As a born again Libertarian, I live by a very simple motto. "If it doesn't break my leg or pick my pocket, I don't care." What this means is that if it doesn't hurt me physically or mentally, and if I don't have to pay for it, then I really don't care what you do. I find this philosophy extremely freeing and allows me to have a very easy yard stick to guarantee that I will afford to all others the maximum amount of freedom that I can. It is really the epitome of what this country was founded upon. That everybody would be able to do what their hearts and conscience tells them to, and to follow those dreams that they have.
It's funny that I live in a state that is considered one of the most conservative in the United States. However, they have proven time and time again that they are huge believers in freedom, as long as it is a freedom that they believe in. As long as what you want to do falls within their religious/political frame work you are good to go. As I have blogged in the past, the legislature in Utah is labeled by people such as myself as the Mormon Taliban. They have no problem instituting their own form of Sharia Law and legislating morals. They will also fight tooth and nail to fight against any thing that they feel is against God's law. I will say that they don't stone people or kill anyone who is "sinning" (at least any more, read Danites and blood atonement), but they will pass many draconian laws on alcohol and tobacco and waste a lot of money trying to keep gays from marrying. The last, marriage equality, is what I'm going to talk about in this post.
For the past several months my Facebook page and the internet has been buzzing about marriage equality. Also about the woman who was just excommunicated from the church for starting Ordain Women. org, but that is another post, although similar to this one. I am going to explain why I think that same sex marriage is a forgone conclusion in the United States. I am also going to explain to those who think that same sex marriage is wrong that they are fighting the wrong fight and picking the wrong battle.
I think that for the most part, being homosexual is something that you are born with, and not a choice. I will not argue that there are people who choose to be homosexual, but I believe that those people are the minority of the total population of homosexual people. Everybody who is older than 20 years old knows someone who has come out and stated that they are homosexual that was a surprise to no one. We all know kids that we grew up with that when we found out that they are gay we were not surprised at all. Besides, who would choose to be a part of a minority that is discriminated against and who is judged and picked on? However, whether they choose or are born, it really doesn't matter. The courts have said that laws that make homosexual activity illegal are not constitutional. (Also the laws against fornication, adultery, cohabiting without being married, and sodomy have all been struck down.)
When you ask a person who is against same sex marriage why they oppose it, you may get several answers. I will try to address as many as I can and explain why they do not and will not stand up in the courts of law.
1. They don't need to be married, when they can have all the same rights with a civil union that the courts recognize.
Many people feel this way and it kind of cracks me up. This argument comes down to basically fighting a fight over semantics. These people have no problem (or at least say they don't) with people living together as a married couple and having all the rights of married couples, they just don't want them to have the word "married." They are willing to protest, give money, and much more over the definition of a word. As long as the same sex couple doesn't call their arrangement "marriage" the people who use this defense don't have a problem. Would they be OK with same sex marriage as long as they say marriage in another language? Maybe if those who desire a same sex marriage just called it a mutual ball and chain ceremony, then these people wouldn't have a problem.
2. The bible says it is wrong.
Now this one really makes me laugh to no end. Talk about quote mining. The bible in Leviticus doesn't say that same sex marriage is wrong. It says that if a man lies with a man (i.e. homosexual relations) then you have to kill them both by stoning. Why isn't anyone really politicking for the death penalty for homosexuals. I mean if we are going to follow the bible we should follow the bible. Furthermore here are some more lovely tidbits from the bible in the same book. If you are on your period then you shouldn't be around anyone for 10 days. (On second thought, for some women with PMS, this may not be a bad idea) You aren't allowed to wear two different types of cloth at the same time. Bacon is right out. Premarital sex, adultery, living together without being married are all death sentences. Rape is OK, as long as you marry the woman you raped right after. Disrespect your mom or dad, death. There are some really disturbing and foul things that are done in the bible because God says to do them. Maybe we shouldn't use that particular book as the end all be all for deciding how we are going to let people live. Because, in all honesty, according to the bible, there are a lot of people who should be killed immediately.
3. Children do better in a traditional home life.
This is an absolute fact. There have been any number of studies that prove this. That being said, it is also a fact that children do better in a loving environment, no matter what relationship the people in that environment are in, compared to foster care or an orphanage. My argument is that as long as we still have a broken foster care system and orphanages around the world, can we really be picky about who is willing to take the kids in and give them a loving home?
