recognize a set of principles or preexisting order that must exist to support liberty. Many others, however, are libertines who adopt libertarianism in an effort to confuse their conscience with their constantly changing, contradicting intellectual-sounding garble to support their temporal whims.

  • Also, most ‘gay marriage’ statutes have nothing to do with what the state does. Many states, before they ever introduced same-sex civil ‘unions’ or ‘marriages’, had reconciled all state-level administrative powers to be neutral to all couples. However, this was deemed insufficient. Hence, states began imposing requirements on the private organizations they regulated.
    Now some states are suing the federal government to force the federal government to accept gay marriage. Already there’s proposals to force other states accept the same sex ‘marriages’ from other states. Sooner or later, and in some small cases already relating to property and adjacent ministries, every private organization will be forced to accept and facilitate these ‘marriages’.

    It’s not an coincidence why some of the biggest heterosexual supporters of same sex marriage are the statists. They envision new powers to regulate speech, regulate custody, regulate transhumanist dreams, attack churches, harm families and then ‘help’ those impacted families. It’s not about people, it’s about the new weapons they can produce.

  • My personal position on the photographer is that I wouldn’t do business with someone that doesn’t want my business. That being said, personal feelings about someone (believing that they are immoral) is not a rational basis to discriminate against them. By the way, I can guarantee that the photographer has provided work for “immoral” straight people in the past. Especially if they’ve ever worked with people like Newt Gingrich, or other adulterers, or gamblers, or alcoholics, or any other so-called sin you can come up with. I sincerely doubt that the photographer questioned other clients to determine if they were worthy of their services. I find it more than a little hypocritical that the only criteria that Christians have for immorality (to use for the basis for discrimination) is someone’s sexual orientation — oddly enough, that’s the ONLY so-called sin that they’ll never have. Must be a coincidence, right? That’s basically the same assessment that the courts in New Mexico found. Simply choosing to become religious doesn’t give you authority to disregard laws that protect the treatment of other citizens. Did you ever notice that the only group of people that are collectively discriminating against another group of people are Christians, and not the other way around. Yet it’s the Christians that are somehow the victims in all of these stories. Funny how that works out. Yes, 80% of the populous are victims of the overwhelming power of the 3%. It truly boggles the mind.

    “Gays are equal under the law, as individuals. There isn’t a single right that straight people have that gays do not have. Gays can even legally marry – someone of the opposite sex, that is. Gays can, through private contract, establish anyone they choose as legal and medical power of attorney, inheritor of their estate, co-owner of their property, joint bank accounts, and so on and so forth. All they lack, and what they are not entitled to by nature or by law, is the privilege of presumption that married men and women have with regards to these legal matters. There is absolutely no injustice here.”

    Gay people can still be fired in 29 states, simply because they are gay. They can also be refused housing on the same basis; and apparently (based on your beliefs) they can be discriminated against by anyone that happens to be religious. Which is what, over three-quarters of the population? — If you happen to have offspring, I seriously doubt that you’d want them to marry a gay person. I’d think you want them to marry someone that they are physically attracted to, someone that they love and want to build a life with, and someone that also finds them sexually and physically attractive. That isn’t possible if the other person is gay, and vice versa. Common sense, right? It’s also a laughable argument: “I’d rather have that gay guy marry my daughter instead of that man he’s been in a relationship for 10 years.” Yeah, let’s destroy two lives just to make sure that gay people can’t legally join together. Seriously? — As for private contracts. There is no logical reason why gay couples should have to jump through legal hoops and spent time and money on something that is automatically granted to straight couples. Immoral straight couples don’t have to hire an attorney to protect their relationships, neither should so-called immoral gay couples.

    “There is a rational, secular basis for supporting traditional marriage and opposing homosexual marriage. That you’ve never come across it or, as I suspect, even looked for it, doesn’t mean a thing.”

