Conservative arguments for gay equality

by CynthiaYockey on June 25, 2011

Empire State Building bathed in a rainbow of lights.

The Empire State Building bathed in a rainbow of lights in honor of Gay Pride Week.

Yesterday evening I took my father to see our local minor league team, the Ironbirds, and when we got home we watched an episode of “Columbo,” one of my father’s favorite TV shows, through the magic of Wii and streaming Netflix. Dad loves how Peter Falk springs the trap on the murderer. I am saddened to learn of his passing from dear Moe Lane and dear Little Miss Attila.

I enjoy “Columbo,” too, but pulled out my iPod Touch to check out Twitter, which is how I learned that the gay marriage equality bill passed in New York. I see Hot Air had the live feed of the voting. I had not wanted to get my hopes up, having gone to watch the Maryland House of Delegates give final approval to Maryland’s same-sex marriage equality bill, only to see it sent back to committee to avoid being defeated on the record. (I plan to make YouTube videos of each of the speeches and add my own remarks.) Regarding New York, I am semi-elated: elated because it’s an advance for gay equality, semi because equality should not be subjected to the whims of majority votes and it should not vary from state-to-state. I consider equality for lesbians and gays to be an unalienable right, even if it is almost totally alienated right now.

In the conversation on Twitter, some conservatives were decent enough to call for conservative arguments for gay equality — @jtLOL (Jim Treacher of “The Daily Caller,” who correctly sizes up Obama’s recent speech to an audience of the last 600 gays unable to process the fact that “he’s just not that into them.”), @NolteNC (John Nolte, editor-in-chief of Big Hollywood, who has a lovely tribute to Peter Falk) and @sistertoldjah (who is one of the first conservative bloggers I began to read in 2008 and yesterday noted that the conservative world is more diverse than it gets credit for), and I suggested they read my blog. Oops! I’ve been focusing on my health and haven’t posted since May 16. Regular readers will recognize the following list of conservative reasons I have advanced for gay equality in general, and gay marriage equality in particular:

  • Religions are free to define marriage any way they want for their own members. The Catholic definition of marriage does not bind Unitarians or Mormons or Jews or atheists. In fact, Mormons have THREE definitions of marriage, including one that defines all marriages not celebrated in a Mormon temple between Mormons according to Mormon rites to be inferior, base and spiritually dead. Mormons use this inferior marriage — a civil union for straight people, really — to force their members into the absolute obedience and tithe-paying required for the superior temple marriage. The reason that government must define marriage in a religiously pluralistic society is that secular legal marriage protects the individual’s liberty to change religions or be free of religion and still marry–and divorce. (I think I’m the first person to point out the value of government-defined secular marriage in preserving individual liberty and religious freedom.) Governments, which are the realm of coercion, can only provide for individual liberty when they restrict religions to the realm of persuasion. All the arguments against equality for gays are founded in religion and religions must not be allowed to appropriate the coercive powers of government to impose their rules on an entire population.
  • The modern gay rights movement has a spiritual foundation because it really began in October 1968 when gay ordained Baptist minister Troy Perry founded the Metropolitan Community Church, not with the Stonewall riots in June 1969. Because the MCC performs religious marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, there’s no need for gays to sue any Christian religion for discrimination. (Similarly, women are not barred from equality on the grounds that it would allow them to sue the Catholic Church to force it to ordain female priests.)
  • If the Left could weaponize gays to bring down free market economies and democratic republics, then it would fight as hard for gay equality as it has for black equality. It can’t, so it hasn’t and it won’t. No group experiences discrimination as comprehensive as that forced on gays: in the name of family values, we are forced out of our own families. However, gays have responded to discrimination by becoming entrepreneurs and professionals, which makes gays a natural constituency of fiscal conservativism and explains why 31 percent of gay voters voted for Republicans in 2010 (including me). Gays are the most getable demographic in 2012 for Republicans because there’s no voting bloc Obama and the Democrats have screwed over more than gays and they are furious and looking for a new home. They are worth getting: Obama’s margin of victory in 2010 was almost exactly the size of the gay voting bloc.
  • Regarding the demographic composition of the Left: there are three groups who are only on the Left because social conservatives drove them out of the Right for religious reasons: gays, women who support choice because they do not want to be the property of a man or a religion, and Jews. The first two groups were driven out because they are uppity and do not respond to the demands of a religion to produce children. Jews got tossed out for refusing to become Christians. The Left strings these three groups along but never really fights for them because each one has too many entrepreneurs to allow them to be weaponized against free markets/capitalism. Instead the Left exploits them for money, labor and votes. Let us call them useful idealists.
  • Gays want marriage for the hundreds of rights at the state level — and the 1031 rights at the federal level — that allow same-sex couples to build their lives together. We have no agenda of destroying the family — we want to make families . If we can have full federal and state secular marriage rights, we have no reason to persuade any religion to change.
  • I think one of the reasons some religions are fighting gay equality harder than others is that they have figured out how to get government money through their various charities and enterprises, such as adoption services and hospitals, which also function as recruitment centers to gain converts, and gays will be like a radioactive dye exposing the rivers of cash they’ve been taking in that will be cut off if they refuse to operate on the same non-discriminatory basis as any other government-funded operation. Remember, religions retain the right to discriminate according to their beliefs as long as they do so on their own property and their own dime.

