Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I’ve not made any comments on gay marriage yet. Mostly because it is not something that affects me. But, also, because as a conservative leaning Constitutionalist I thought it should be pretty straight forward. I haven’t read the FMA, it is not the details that I want to get into. I really don’t need to because it is the idea of such a thing is completely abhorrent to me. It is a complete inversion of the governmental values that Conservatives espouse.

Let’s start with this whole idea of a “slippery slope”. They argue that should gay marriage be legalized soon we will have group marriages, legal incest, bestiality end pedophilia. And then marriage itself will be destroyed as an institution. First of all that seems a bit of a stretch to me. And if you think that the “gay agenda” will harm the institution, then what exactly do you think Congress and the Supreme Court will do with it once we sign away the ability of states to address this issue? Once we give it the status of a Constitutional Amendment that would be in the exclusive domain of our government to set the rules of and to interpret as they please? For a good idea of what we can expect take a good look at the evolution of affirmative action under the 14th Amendment. Yet here are the Republicans asking the government to rule on one of the most intimate aspects of our lives.

Further, this whole idea of a “slipper slope” on this issue seems to be invoked as a diversionary tactic. Yes, Stanley Kurtz over at National Review has pointed out that there are suits out there right now looking to try and capitalize on “gay marriage” to further their own causes (be it group marriage or three parent families), but to try and shut down those sincere and honest seekers of gay marriage, like Andrew Sullivan because some will attempt to abuse the right seems to be pretty dishonest. It is the same argument that the anti-gun advocates make. Some bad people use guns to kill so we should ban them. Now the Republicans want to deny the right to those gays who are sincere because some are not sincere.

This is a call to regulate how we go about our daily lives. Proponents of the FMA are standing up and asking the government to regulate and rule on how we carry out our daily lives. Something they are against when it comes to guns, taxes, freedoms of speech association and religion. I know Jonah Goldberg has argued that at times hypocrisy is defensible but I just don’t see an honest case for it here.

It seems that the whole idea of the FMA is an exercise in the tyranny of the majority. Rather that take on the issue person by person. Rather than accepting personal responsibility for our marriages and the necessity for parents and families and communities and churches to support the institution of marriage Republicans want Congress and the Supreme Court to tell us what marriage is, along with any little additions or tinkering they may see fit at a later date. We piss and moan and bewail the imposition on our liberties when the government takes power unto itself yet here they are offering up the central pillar of our everyday lives. Rather than address the actual issues, go into our communities and try to strengthen marriage and parenthood, we can just make a Constitutional Amendment and everything will be fine. End of debate, shut up you!

Surely, there are some who are waiting in the wings to use gay marriage to further their own harmful causes and people like Sullivan need to take them on. But, to say the solution is to just shut them up and keep them in their place, whatever that is, goes against the very arguments we are making against things like affirmative action. We are making gays a lumped together group, while ignoring the sincere voices out there. I think this attempt to just shut them up by legislation will only backfire in the long run. And the rationalization that polls are against gay marriage is just plain lazy. That is not a good enough reason to turn your back on honest people like Sullivan.

To wash away the need for honest debate and personal responsibility by just passing a law or Amendment to put the onus on someone else to be responsible for the problem. Smoking, fatty foods, health care, prescription drugs, parenthood, education, guns, political speech, affirmative action and now marriage. Bah! A pox on all those, Left and Right, who think we can just legislate away the problems in America today.

< email | 7/15/2003 08:38:00 PM | link

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