The Federalist 24 July 2015
It has become devastatingly clear that virtually the entirety of the gay-marriage activist effort was built on a lie. That lie, repeated ad nauseam, was this: gay marriage will affect nobody outside of the gays who wish to partake in it. This will become abundantly false as the Supreme Court-instituted gay marriage regime takes effect.
We did not actually need to nationalize gay marriage to realize this. We have had examples for years from the states that already legalized the practice. Combined with the growing public hostility towards supporters of traditional marriage, it is impossible at this point to deny that gay marriage is a growing and serious threat to the liberty of those who disagree with it.
Gay Marriage Doesn’t Hurt Anyone
Exhibit A comes to us from Gresham, Oregon, a state in which gay marriage has been legal since 2014. In Gresham, a couple of bakers declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding. Because the lesbians in question endured “emotional and mental suffering” after their cake request was turned down, the state’s labor commissioner demanded that the bakers—a husband-and-wife team—pay the plaintiffs $135,000.
In addition to this astronomical charge, the excitable commissioner ordered that the couple was not allowed to publicly proclaim their desire to not bake cakes for gay weddings. That is to say, the state slapped the Christian bakers with an enormous fine, then forbid them from advocating the point of view for which they were being fined.
Gay marriage, we’ve been told, will not affect you.
Exhibit B is found near Albany, New York, a state in which gay marriage has been recognized since 2011. At the Liberty Ridge Farm, another husband-and-wife team was fined $13,000 for refusing to host a gay wedding on their property (at which they host other public and private events). In 2012, a lesbian couple requested to use the property for their wedding. Believing in traditional marriage, the couple declined. Unluckily for the owners of the property, the phone call was being recorded. A judge subsequently determined the farmers guilty of “sexual orientation discrimination,” hence the fine. The farmers were also ordered to attend “staff re-education training classes.” The defendants have appealed the decision.
Just legalize it, we were told for years. It’s not going to affect you!
No More Churches For You
Exhibit C comes from the laughably-misemployed religion writer for The New York Times, Mark Oppenheimer: “Now’s the time,” he announced after the ruling, “to end tax exemptions for religious institutions.” Oppenheimer, you see, believes that a tax exemption is functionally identical to a “subsidy,” and because religious institutions and other non-profits can be “quite partisan,” they don’t deserve to receive “subsidies” that require the rest of us to “faithfully cut checks to them.”
As a result of the Supreme Court declaring that homosexuals have the right to marry, in other words, we’re now facing an energized progressive intelligentsia that wishes to effectively shutter many if not most of America’s churches.
They told us over and over again: Gay marriage has nothing to do with you! You don’t have to worry about it!
Exhibit D—perhaps the most foreboding—is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in which the editor of PennLive/The Patriot-News announced the paper “will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.” Under the First Amendment, the paper is free to refuse to print any letters it wants, of course. It is unfortunately utilizing that precious freedom to silence differing opinions on a critical, complex issue of serious public interest.
It is wholly plausible that many newspapers will follow suit, believing that opposition to or even skepticism about gay marriage is equivalent to, as the above newspaper’s editor put it, “racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic” opinions. Overnight, the sincerely-held opinions of a great many good, well-intentioned Americans became verboten. Reasonable dissent will not be tolerated.