    No. Actually there isn’t a rational secular basis to deny gay Americans the right to create a legal kinship (secular marriage) with each other. That is why conservatives want to pass a constitutional amendment to ban it. Because they know that if they don’t, our constitution will support it. If there were a rational basis, we would have definitely heard it during the Prop. 8 trial. Instead, we got inane slippery slope arguments about the threat to “traditional” marriage, and how theoretical children need a mommy and daddy — disregarding the fact that procreation has never been a requirement to getting married. I also didn’t read it in the above essay, which complains that if gay people can marry, then religious people will have a harder time discriminating against them. When put in that context (You won’t tolerate my intolerance), your position is insupportable.

    “Finally, “marriage”, the decision to live one’s life with another person, is a CHOICE. It is not an inherited trait like skin color. Governments and individuals have a moral obligation to treat all individuals equally. They do not have a moral obligation to treat all moral choices as equally valid. If you can’t comprehend the difference, then I’m afraid we will always be enemies.”

    Your position is that homosexuality is immoral, and I’m guessing you also believe it’s a choice. Sorry to say, wrong on both counts. All because you believe a 2,000 year old book says so. Sorry, but that doesn’t prove anything — in a theocratic country, perhaps. But not here. In fact, your entire belief system is built on nothing but faith. Which again means there is no proof of that assertion; and unless our government can prove that all gay people are inherently immoral and a threat to society, they have no right to discriminate against them as a group. As I said before, we do not disenfranchise straight citizens that are immoral. Straight people that have cheated on their spouses still have all of their civil rights, including the right to get divorced and remarried as many times as they want. If you can’t comprehend the obvious hypocrisy going on here, then I agree, I’m afraid we will always be enemies. Liberty and freedom for ALL Americans will always win in the end. The younger generation “comprehends” that (and literally cannot understand why gay couples can’t get married), and irrational animus directed at gay people will be as unacceptable as racism and sexism.

  • David,

    “That being said, personal feelings about someone (believing that they are immoral) is not a rational basis to discriminate against them.”

    Personal feelings can be entirely aligned with objective reasons, so your statement is fallacious.

    More importantly, it is irrelevant. The 1st and 5th amendments secure the rights of religion, speech and property, and that security does not depend in the least upon whether or not a person exercising them meets some criteria of “rationality.” The essence of a free society is that I don’t have to convince you that my beliefs meet your standard of rationality – rather, you must tolerate beliefs you personally feel to be irrational as long as they infringe upon no legitimate right of yours. Clearly these basic lessons of American law, politics and culture are utterly lost on you, which is why liberty is dying a slow death in this country.

    “By the way, I can guarantee that the photographer has provided work for “immoral” straight people in the past. ”

    This, like many of your subsequent statements, is nothing but pure speculation presented as if it were indisputable fact – and is therefore pure rubbish.

    Even if you were correct, however, it wouldn’t matter. How a person exercises their religious beliefs, provided no one’s legitimate rights are violated, is not the business of the state. If a person is inconsistent in their application of morality, that is their own personal issue, and has absolutely no bearing on whether or not they have the legal right to refuse to participate in events they deem morally objectionable. The right to refuse service isn’t rooted in intellectual consistency, but rather in the natural, individual and inalienable right to private property and the civil rights of free speech and free exercise.

    “I find it more than a little hypocritical that the only criteria that Christians have for immorality (to use for the basis for discrimination) is someone’s sexual orientation”

    This is completely untrue. I don’t know what would possess you to even assert such a thing. Homosexuality is the issue because homosexuality is what is being shoved down our throats by radical activists. But there are plenty of Christians who object to the whole gamut of immoral and anti-social behavior, and it is really quite foolish of you to suggest otherwise. Really, think before you write.

    “Yet it’s the Christians that are somehow the victims in all of these stories.”

    Yes, it is Christians who are being harassed, sued, and threatened by radical homosexual activists. There is a documented history of this abuse in the U.S. and in other countries. This is the ugly reality you are completely ignoring.

    “Yes, 80% of the populous are victims of the overwhelming power of the 3%. It truly boggles the mind.”

    It boggles the mind how someone can play so fast and loose with the facts. First of all, far fewer than 80% of American Christians actually take their stated beliefs seriously. Secondly, the gay population is estimated to be 10%, not 3%. Third, some of the most aggressive “gay rights” advocates are straight, secular, left-wing activists, especially the Hollywood types. Given that opinion polls show the nation evenly split on the issue, about 50-50, I’d say that more accurately represents the reality.

