Gay Marriage Threatens Our Freedom

American Thinker 28 Oct 2012
Despite  thirty-plus campaigns, there has been  little informed public discussion about what marriage is and the state’s  interest in maintaining traditional marriage (sadly, the proponents of  redefining marriage prefer to rely on name-calling and intimidation, which  leaves little room for dispassionate debate). As a consequence, many voters have  never heard the actual arguments in defense of traditional marriage, but only  the strawmen that its opponents are fond of pummeling, most of which (on the  surface) appeal to the idea of freedom. For example, I once heard a  nationally-syndicated radio talk-show host, a self-identified libertarian who  generally takes a conservative position, say: “not one person has been able to  call in and tell me how two men or two women marrying each other will harm their  own marriage” (in other words, mind your own  business). Or how often have you heard something like “traditional  marriage supporters are anti-freedom; they want to keep gay people from marrying  the partner of their choice.” I see a third of these strawmen every Sunday  outside my church, where a protester holds a sign that says: “When did I get to  vote on your marriage?”

Despite  their surface plausibility, none of these arguments withstand more than cursory  scrutiny. Consider the case of the radio personality: of course nobody had ever  successfully argued on his show that two men or two women marrying each other  would harm their own marriage, because nobody anywhere defends traditional  marriage on that ground; the arguments against redefining marriage are much more  fundamental. The real question is whether then union of a man and women is  different from that of two men or two women (hint: the answer has something to  do with babies), and whether the state has an interest in fostering and  protecting exclusive heterosexual relationships that it does not have in  same-sex relationships. The radio host didn’t mention whether he had ever had  that discussion on his show (curious, because that is what I hear defenders of  traditional marriage talking about).

In  a similar way, the argument that people opposed to the redefinition of marriage  want to “outlaw” homosexual relationships or break up gay couples is dishonest  and misleading (which is always a red flag that more is going on than meets the  eye). Indeed, it is false on a number of levels. To begin with, virtually nobody  today is arguing for the return of anti-sodomy laws, or advocating the forcible  separation of cohabiting same-sex couples. Nor have I heard of anyone promoting  laws that would somehow prevent homosexuals from calling their relationships  “marriages” if they so choose. Traditional marriage supporters are simply  working to preserve the legal definition of our most important social  institution (older than the state and older, even, than institutional religion;  more on this below) against those who themselves want to use the force of law to  compel the rest of us to agree to a new definition, a definition that nobody  anywhere has ever held (up until the last few years), and one which will change  our understanding of that most important institution in fundamental ways. By any  objective measure, the gay-marriage advocates are trying to deprive the rest of  us of our liberty to hold and to express our beliefs. Ironically, the attack on  traditional marriage is, at the same time, a threat against liberty  itself. Read more:

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