Besides, this argument assumes that same sex marriage is a zero sum game. Well, we aren't going to let the gays marry. The gays will obviously respond by saying, "Dang! Well, I better go and find myself a wife and raise some children in a stable and loving environment that we call the traditional family." Not going to happen. Homosexual men have taken themselves out of the game the minute they come out of the closet. They aren't going to marry and start a traditional family, so in reality, letting them marry one another doesn't lessen the pool of those who are going to start a traditional family. I would further argue that lessening the stigma about coming out for those people who are homosexual may help the traditional family. We all know people or have heard stories of the guy or girl who gets divorced and tears the family apart, because they have come out of the closet. These people felt that they had to hide their true self and in the process complicated the situation by living a lie and now have an ex and children that no longer have a mother or a father. Had they felt more comfortable about themselves, and had another option, maybe they wouldn't have gone down a road that they eventually felt they couldn't live and many a sorrow would never have happened.
If we allow gays to marry, people will be marrying their dogs or horses next.
This is just effing stupid. This argument hurts the anti-gay marriage crowd immensely. Is a dog or horse recognized as a person under the law? Can a dog or horse agree to a contract and be a party to a contract? No, no they aren't and no they can't. Never go full retard bro. Never go full retard.
5. The State should be able to define what marriage is.
Here we get into the nuts and bolts of the situation. The legal nitty gritty. The judicial mumbo jumbo. And to be frank, where I think the opponents to same sex marriage have really missed the boat. The pro same sex marriage crowd argue that the State doesn't have the right to limit marriage, because by doing so they take away the civil liberties of a class of people. They argue that this issue is no different from the old laws that made interracial marriage illegal. The other side immediately says that the two are not the same as one was based on race which can't be helped, and the other is based on sexual preference, which is a choice. The heart of this argument is whether or not homosexuality is a choice or not. I have already given you my opinion on this. Even saying it is a choice, I still don't think that the State can say no. Here's why.
The State gives benefits and recognition to marriage. These are "rights" that currently are only given to a certain portion of the citizens. A small portion of citizens do not have these rights or protections. A century or so ago, these rights would have been to promote the population to grow and to increase the size base of the citizenry. However, with people currently talking about overcrowding and the desire we have to close the border, I think we are good on the population front. Also, with over 7 billion humans on this Earth, I don't think we are in danger of extinction any time soon. So telling a portion of the tax paying citizens of this country that they are not able to have the same rights that are afforded to other citizens by the government is discriminatory by its very nature. And that is the reason why right now the same sex marriage proponents are batting 1000 on the law suits, no matter how conservative the state is. And that is also the reason why I feel that the people against same sex marriage aren't even fighting the correct fight.
The true problem is that government is involved in marriage. Why does the government have any say at all in my marriage? Isn't it a pact between me and another person? Why do I have to get a license to get married? Why do I have to ask the state's permission and pay a fee to marry someone? As soon as the government started to be the bestow-er of marriages, it was a forgone conclusion that same sex marriage was going to be the law of the land. The government can't pick and choose who it will allow to marry. The Constitution's equal protection clause won't allow it. I should be able to marry whomever I want. In a church of my choosing, or common law style by just getting a woman to agree that we are married. Then, if I want to have the government recognize my marriage for any benefits involved, then my significant other and myself should go down to the clerk's office, fill out a form and affirm that we are married. Done deal.
Finally, I come back to what I started this blog with. My motto as a Libertarian. Do you have any idea what happened to me when I woke up a while back and found out that the Supreme Court had struck down many important provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act? Do you know how my life changed? The answer is nothing, not a thing. My life didn't change. Nothing happened to me. It didn't effect me in the least. It didn't cost me anything and it did me no harm. Therefore, I didn't care.
Be brave enough to truly value and embrace freedom. The Supreme Court has said in regards to the freedom of speech, that it is of necessity (free speech that is) offensive. And that there would need to be no protection of speech if no one was offended by it. The same can be said of all of our rights. We can be offended. We can not like how someone is living their life. We can even find it icky. But we should be willing to defend that person's right to live their life as they see fit. If it doesn't harm us and we don't have to pay for them to do something that we disagree with, our answer should be, "I don't care."