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My Two Cents on Gay Marriage… Which is Twice as Much as I’d Offer You for Your Thoughts

gay rights emblem sxc hu smallFACT: We, as a nation, CANNOT simultaneously maintain anti-discrimination laws, religious freedom & gay marriage. We must choose… but which should we choose, and how should we choose?

This, of course, forces a real & practical distinction between two different kinds of anti-discrimination laws. 1. Laws that forbid the government to offer or deny services or jobs based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc. (only one of which is defended by the 14th amendment… hence only one of which is constitutional save by logical extension based on philosophical bias.) 2. Laws that forbid private citizens in business to deny services or jobs based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc… These are not the same. Government does not have inalienable rights; citizens do.

I don’t want to talk about whether homosexuality is right or wrong… though I think it is sin. I don’t want to talk about how foundational the definition of marriage is to our legal system and the debilitating legal confusion that awaits if we redefine a foundational term… though legal experts have much to say on the subject. In fact, I don’t want to engage any number of points worth considering in the debate.[1]

What I do want to address is what seems to me a basic ignorance of what a RIGHT is… and the confusion over how a nation of 300 million people, or more, might reasonably hope to balance the application and protection of those rights for all its members.

I don’t think my two cents will save our nation from the spreading wantonness and entrenched ignorance concerning this matter, and a dozen others, but for the sake of posterity, I want to say it.

No matter what you think about homosexuality, the issues at stake in gay marriage are more basic and far more important than your feelings.

I would like to consider one small, but vitally important issue concerning the gay marriage discussion.

The constitution of the United States of America was designed to recognize and protect basic inalienable natural rights with which human beings were endowed by their creator. Government does not give these rights; government recognizes or fails to recognize these rights, protects or violates these rights. The writers of the constitution, however imperfectly they were able to apply their principles at times, sought to establish a nation in which the citizens of that nation were empowered with self-governance through a republic that committed itself to a constitution demanding that its representative leaders curb their enthusiasm for power and protect these basic inalienable natural rights for all. Later, they sought to detail examples of what did and didn’t constitute inalienable natural rights.

So, what did and didn’t show up on such a list?

Food? Clothing? Housing? Jobs? Healthcare? Education? Right of access for people of other nations? Nope… not on the list. It is not the job of the government to take care of the people, but rather to protect their basic inalienable rights in order that we might foster an environment where the people can work to provide these things for themselves. This was not an oversight… it was the plan.

What does show up? The right to life, liberty & property… which fall out to Freedom of speech, freedom to arm one’s self, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to demonstrate peaceably, freedom to criticize the government, freedom from having your stuff confiscated, freedom from unwarranted search or seizure of you or your stuff… etc, etc, etc.[2]

So the question might be asked. Is the legal and societal recognition of marriage by any definition an inalienable natural right? Is the right to be liked and accepted by society an inalienable natural right? Is the right to services from any and every person in the community an inalienable natural right? Are we denying the full humanity of gay people by defining marriage exclusively as a legal bond between one man and one woman? NO!!! to all of these. A thousand times, NO!!!!!

We are not denying the full-humanity of a gay person by denying them same sex marriage any more than we are denying the full humanity of heterosexual people by denying them the right to marry more than one person, or the right to marry a family member, or the right to marry a child, or in some cases the right to marry a mentally handicapped person. We set limits on what the state will and won’t recognize as a legal marriage and the people have the power to do so without actually violating anyone’s inalienable natural rights.

Another question: How do we administer these inalienable natural rights when the inalienable natural rights of one directly conflict (not hypothetically or tangentially conflict) with inalienable natural rights of another? What do we do when the right to religious freedom of a Jihadist conflicts with his or her neighbor’s right to life? We measure the weight of those rights against one another. Right to life outweighs religious freedom. The right to swing one’s fist ends at the tip of someone else’s nose. Your right to life ends at the moment you take or actively threaten to take my life, or someone else’s life.

Anti-discrimination laws are used in this nation to demand that people provide services to certain people who are offered special protections[3] (not equal protections).[4]

Consider: Based on present private sector anti-discrimination laws (which are all unconstitutional by the way), I can deny you services because you are drunk or obnoxious, because you have misbehaving Children, or aren’t wearing the right kind of tie or jacket. “No shoes, no shirt, no service.” I can refuse to do business with you for no other reason than that I don’t like you. I cannot refuse to do business with you, however, because I find you morally repugnant, or when offering you service would violate my most deeply held religious convictions. (And it is not someone else’s job to tell me what my religious conviction should or shouldn’t be… or when and where I am allowed to have them.)

Gay marriage demands, based on private sector anti-discrimination laws, that those who are religiously opposed to homosexuality, defy their religious convictions and actively participate in the celebration and creation of homosexual unions,[5] or be fined and sued out of business. They demand that one either support the homosexual agenda for gay marriage or be disallowed to conduct business in these United States. (By the way, the precedents being set in Europe in this regard are flat out frightening.)

Shall we place more weight on anti-discrimination laws, gay marriage laws, or inalienable natural rights? We must choose.

[1] I, will, however, recommend this article because it provides links to all kinds of discussions on the subject that I don’t want to talk about here: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/43605-the-shattering-of-jars-of-clay.

[2] A word of warning: Common violations of the constitution have been so prevalent for so long that we have acclimated as a society to the steady process of increasing abuse by our representatives.

[3] I, for instance, am offered no protection from people who don’t want to do business with me or hire me because I am ugly, fat, bespectacled, bald, or short. In truth I am only some of these things… I’m 5′ 10″. I have also been openly denied scholarships and jobs because I am Male, White, and/or Christian. These feared no reprisals for brazenly admitting the discrimination.

[4] If I try to hire someone to do any job, he or she has every right to refuse the job for any reason he or she wants… to refuse without giving a reason if they so choose… unless we suspect that that reason involves feelings about some especially protected group, then we destroy them.

[5] We have also established healthcare laws that demand that people actively participate in supporting the abortions of others if they want to do business in the United States. Hate speech laws will be used to demand that those religiously opposed to homosexuality be fined and/or imprisoned for speaking out concerning their religious convictions.

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