Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog
Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Gay Marriage, Religious Rights, and Freedom of Association

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gay Marriage, Religious Rights, and Freedom of Association

California’s Proposition 8, the ballot measure aiming to outlaw same sex marriage, passed on a very close vote. Prop 8’s supporters* pushed a campaign of fear, misinformation, and a complete distortion of the meaning of individual liberty. This campaign commercial is typical of the intolerance and hysteria being promoted from the “yes” campaign.



Argument #1: Churches could be forced to marry gay people.

Argument #2: Religious adoption agencies could be forced to allow gay couples to adopt children; some adoption agencies would close their doors as a result.

Argument #3: Those who speak out against gay marriage on religious grounds will be labeled “intolerant” and subjected to legal penalties or social ridicule. Careers could be threatened.

Argument #4: Schools will teach students that marriage is between “party a” and “party b” regardless of gender. Schools also teach health and sexuality and would now include discussions of homosexuality.

Argument #5: There will be “serious clashes” between public schools and parents who wish to teach their children their values concerning marriage.

Argument #6: Allowing gays to marry will restrict or eliminate liberties of “everyone.” (Example: Photographers who do not want to work at same sex weddings)

Argument #7: If Prop 8 fails, religious liberty and free speech rights will be adversely affected.


My response to these arguments is that we should be advocating for more freedom for everyone rather than restrict freedom of a group or class of people. The state should recognize the same contract rights** for a gay couple as it would between a man and a woman. To get around the whole definition of marriage issue, I would propose that as far as the state is concerned, any legally recognized intimate relationship between consenting adults should be called a “domestic partnership.” From there the churches or secular equivalent to churches should have the right to decide who they will marry and who they will not (just as they do now).

Rather than subject an individual’s rights to a vote or either party forcing their values on the other, we should instead advocate freedom of association and less government in our everyday lives. Somewhere along the way, we as a people decided that the government should involve itself more and more into the relationships of private actors. The government now has the ability to dictate to business owners quotas of who they must hire, family leave requirements, how much their employees must be paid, and how many hours they work (among other requirements). For the most part, businesses which serve the public cannot deny service to individuals for fear of a lawsuit.

A return to a freedom of association society would remedy arguments 1, 2, 6, and 7 from this ad. As to Argument #3, the anti-gay marriage folks are going to have to realize that in a free society, they are going to have to deal with “social ridicule”*** or being called intolerant. Anyone who takes a stand on any issue is going to be criticized and called names. In a freedom of association society, an employer would have every right to decide to layoff individuals who hold views or lifestyles they disagree with.

While we’re on the subject of intolerance, perhaps we should take a moment to consider if people who would deny equivalent rights which come with marriage are intolerant. This ad is exactly the same as the previous ad except that the words “same sex” and "gays" have been replaced with “interracial.”



Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when there were such laws against interracial marriage. Those who argued against interracial marriage made very similar arguments to what the anti-gay marriage people are making now. Today most of us would say those people were intolerant.

Intolerance aside, Arguments 4 and 5 can also be answered by reducing the role of government in our lives. What the “yes” people should be arguing for is a separation of school and state. While we as a nation are trending toward more government involvement in K-12 education, those who do not want the government schools to teach their children the birds and the bees or enter into discussions of homosexuality can put their children in private schools which share their values or home school. School Choice is the obvious answers to these concerns.

Prop 8’s supporters have turned the whole idea of individual liberty on its head. They claim that in order to preserve the rights of the greatest number of people a minority of people necessarily must sacrifice their rights. This is absurd and dangerous. Perhaps it is this complete misunderstanding of individual rights among Californians which contributed to Prop 8’s passage.

When explained properly, the rights of life, liberty, and property is the easiest concept to understand.

Posted Elsewhere:

Dan Melson @ Searchlight Crusade has written a very thought provoking post on this issue. Some of his arguments I agree with, others I don’t but all of his points are well argued.

Hat Tip: The Friendly Atheist

*The Mormon Church among the strongest supporters; it seems ironic that a group which once promoted plural marriage is now advocating for marriage consisting of “one man and one woman.”

**Don’t even try to give me that tired slippery slope argument that “If we allow the gays to marry, what’s next? Will we then allow a man to marry his dog/cat/goat or an inanimate object?” Only an adult of sound mind can enter a contract; an animal or an inanimate object cannot.