It’s almost 4 am. That’s enough for now.

Update: Prof. Reynolds, unalienable rights that are opposed by a majority are going to have to be imposed by courts. It is not acceptable to gays to be fully human in one state and not in another. It is antithetical to the concept of unalienable rights. Such a checkerboard also is a source of economic and social stagnation. Until mid-2001 when Maryland included sexual orientation as a class protected against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations (such as restaurants, theatres, stores), I couldn’t move from one county in Maryland to another because I had equality where I lived and therefore could protect my quadriplegic life partner, but did not in the county where my parents lived when it would have been best for me to move. This disparity almost cost me my life and did result in heavy financial losses.)

Update: Thank you, Prof. Reynolds, for the link, and welcome, Instapundit readers!

I also thank Daniel Blatt for his link and welcome Gay Patriot readers. Daniel ponders the following:

The question is: how do we break them [Leftist gays] from their prejudiced view of the GOP, particularly given how the media dwell on social conservatives’ (alleged) dominance of the movement — and the ignorance of many gay leaders of the underlying philosophy of the Republican Party as it has evolved since the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and the election of Ronald Reagan sixteen years later.

One of the reasons I started this blog is to educate gays about the principles of fiscal conservativism so they can see their natural home is on the Right. By casting gays out of every socializing institution and by stigmatizing gays as intrinsically evil, it is the good intentions of social conservatives that have paved the road to hell for gays. That is why another reason I started this blog is to educate social conservatives about gay equality so they can see that gay equality actually supports their core values of individual liberty, strengthening marriage and the family and creating a more moral, stable and prosperous society. So, Daniel, that is what gay conservatives must do. We are the among the pioneers and the ones in the best position to do it.

I also welcome readers from the Sundries Shack, and thank dear Jimmy Bise for linking this post even though he opposes gay marriage equality.

 

 

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  • Liz

    I thought you’d get a kick out of this. A libertarian explains, very slowly, why marriage is completely within the government’s and the wider society’s purview:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/06/private-lives/240152/

    I have no quarrel with going to the courts (as soon as someone actually wins a popular vote on marriage equality, I can guarantee you that the people currently whining about the “overreach” of marriage campaigners will run crying to the judges) but I think the left and libertarians have done incredible damage to our side of the argument.

    They have managed to inextricably link marriage equality with the libertarians’ suspicions of marriage in general, and the left’s belief that, “hey, it’s just a piece of paper. Cohabiting is just as good.” This is what scares the hell out of reasonable socons – not the matching genetalia themselves, so much as the (reasonable) suspicion that huge chunks of society don’t really like marriage as an institution. The people who claim to speak for us (Dems/leftist) will not only never give us our rights, they are actively poisoning our chances of the traditional life that most of us want.

