Federalist: Was I Wrong To Support Gay Marriage?

868 - Gay Marriage

I haven’t written much about Obergefell v. Hodges. I still don’t have a lot to say on the matter. I will just point out that, within hours of the decision, articles were already calling for churches to be stripped of their tax-exempt status.

It’s difficult to see how the nationwide legalization of gay marriage could have any kind of significant negative repercussions for anybody who’s not gay. Difficult – but not impossible. Because now that the US government formally recognizes marriage equality as a fundamental right, it really shouldn’t skew the tax code so as to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to groups which remain steadfastly bigoted on the subject.

I’m talking, of course, about churches.

Gay marriage was legalized by the SCOTUS in no small part as a reflection of public will, as the majority of justices saw it. And that public will was based largely in the rhetoric of civil liberties and live-and-let-live. One of my concerns all along has been that it will not stop there, however.

It is too early to say the sky is falling. And, in any case, skies tend to fall slowly. But it’s worth thinking about.

Over at The Federalist, David Harsanyi is already having second thoughts about his support for gay marriage:

How many backers of theoretical gay marriage will regret the reality of gay marriage? As a matter of policy, it doesn’t matter much anymore. And I have no moral qualms about same-sex marriage itself. I don’t believe it destabilizes the institution or ruins the lives of children. Then again, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum, either. If same-sex marriage isn’t just a pathway to happiness, freedom, and equality for gay citizens, but a way to pummel religious Americans into submission, it will be a disaster.

We’ll see how things go, but I have a hunch I already know. The same people who told me again and again that I was being silly to fear these kinds of repercussions will, one by one, begin to ask me, “Well, why shouldn’t this follow logically?” Which, as I’ve always known, is precisely the point.

College that Opposes Gay Marriage Loses Accreditation

2014-05-02 Trinity Western

The first caveat is that this story comes from Canada, and of course legal systems vary greatly from country to country. I don’t know how their religious liberty protections compare to those in the United States. But this story definitely has some of my fellow Mormons worried, because they can’t help but note the parallels between Trinity Western University (a small, private, religious college in Ontario) and Brigham Young University (a large, private, religious college in Utah

The story comes from the Ottawa Citizen, which reports that:

The Law Society of Upper Canada has voted against accrediting a private Christian university in B.C. that forbids intimacy outside heterosexual marriage… the vote means graduates of Trinity Western University’s future law school will not be eligible for admission to the Ontario bar.

The policy that triggered the backlash required that students

abstain from gossip, obscene language, prejudice, harassment, lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, drunkenness and sexual intimacy “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

That’s a pretty basic statement of conventional Christian (and Jewish and Islamic) morality. I guess that renders traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims unfit to practice law in Canada. As I’ve written before, stories like this make me worried for the future of my kids.

The Gay Marriage Bait and Switch

2013-08-23 Elaine Huguenin

In contrast to the laissez faire rhetoric of the gay rights  movement, one of the concerns raised has been that ultimately legalizing gay marriage (using the prevalent rationales) will infringe on the civil liberties of those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

With gay marriage proponents on the cusp of total victory, these fears may be starting to be realized. New Mexico recently ruled that a private photography business violated anti-discrimination law by refusing to take photos of a gay commitment ceremony.

I call this a “bait and switch” because it’s clearly not what the majority of Americans signed on for when they got beyond the libertarian rhetoric of the gay rights movement: “85 percent of Americans support the right of the photographer to say no.”