New York joins NH and all its neighbors in recognizing marriage equality. Good for them, I say, and congratulations.
I won’t pontificate at length on this particular subject, since most people who read this blog on a regular basis already know my opinion on gay marriage rights, and those who don’t already have their own opinions from which they’re not likely to deviate just because of some blog rant. I will, however, make a list of things of which I am absolutely sure when it comes to gay marriage.
I am absolutely sure that:
- The gay marriage culture war is over, and the equal rights supporters have won. The dominoes have started falling. The people who oppose gay marriage rights are fighting a rear-guard action that is already pointless. In another 50 years, it will be as uncontroversial for two gay people to get married anywhere in the United States as it is today for two people of different races.
- In 50 years, when gay marriage is a social non-issue, people will regard gay marriage opponents in the same light as we today regard people who support miscegenation laws.
- In 50 years, the children and grandchildren of the people who oppose gay marriage today will claim that their parents and grandparents never really opposed gay marriage.
- If you oppose gay marriage today, you may have arguments that are perfectly consistent to you, with a firm basis in religious conviction, but you are on the wrong side of Constitutional principles, morality, and history.
- Any religious arguments against gay marriage are not only hypocritical and self-serving (by using the Old Testament selectively to support prejudice), but also entirely pointless in this context (because our Constitution does not say anything about Biblical law having any weight in passing laws or running the country.) It doesn’t matter whether you think homosexuality is a sin, because nowhere in the Constitution does it say that any religion’s definition of sin has to have any sway in how we run our country.
- The folks who now struggle to fight the principle of equal treatment before the law brought this mess upon themselves because they’re the ones who brought government into the marriage business to begin with (ironically, to keep other undesirable marriages from happening.)
- You can’t be Constitutionally literate and support a system under which a legal non-qualification related benefit or status is not available to any citizen who demands it. If you do, you don’t know the Constitution as well as you think you do, and any argument you make can be used against you when it comes to the liberties you do support.
- My marriage isn’t threatened in the least by all the gay folks who have gotten married legally in my home state in the last year or so. If you think gay marriage threatens your hetero marriage, your marriage has bigger issues.
- This country can’t possibly be harmed–legally, morally, or in any other way–by two people loving each other enough to desire a legal status committing them to each other. If the government takes it upon itself to issue licenses to get married and gain the legal benefits of that status, it had better issue those licenses to any consenting adult couple that wants one.
- Gay marriage opponents don’t want to leave the issue with the churches and out of the hands of government because of the dreadful possibility that some churches wouldn’t refuse to marry a gay couple. Consider that the gay marriage opponents want to give churches the right to not marry gays, but will oppose by federal or state mandate the right of churches to decide to marry gays.
I’m for universal marriage rights for the same reason I’m in favor of universal concealed carry rights–because the government ought not be in the business of issuing licenses to exercise human rights, and because the government can’t be trusted to issue such licenses impartially and without bias. Free people shouldn’t need to ask permission to speak their minds, exercise their religion of choice (or not), own or carry a gun for self-defense, or get married to the consenting adult partner of their choice. Simply put, the straight people never had the right to use the government’s guns to claim a special legal status for themselves, just like white people had no right to legally deny the right to self-defense to people of a darker hue.
I applaud the NY legislature’s decision, and I consider it a good step toward that day when a gay couple can walk to the voting booth or into the church of their choice in the middle of Manhattan to get married while packing openly carried pistols, with nobody on the street giving them so much as a second glance.