    That’s what makes conservative arguments for same sex marriage so important. Kudos.

    • Attmay

      Thanks for the link to McArdle.

      And this made me think of another thing. When people say “I don’t care what people do in their bedroom,” that has started to sound a little condescending to me.  It’s their attitudes towards our public lives as gay couples that concerns me.

      We are fighting for nothing that heterosexual couples don’t already have.

  • Liz

    Quick thought: has anyone else noticed that the same people calling for a “state by state” solution the same sex marriage always have *some* issue they consider too sancrosanct to be left to those nasty states? Gun rights, abortion, photography rights…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1332518179 Lanny Short

    One point to add to your statement “Regarding the demographic composition of the Left: there are three groups who are only on the Left because…”  The Left is the Left primarily because they can talk a really great game.  One group that will be forever held hostage by the Left is my Black Brothers and Sisters.  Up until the LBJ administration, most of us were conservative and voted GOP.  Now that we’ve been given some token trinkets like Affirmative Action, most of us feel like we’re supposed to stay on Massa Leftie’s plantation.

    One more thing to add.  I think it is time for my LBGT friends to start holding Black American communities and Hispanic American communities responsible for much of the homophobic violence and degradation that still goes on to this day.  Until the finger of responsibility points to more than a couple old white guys who “just don’t like dem q****s”, progress to full rights and citizen hood will be s l o w.  Just me $.02

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  • Anonymous

    “All the arguments against equality for gays are founded in religion and religions must not be allowed to appropriate the coercive powers of government to impose their rules on an entire population.”

    Wow, this argument is entirely backwards.  ”Marriage” has no context outside the religious realm.  In fact, would the term even exist but for religion and it’s meaning to those of a given faith?  I think not.

    It is government that has subsumed the term “marriage” and now wants to force a redefinition of the word to fit the current needs.  While I am not a religious person, I find it offensive that those who have decided that they deserve something are doing so in this manner.  Americans seem to be quite open to the idea that gay couples deserve the same rights and protections afforded to other groups but it is less clear that  redefining the term marriage is the way to achieve it.

    A better course of action would be for the government to grant everyone a civil union for the purposes of the bundle of rights awarded to couples and reserve the right to “marry” for religious institutions.

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  • Agoraphobic Plumber

    You had me most of the way through.  I’m conservative, have been since the mid-to-late-90s, and I’ve NEVER been against gay equality.  I have no problem with civil unions.  I DO have a problem with the leftist penchant for twisting the language.  Marriage, for the thousands of years of human history up until the late 90s (or the 80s at the EARLIEST) meant a union between a man and a woman.  You do yourself and your cause a disservice by stating that stubbornness on insisting that language and meanings not change mean that we’re against “gay equality”.  I as a man have the right to marry a woman.  So does a gay man.  Exact equality.  And I say this as a straight man who had a gay roommate in college and was friends with all his gay friends (including women).  Never had a problem with any of them, and as far as I ever knew none of them ever had a problem with me.

    Personally, as a libertarian-leaner, I’m not so sure that the real answer to this issue isn’t to just get government out of the business of marriage altogether and let the churches deal with it.  Strip it from our tax code, strip it from our family law and strip it from any other government recognition whatsoever.

    But while your arguments in this post are FAR more reasonable overall than I usually hear from your side of this debate, you’ll never, never convince me by calling me a bigot (e.g. that I’m against gay equality) because I’m simply not.  Nor are a large percentage of conservatives.  We’re just tired of the Left changing the meaning of words, constantly moving the goalposts, and so forth.  If my approving fully of civil unions with equivalent rights to married people (which is a far cry from the way of the world I grew up in) isn’t enough to convince you of that, then I suppose we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      I do not accuse people of being bigots on this blog or in the discussion of gay equality. I will update this post with remarks about why civil unions are not acceptable.