    But while the Christians have maybe a few legal defense organizations who are committed to fighting for their rights, homosexuals have the sympathy of the entire media establishment and significant sections of the political and corporate worlds as well (for every Chick-fil-A there are a dozen Targets, Oreos, Starbucks, NBCs, and so on). Just turn on a television, for the love of all that is holy – there is an endless parade of television shows praising and glamorizing the gay lifestyle, and an endless stream of anti-Christian hate, mockery, and vilification. Only the ignorant or the dishonest could possibly say otherwise. You live in a left-wing bubble.

    “Gay people can still be fired in 29 states, simply because they are gay. ”

    I believe in equal protection under the law for individuals. However, I also believe in freedom of association and private property rights. A balance must be struck, I will grant. But that means both sides meeting in the middle on this question – not one side steamrolling over the other by judicial fiat.

    “hey can also be refused housing on the same basis; and apparently (based on your beliefs) they can be discriminated against by anyone that happens to be religious.”

    Well, you’ve misrepresented my views. I stated quite clearly that the discrimination in question had nothing to do with sexual orientation, but rather with an unwillingness to participate in a freely-chosen public event that is morally objectionable. You are pathologically incapable of understanding the difference between these two things. Refusing service to an individual because of some characteristic they possess is not the same as refusing to participate in an event. You’re quite deluded if you think they are the same, an enemy of liberty, and therefore my enemy.

    “That isn’t possible if the other person is gay, and vice versa. Common sense, right?”

    Well, you’re wrong actually. It is entirely possible. It has happened throughout all of recorded history. It leads to difficulties, yes, but in societies in which family and children are duties, and not accessories, it is far easier to accomplish. Homosexuality was rampant among the Greeks in the ancient world, but so was the notion of familial duty. Homosexuality has existed in many cultures but the concept of “gay marriage” has only existed in these very recent times. That isn’t a coincidence.

    Having a sexual orientation does not make it physically impossible to perform sex acts with the sex you aren’t oriented towards. There are few men in the prison system who would ever identify as homosexuals, but there are many who routinely engage in sodomy and other sex acts with other men. The dominant males think of the more submissive males as females. The same thing happens in the other direction – there are homosexual men and women who have, can, and do engage in lifelong sexual relationships with people of the opposite sex.

    But none of this is relevant, absolutely none of it, to the issues I am concerned with.

    “There is no logical reason why gay couples should have to jump through legal hoops and spent time and money on something that is automatically granted to straight couples.”

    And it is absurd to uproot society, dramatically transform the law, and infringe upon the rights of millions of people so that a few legal hoops can be avoided. That isn’t rational or moral. Traditional marriage between one man and one woman is objectively good for society. It deserves pride of place, it deserves prestige, and all other social arrangements ought to be subordinate to it. You can call me a bigot all day long if you like for holding that position. See if I care. I think married men and women are as superior to gay couples as they are to unmarried hetero couples, to polygamists, to voluntary single parents – this is not about singling out homosexuality but rather retaining the justly deserved privileged status of traditional marriage. I’m not a radical egalitarian, I have no moral obligation to become one, and I will die to defend my right not to be one.

    “Actually there isn’t a rational secular basis to deny gay Americans the right to create a legal kinship (secular marriage) with each other. ”

    But that isn’t being denied. You can’t seriously posit the extra filing of forms to be the equivalent of a denial of “legal kinship.” It’s all right there – property, medical, legal, financial, and so on. Any two people can establish these legal relationships and no one objects to it.

    We object to the attempt to MORALLY place them on the same level as traditional marriage by hijacking the word “marriage” to describe them and forcing private property owners to render services to people they don’t consider to be married as if they were actually married.

    We object to the attempt to use the coercive power of the state to enforce a moral equivalence in the minds of the people between so-called “gay marriage” and traditional marriage.