***I’m not quite clear on what they mean on this point. Are they saying that people who disagree with them should not be allowed to criticize them or call them names? Does this mean that since Prop 8 passed they won’t have to deal with being called intolerant or subject to social ridicule? It seems the anti-gay marriage folks are trying to have it both ways on free speech.

22 Comments:

Blogger sam said...

funny thing is, i don't even really believe in marriage. if two people are willing to face down so much BS, red tape, discrimination and prejudice just because they want to spend the rest of their lives to gether, i think they deserve to be married more than the high schooler who got pregnant at 16 or the chronic womanizer on his/her third failed marriage or the mormon with two wives already... if two people are willing to face down an entire state or country and plead for a right to be considered husband and husband or wife and wife, they deserve it more.

plus, i don't think anyone's private life or romantic entanglements are any business of church or state.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Joe Wolf said...

Good point my philosophy is always been if you are against same sex marriage then dont marry someone of the same sex

3:33 PM  
Blogger sildenafilcitrate7@gmail.com said...

Nothing can be easier for you than to Order Viagra online. Well, if you suffer from erectile dysfunction syndrome (EDS) also known as impotence. The solution to your ailment is not hard to find and it is not very far away in many respects. More Info at: http://www.xlpharmacy.com

10:09 AM  
Blogger SewhatSneev said...

Health and fitness is always a person's prime concern today's hectic lifestyle and fast-paced society. And to maintain and sustain a good figure, you need to follow strict dietary regimen and exercise routine. Obesity is a global concern and excess fast weight loss can lead a person to host of diseases. After all health matters most!
HI ,VISIT NOW SITE :
http://www.pro-weight-loss.com

2:14 AM  
Blogger US Online Pharmacy said...

The Viagra effect might be thought of as some minor problem that affects older men. Or possibly those women who live with or date older men perhaps. However, the Viagra Effect can in fact lead to problems for the larger society. Both Instapundit and Tyler Cowen point to this piece.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Viagra Online said...

Viagra Online boosts one’s sexual performance by enhancing sex drive. It also increases sexual stamina after helping one get a harder erection lasting around four hours. With all these benefits, what is so attractive about Generic Viagra online is that it is very inexpensive compared to other regular medications used for the same purpose. Cheap Generic Viagra beats them as far as price is concerned while maintaining the same quality and effectual and helping numerous people who are suffering from Erectile Dysfunction. Purchasing online viagra is the easiest way to get it at your door step. So then buy Viagra online from PharmaExpressRX.com.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

酒店打工

酒店兼職

台北酒店

打工兼差

酒店工作

酒店經紀

禮服酒店

酒店兼差

酒店

酒店PT

酒店上班

酒店喝酒

酒店消費

喝花酒

粉味

喝酒

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Stu said...

What the? Chinese spam?
Lasik Winnipeg

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinese spam is funny...
Max Acai Boost Review

10:58 AM  
Blogger Jeff Turner said...

Hey good to see the videos. Nice post buddy.
Generic viagra Online | Buy Kamagra | Penegra

9:55 PM  
Blogger Minek said...

haha, get real anti-gay bitches

6:51 AM  
Blogger Cris said...

This information is very interesting, I really enjoyed, I would like get more information about this, because is very beautiful, thanks for sharing! costa rica investment opportunities

12:06 AM  
Blogger niz said...

Hello .. firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Generic Viagra in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Green Parks said...

Hello.. Firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Green Parks Costa Rica in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Generic Viagra said...

Huh? You have been to a great extent almost successful in weaving up the article on this subject. But I still ain’t satisfied because I feel there is somewhere a missing link which has not been covered yet.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous online generic viagra said...

Hey,
This is really amazing videos here... Great blog post... Thanks very much for the share... Keep posting....

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Lawless Philosophy said...

We are not children. The government should allow us to do anything we want that isn't dangerous. Religion should be more optional in the U.S.

More freedom please.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous cialis online said...

this post really very good and effective for me thanks for sharing this nice post

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Working part-time Taipei Hotel Hotel Hotel Hotel brokers working part-time work dress Hotel Hotel Hotel work part-time PT Hotel Hotel Hotel drinking alcohol consumption, drinking Sanhua Fenwei"

that's what the Chinese comment said.

9:21 AM  
Blogger John Anderson said...

Nice to be visiting your blog again, Generic Drugstore has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. Generic Clomid need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Viagra said...

Love is love in my opinion!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous sports handicapping services said...

Thank you for the post, pretty helpful info.

7:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
devry university