      • Bob

        Cynthia, the very title of your post does EXACTLY that — did you even /read/ A.P.’s comment? Redefining marriage to suit your desires != “gay equality”.  Moving the goalposts to define marriage as ‘the right(?) to “marry” the person I love’ doesn’t even apply to all heterosexual marriage. Cousins? Other consanguinous pairs? Those would still be disallowed, even if one or both members were sterile so the reproductive health issues did not apply.

        You’re EXPANDING the definition of an institution that has been in existence for thousands of years, and while that definition has varied over those years in no society has it ever included the new meaning you want to add.  Not even Excitable Andy Sullivan’s favorite conservative philosopher, Oakeshott, would argue that this is a ‘conservative’ action.

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  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    I really don’t see why gays would go through the life-draining, wallet-emptying process of discrimination suits against any religion, in which the odds are still heavily against them, when they have access to marriage equality. It’s just too much hassle. And for what? We’ve already demonstrated that if we need a religion that considers us equal, we’ll make one, a form of self-reliance that is supremely conservative.

    • http://twitter.com/darleenclick darleenclick

      I’ll make the same friendly wager with you as I have with Joy (LMA) …

      Within the year there will be both a legal challenge to NY’s religious exemptions and there will be lawsuits against individuals who – say the kosher caterer – who demur in participating in same-sex ceremonies.

      Dinner and drinks on me if it doesn’t happen.

      However, it remains that the sexes are not fungible. That is the whole rationale behind same-sex marriage – the biological fallacy that men and women don’t matter, fathers and mothers don’t matter.

      Have the state set up civil family contracts and leave marriage, and how people can associate or not associate based on it, alone. A civil contract can allow couples, groups, related persons (say two spinster sisters) spell out inheritance, medical care, etc.

    • Anonymous

      So the fact that the Catholic Church is being told in multiple jurisdictions that it MUST place foster children with gay couples or get out of finding homes for orphans  altogether isn’t happening? I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to hear that.

      • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

        When the Catholic Church wants a secular government to fund its enterprises, including adoption and foster care, then, yes, it has to operate like a public accommodation. The government should not be funding any church’s enterprises. Adoption agencies are a huge cash cow for the Catholic Church. I first realized the magnitude of this mis-allocation of government money when I read a piece in the Washington Post about the Catholic Church’s threat to close its adoption agency in Washington, D.C., when that jurisdiction was about to pass its marriage equality law (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/11/AR2009111116943_2.html?sid=ST2009042801406). If the Catholic Church wants to run any enterprise according to its own rules, then it has to make that enterprise self-supporting, or profitable, without coercing the money from taxpayers.

        • http://twitter.com/darleenclick darleenclick

          Cynthia, who suffered when MA forced CC out? Indeed, even if they stopped “taking public monies” as a state contractor, they still are unable to operate because MA requires that anyone doing adoptions must be licensed by the state. Hence, a lot of hard to place kids (the state admits this is where CC particularly shined) are now harder to place if at all.

          Abortion is a huge cash cow for Planned Parenthood. How about them not coercing the money from taxpayers?

          • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

            Note to gentle readers: MA is Massachusetts, CC is the Catholic Church.

            I’m fine with Planned Parenthood not getting taxpayer money. I also think churches should not receive government money at all. However, if they want Caesar’s money, they must follow Caesar’s rules, especially since the money they receive is fungible and therefore can readily be diverted to cover their general operating costs and all church enterprises have the intention of making converts, which is presented as being for the glory of God but, handily, also turns out to increase the power and wealth of the church to such a degree that cynical observers may reasonably conclude that obtaining power and wealth were the intended goals of the entire process. And it does not bolster the church’s claims of altruism when, at any point that these goals are threatened, it behaves like a kidnapper with a high value hostage.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Gays really are only going for equality, not “super rights.” I do disagree with the approach of denouncing religious beliefs as hate, although I will admit that they certainly feel like hate on the receiving end which is why gays conflate the religious beliefs with hate and attack both. Frankly, if you knew what it feels like to be stung by that swarm of bees, I don’t think you could promise you would not lash out in every direction, too. A reverence for individual liberty means that people should have the freedom of their hearts and minds to hate, as well as to love. I do not agree with making hate crimes a separate class of crime.

