Gays and lesbians, since before recorded history have been beaten, they have been stoned, they have been murdered, they have been persecuted, they have been exiled and they have been the victims of every variety of both violence and discrimination; but denying their civil unions the legal status of marriage is not among the terrible evils that have been committed against them. Moreover, those that would reject same-sex marriage are not bigots or hateful if their dissent is a conscientious objection.
Growing up I always felt an affinity with homosexuals, because I felt that they were among the few people that knew the familiar sting of racial discrimination that I faced growing up. So it is with a heavy heart that I must part ways with those that wish to fallaciously advance the idea that traditional marriage and same-sex marriage are the same, innately possessing the same rights and privileges.
And I must disagree with those that say that anyone who rejects same-sex marriage for logical, religious or moral reasons are hatefully ignorant. While there is intolerance on both sides of the issue it appears that those that object to gay marriage currently face the greatest reprisals, which is why I have decided to take on this issue in this column. Their voices shall not be quieted.
Natural Law demonstrates that not all relationships between people, even consenting adults, no matter how similar, are the same, such that not all relationships possess the same qualities nor can they assert identical rights. For example, parents and their children and the corresponding relationships are distinctly different from the relationships between aunts or uncles and their nephews and nieces.
Parents can make certain claims and they can assert certain privileges like custody upon their child, whereas an aunt or uncle can’t likewise assert the same rights upon a niece or nephew. In the same manner, the relationship between husband and wife is not the same as a relationship between a same-sexed couple even if they happen to share in many of the same rights. While both couples can build families, co-own property, plan estates, receive some government benefits, offer medical benefits, and share the responsibility of death and family benefits, the similarities end there. If there are any property or estate privileges enjoyed by those in a traditional marriage those same benefits should be extended to civil partnerships as well.
The tradition of marriage is as timeless and as unique as the relationship between parent and child. It is a distinct, discrete and unique relationship with its own criteria: one man and one woman. Cohabitation, polyamory and same-sexed civil unions do not meet the simple criteria of marriage. Each relationship may be a loving one, but they are all by definition very different. Broadening the definition of marriage to include same sexed couples infringes upon the rights of those individuals and their communities that adhere to historical marriage by legally mandating public acceptance of another’s personal choice.
While we must all be tolerant of one another, forcing acceptance is a violation of one of the most fundamental human rights -the right to liberty. Furthermore, because we are all guaranteed equal protection under the law, broadening the definition of marriage paves the way for polygamy and any variety of couplings to have equal standing.
There are many Republicans and some Conservatives and Libertarians that because of flawed logic support same-sexed marriage. They confuse equal rights with the idea of people having equal things. Our founders realized that all of mankind is equal before God, they are equal before the law and they maintain equal and inalienable rights among men. No laws can effectuate life and liberty for mankind, because God imputes such freedoms upon each person at conception. However, the law can bring about a variety of injustices in the pursuit of equal things.
Human laws can impede life and liberty. For example, Roe V Wade demonstrates how the law can rob an individual of their life. If the Supreme Court were to codify same-sex marriage as a right it would infringe upon the liberty of the people, because it would usurp an individual’s freedom of religion, by making all persons and private entities that dissent to gay marriage a bigot in violation of the law. Obamacare has already violated our religious rights by forcing churches and corporations to pay for abortions and contraception. Legalizing gay marriages would result in further persecution of conscientious objectors.
Like anyone else, gay couples are free to pursue their own ideas of happiness and liberty. It is their God-given right to go to a Church that would practice gay marriage, but it is also my God-given right and the right of all persons to practice another moral code and to adhere to the principles of our various religions in the absence of interference by the government. Legalizing gay marriage forces acceptance upon the tolerant and the intolerant alike and that is not liberty, but rather a path to a great many inequalities for everyone.