    I just wonder if you are honest and/or intelligent enough to appreciate the distinction between these two very different things. If in the end you are just sour because I won’t recognize “gay marriage” as morally legitimate, then tough s*** – we live in a free society and you just have to deal with it. But I will make clear that I don’t object to any two individuals establishing a legal relationship that for all intents and purposes adds up to the state’s definition of a “marriage.” I will never call it marriage, and I will go to prison rather than treat a gay couple as if they were legitimately married, but I don’t object to the legal recognition of their private contracts.

    “I also didn’t read it in the above essay, which complains that if gay people can marry, then religious people will have a harder time discriminating against them. When put in that context (You won’t tolerate my intolerance), your position is insupportable.”

    No, it is completely supportable by over two centuries of American jurisprudence, the political philosophy of the founding fathers, the Bill of Rights, basic moral philosophy and common sense. I have a right to be intolerant, provided I am not violating anyone’s legitimate rights. But it isn’t even about intolerance. I can and do tolerate homosexuality, and even the existence of homosexual couples who like to pretend that they are “married.” What I refuse to do, and what any serious Christian refuses to do, is engage in, facilitate, participate in any way in what we believe to be blatantly immoral choices. We have this right under the 1st amendment. That is the “support” for my argument, or at least the beginning of it.

    “Your position is that homosexuality is immoral, and I’m guessing you also believe it’s a choice. ”

    This is part of your problem, David. Your guessing, your assuming. You think you know everything and that you have everyone figured out, and this arrogance makes your arguments absurd.

    I do not believe homosexuality is a choice. I don’t believe people are born gay either. I believe it is a psychological condition brought on by early childhood problems. I don’t believe it can be reversed or “cured”, but I do believe it is possible for a homosexual to reject the openly gay lifestyle, as it has been done throughout history.

    Homosexual acts are sinful, of course, as are many sexual acts that take place between heterosexuals. These are always choices. So, for that matter, is the decision to live as if you are married. This is quite clearly and obviously a choice. When one chooses to live as if they are married to a person of the same sex, it is blatantly immoral – and it is immoral for you or the state to attempt to force me to recognize it as something moral.

    “All because you believe a 2,000 year old book says so.”

    How far does this patronizing attitude typically get you in life? You don’t know me or what I believe. I have never once made an argument against “gay marriage” on the basis of Scripture (except to pro-gay Christians, but that’s a different matter). My primary argument is that “marriage equality” is a violent assault on basic American liberties. My secondary argument is that history and sociology clearly demonstrate the superiority of the traditional family to all other competing social arrangements.

    “As I said before, we do not disenfranchise straight citizens that are immoral.”

    What does “disenfranchise” mean to you? I don’t think I am suggesting any such thing.

    “The younger generation “comprehends” that (and literally cannot understand why gay couples can’t get married), and irrational animus directed at gay people will be as unacceptable as racism and sexism.”

    The younger generation is full of barely literate public school drones who couldn’t critically think their way out of a paper sack. It takes more than MTV platitudes and Obamaisms to understand the complicated intersection of moral, legal, and political issues underlying the “gay marriage” controversy. It is you who relies on the power of the unthinking, emotional mob to violently impose your views on others. Just look at how you make presumptions about me, how you have prejudged me and my beliefs. You’re the perfect stereotype of a lynch-mob lackey.

  • Gay people can still be fired in 29 states, simply because they are gay. They can also be refused housing on the same basis; and apparently (based on your beliefs) they can be discriminated against by anyone that happens to be religious.

    It is called ‘free association’, David. People are denied employment for all manner of reasons and denied credit and rental housing for failure to meet arbitrary metrics. They have no cause of action. In recent decades, civil liability has been manufactured which compels people to enter into contracts and other agreements they would rather not, for whatever reasons free people have. With regard to the black population (disproportionately poor, always obtrusive, and systemically abused by officialdom in 1964) there was a sort of justification for this. With sexual deviants, there is no such justification. The proliferation of ‘rights’ threatens liberty.

  • Bonchamps-
    the 10% figure was based on a highly flawed study; 3% seems to be more in line with less biased studies.
    The 10% figure is most often cited, though, especially when the activist wants to inflate his figures.

    Other than that, you’re doing great.

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