  • Rickersam

    The Puritans, of course, made marriage a civil procedure. One of the many things they took away from the church, in the name of religious liberty, as they understood it.  Hence divorce became possible.

    On what basis do inalienable rights exist?  Some argue that they grow from nature, but, as a rule, it is from nature understood in the telegological, Aristotelian sense, not in the strict biological sense.  Hence it is wrong to treat a human being as one would a dog, even though a few human beings are, in fact, not capable of taking care of themselves.

    But if inalienable rights are not grounded in nature, then the assertion of such rights is itself a religious proposition, an article of faith, based on nothing more than pounding the tabe.

  • fustian

    Society makes a big deal about marriage between a man and a woman, not because that helps them be better roommates, but because society has a lot invested in children. 

    Society has very little invested in whether gay people stay together or break up. Without the involvement of children, it’s just roommates to us. 

    Issues of hospital visitation, retirements, insurance, and tax benefits are either best solved by enlightened policies or are not appropriate. I fail to see, for example, what society gets from gay couples living together. So, why the same tax benefits as breeding pairs?

    Gay people have many legitimate grievances and I wish them well in getting them addressed. But marriage is not amongst these, and I think gay people do us all a disservice when they claim this is not about an agenda.

    And, don’t kid yourself, we’re playing with fire here. I am hugely against gay marriage being legal and acceptable and this belief has absolutely nothing to do with the way I feel about gay people. We have a serious problem when as a society we don’t see marriage as a big deal. Once we get so sophisticated that marriage is just another lifestyle choice among many, we’ll find, as is already happening in Europe, that we will be comfortable with sex, we’ll be open to it, we’ll do everything with it except have children. Then we’re toast.

  • Rich

    I wonder at what point a re-examination/questioning
    of spousal benefits (health insurance etc) will happen. I imagine they
    are rooted in hetero/homemaking/child rearing assumptions which no
    longer are so readily assumed. Without viewing them
    as a gesture towards those assumptions, it can essentially offer a
    higher net compensation level for those who marry. In some quarters,
    this equation is proffered for “domestic partners”, regardless of
    orientation. Often hospital visitation is raised as a concern. But I
    can’t imagine a hospital limiting visitation of a POA, a pretty sensible
    arrangement for any committed couple that is readily arranged for no $.

    • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      My late life partner was quadriplegic the last 10 years of her life due to multiple sclerosis, and paraplegic for a couple of years before that. We never left the house without a copy of her durable medical healthcare power-of-attorney because she was unable to handle communicating with medical personnel in the event of an emergency and I had to have proof I had legal authority to speak on her behalf. Hospital and ER staff invariably refused to honor the POA without calling her doctor first and often hassled me after that. They do whatever they want. Also, a POA is a state contract and other states do not have to honor it. Straight people don’t have to consider whether to make a healthcare POA for every state they will travel through or to. Virginia’s Marriage Affirmation Act bars gays from making healthcare POAs. When my mother was dying, my father never once had to prove he was her husband in order to handle her affairs. In addition, there’s no contract you can make to have the authority to handle post mortem funeral arrangements for a gay life partner. And there’s no contract that confers spousal privilege or allows you to marry and give your foreign-born spouse a path to citizenship. Please give more thought to the 1,031 federal rights denied to gays by DOMA and the hundreds of rights associated with marriage at the state level, the fact that many of these rights cannot be obtained through contracts, the fact that the contracts of one state do not have to be honored in another and the enormous burden placed on individuals who must try to duplicate with contracts what marriage confers with a legally-authorized ceremony and license.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Twenty percent of gays and lesbians have children. And straight marriages are not annulled for the couple’s failure or inability or refusal to produce children. Gay marriage equality provides the same structure to gays that straights have for building a life together, which creates stability and prosperity both for the couple and for society.

