Is Gay Marriage Libertarian?
by Brian Mitchell
Issue 214– October 31, 2012
You don’t think so? Consider how many proud libertarians have signed on to gay marriage. All it takes is for someone to say, “People should be free to marry anyone they want to,” and the argument is over — libertarians nod their heads and say amen.
How many of them stop to ask why laws are needed for gays to marry? How many stop to think how such laws actually limit the freedom of others to live their lives as they choose, according to their own most cherish beliefs about right and wrong?
These aren’t really difficult questions. One only has to consider the case of the Christian photographer in New Mexico who was fined $7,000 for refusing to photograph a lesbian wedding; or the case of the online dating service eHarmony, which was forced to spend $2 million to accommodate gays; or the case of Chick-fil-A, which was induced to drop its support for organizations supporting traditional marriage to obtain approval for new restaurants in Chicago.
In each case, the force of law was used to redistribute freedom from one party to another party. In each case, the freedom favored was homosexual and the freedom disfavored was religious. And in each case, the homosexuals already had the right to marry; they just didn’t have the power to coerce others into accepting their choice of lifestyle. Now they do, thanks to new laws providing more freedom to gays and less freedom to Christians, Jews, Muslims, and anyone else who believes homosexuality is immoral.
That’s really what the issue is all about. It’s not about the freedom of gays to marry. Gays already have the freedom to marry. All the old laws against sodomy have been struck down by our courts or repealed by our legislatures, so there’s nothing to stop gays from hiring a minister to bless their union, moving in together, and carrying on like a married couple. They don’t need gay marriage laws to do any of that. Their union can be made a matter of law by legal instruments other than a marriage certificate, and they can easily find people to bless their union, take pictures of their wedding, rent them an apartment, sell them a house, and otherwise treat them like a married couple.
What they need gay marriage laws to do is ensure everyone they encounter submits to their own sense of what is right and good, going along with it as if there’s nothing wrong with it, or suffering the consequences, imposed by men with guns if need be.
Simply put: Gays need gay marriage laws to force their morality on others. How libertarian is that?
Brian Patrick Mitchell is the former Washington bureau chief of Investor’s Business Daily the author of several books on politics and religion, including most recently Eight Ways to the Run the Country: A New and Revealing Look at Left and Right (Praeger). He blogs at http://www.