  • Liz

    “Funny how some who vehemently scream “CHURCH AND STATE!  CHURCH AND STATE!” are so eager to have the government recognize what has traditionally been a religious ceremony.”

    That is wrong on every level. Marriage in the US has always been a secular institution – remember, the Puritans never recognised marriage unless it *was* done secularly, in the courthouse.

    If this was driven by a need to keep “true” (ie, religious) marriage, then people would be more outraged at people getting married in front of a judge, or in a registry office.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry–I didn’t know the Puritans invented marriage.  Thanks for the history lesson…

      • Liz

        To address the pathetic “point” you made to avoid my wider point:

        If you’re looking at this from an American perspective then, culturally and historically, marriage is a secular institution. You can’t laud the Judeo-Christian roots of your country on the one hand, then ignore what those roots actually mean on the other.

        To address the actual wider issue:

        If marriage is an exclusively religious institution, then why should the government recognise opposite sex marriages at all? And why are you so antagonistic towards same sex marriage and not the far more common secular marriages? I’ll respect (but not agree with) the “marriage is religous” argument once its proponents become just as angry towards straight people who marry in front of a judge.

        • Attmay

          And don’t forget that great social ill: atheist weddings.

          • Anonymous

            My point exactly–why should the government recognize marriage of any type?  ALL unions should be civil unions when endorsed by the government, same-sex or otherwise.   Government shouldn’t be in the business of recognizing “marriage.”  Require government-sponsored civil unions of all couples, atheist, same-sex or otherwise.  Then, if the couple wishes, they can consummate their union in a religious marriage in their church of choice.   The only difference is the government doesn’t endorse what is inherently a religious institution.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Exactly. I have researched the law on healthcare POA’s for all 50 states and the District of Columbia for a book I’ve been planning to write (for several years) on end-of-life care decisions. Hospitals and medical professionals hate, hate, hate healthcare POA’s. And you are right, if marriage is a states-only right for gays, while it is a federal right (1,031 federal rights) for straights, then when a legally married same-sex couple travels out of state there will certainly be plenty of medical professionals who will bar one spouse from being with the other during a medical emergency until legal proof is furnished — and even then, there’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t invoke their conscience rights to do anything they want and very little prospect of facing any kind of penalty if they do.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    I’m sorry you had a problem. Thank you for persisting.

  • http://twitter.com/HollywoodNeoCon Eric Olsen

    Cynthia, wonderful blog!!!!! I’m a gay conservative myself, and have been contributing over at GayPatriot for the better part of a decade. Have bookmarked your marvelous site, and have made this site one of my daily must-reads!!!

    • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Eric, thank you! Please bear with me over the summer because I am working on improving my health and losing weight and my posting is likely to be spotty.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    I suggest other readers Google the requirements for a Mormon “temple recommend” and the definitions of the three kinds of Mormon marriages. Also, there’s no need to charge for a ceremony when the church requires members to be up-to-date with their tithes to obtain a temple recommend.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Roxeanne,
    No, it really doesn’t. Religion is grabbing at straws from biology and sociology to further its ends. The rights that attend marriage allow two persons to build a life together and there is no sound reason to deny same-sex couples these rights.

    • fustian

      Cynthia,
      I would like to preface this by saying that I am very supportive of many of the things that gay people want. 

      But not this.

      Marriage is not simply about two people building a life together. 

      We make it a big deal for a reason. Marriage is done as a big production in front of parents and friends, because the community has a huge stake in children successfully being born and raised. 

      Deep down, most people know that marriage is about our survival as a people. Creating the next generation is essential to our continued existence.

      If any of my gay friends break up, it may be a personal tragedy, but society as a whole just doesn’t care. If roommates decide to go their separate ways, I don’t think society cares whether they were having sex with each other or not.

      And I’m sure that various benefits society grants married couples are desired by gay couples. But society does not grant these benefits because the couple is married. They grant them because they are or might be parents.

      I ran the mile in high school. I was not a natural runner, but I would run until I threw up and I’d usually place. I did that because I was scared that my classmates would laugh at me if I didn’t. One day I just didn’t have it and I jogged around the track to a next to last place finish. Nobody laughed. That was the last time I finished in the top three. Once I realized that nobody else really cared, I just couldn’t give it my best any more. 

      That’s my fear about society and marriage. Once we signal to young couples that we don’t really care about any of this, we’re in trouble. We cannot separate marriage from it’s huge importance as a platform for families without doing real damage to society as a whole.

      I sometimes think that all civilizations contain the seeds of their own destruction. As a society gets more complex and more sophisticated, the costs and rewards of having children decrease until demographic replacement rates are no longer met. And that civilization dies. 

      I very much hope we’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.

      This is a conservative argument against gay marriage.

      • Anonymous

        nicely stated. Society needs families. And the byproducts of them.

    • Mark Noonan

      Cynthia,

      But no rights attend to marriage – only privileges and obligations.  Privileges and obligations are assigned, not inherent.  Marriage is given various privileges because of the vital role it plays in family formation and the rearing of children.  Whether or not any particular person will be privileged to marry another is dependent upon two things, the consent of the other party and the value such a union will bring to society…the privileges are very high because the obligations are high.

      Now, given that we are dealing only with the secular in this matter, there are two facts we have to deal with:  some people are gay, and some of these gay people wish to unite their fortunes in a permanent manner with another.  It is no business of society to determine how a person – with the voluntary agreement of another – organizes their affairs (with, of course, certain common-sense restrictions, as there are on all human activities).  It is because of this that even someone as orthodox in his Catholicism as I am can agree to the various proposals for “civil unions”.  This is taken to mean the development of simple, legal measures which would allow any person to unite with another person…but without the ultimate privileges of marriage, because marriage implies the production of children and their rearing, while a gay relationship does not (that some gay people enter in to relationship already with children, or that some lesbians choose to engage in artificial insemination does not change this basic facts – these are, indeed, exceptions which prove the rule). 

  • scone

    “…religions must not be allowed to appropriate the coercive powers of government to impose their rules on an entire population.”

    Although I appreciate and welcome having you and any other gay conservatives, along with women and Jews on the join in the battle against the left, I think the arguments you’re making for gay marriage, particularly noted in the quote above, are a bit illogical and ignore the obvious. You are arguing for law without religion. You don’t see how this all starts to unravel.

    Western Civilizaton has run very well on laws founded primarily in Judeo Christian concepts for over 2,000 years now. Are you really wanting to argue this isn’t the case? Our entire code of right and wrong as a society has come from the Biblical concepts of right and wrong. In this sense, religion has already imposed rules on an entire population and the population has benefited mighty from it.

    The problems for Western Civilization really started when we decided we didn’t want a God or His rules reigning over us. At this point, who then gets to decide the rules? The state. And, where will the state get it’s moral authority? From political expediency. If the majority of the population demands something and it serves the purposes of those in power, then this is what we will get. This kind of rule making and law is a slippery slope of subjectivism, which as Nazi Germany or Communist countries have shown, eventually goes very badly for everyone. Humankind, it seems, needs objective standards of right and wrong to live well together. These objective standards have historically been found in an appeal to transcendent realities such as God, revelation, Scripture, etc.

    It seems your only alternative is to argue that laws spring forth from nature. If we are simply the product of purposeless, blind, chance evolutionary forces, then concepts like property rights, individual liberty, right and wrong…all are fads of a superstitious past. In this case, we should be arguing for survival of the fittest.  Oh, wait, maybe we shouldn’t go there because natural selection, were it truly occurring in reality instead of just theory, would be a powerful argument against the existence of the entire gay population, for  evolutionary forces would have selected a non-breeding population like gays for elimination thousands of years ago (because until recently, gays didn’t breed, therefore, they didn’t pass on their genetic material to future generations and thereby, the population of gays would be decreasing with each successive generation). But, I digress.

    If you’re going to argue for a set of religion-free laws to govern and guide us, I’m wonder why you would endorse the outdated notion of marriage as a relationship between just two people of any sex…or even between members of the same species. Why let these obviously religious-based notions stop our progress? What basis do we really have to discriminate against five guys and a lady…or four females and a horse, from forming a marriage? Seems to me your argument rests mainly on personal preference than on actual logical thought as to how and why we should be governed by any laws.

    Now, I have no interest in keeping you from having sex with those whom you wish to have sex with…male or female. And, if the government wishes to extend benefits given to other couples to you and your same sex partner, I see no problem there. But, I also see no rational basis to go changing the very concept of marriage just because it’s now become fashionable to do among a group who self-identifies by the manner in which they choose to engage in sexual relations. I also don’t see any rational basis for the government to seize my property and give it to another citizen, no matter how popular the idea might become. I’m comforted by the fact there’s Ten Commandments, one of which is, “you shall not covet your neighbor’s property”. See, no matter how the tastes of culture may change, I will still know I have a right to personal property. And I have God backing that idea up because it came from Him.

    No, if we’re going to live in a free, civil society, we’re going to have to have laws and we’re going to have to agree on where they come from. Until the last 100 years, we all did. Now, we’ve got some real problems.

    We’re going to have to agree that certain things are called certain things and you can’t change the whole idea of an institution, just because a lot of people now think it’s fashionable to do so. I’d rather get my laws from the timeless and universal principles espoused by the Judeo Christian ethic and worldview than by the shifting sands of popular tastes.

    • Rich

      Marriage was not invented by Christianity or Judaism. The same goes for many fundamentals of law. Better to look at the underlying hetero centric reasons marriage was instituted as opposed to heading for the cross species slippery slope argument.

  • scone

    “…religions must not be allowed to appropriate the coercive powers of government to impose their rules on an entire population.”

    Although I appreciate and welcome having you and any other gay conservatives, along with women and Jews on the join in the battle against the left, I think the arguments you’re making for gay marriage, particularly noted in the quote above, are a bit illogical and ignore the obvious. You are arguing for law without religion. You don’t see how this all starts to unravel.

    Western Civilizaton has run very well on laws founded primarily in Judeo Christian concepts for over 2,000 years now. Are you really wanting to argue this isn’t the case? Our entire code of right and wrong as a society has come from the Biblical concepts of right and wrong. In this sense, religion has already imposed rules on an entire population and the population has benefited mighty from it.

    The problems for Western Civilization really started when we decided we didn’t want a God or His rules reigning over us. At this point, who then gets to decide the rules? The state. And, where will the state get it’s moral authority? From political expediency. If the majority of the population demands something and it serves the purposes of those in power, then this is what we will get. This kind of rule making and law is a slippery slope of subjectivism, which as Nazi Germany or Communist countries have shown, eventually goes very badly for everyone. Humankind, it seems, needs objective standards of right and wrong to live well together. These objective standards have historically been found in an appeal to transcendent realities such as God, revelation, Scripture, etc.

    It seems your only alternative is to argue that laws spring forth from nature. If we are simply the product of purposeless, blind, chance evolutionary forces, then concepts like property rights, individual liberty, right and wrong…all are fads of a superstitious past. In this case, we should be arguing for survival of the fittest.  Oh, wait, maybe we shouldn’t go there because natural selection, were it truly occurring in reality instead of just theory, would be a powerful argument against the existence of the entire gay population, for  evolutionary forces would have selected a non-breeding population like gays for elimination thousands of years ago (because until recently, gays didn’t breed, therefore, they didn’t pass on their genetic material to future generations and thereby, the population of gays would be decreasing with each successive generation). But, I digress.

    If you’re going to argue for a set of religion-free laws to govern and guide us, I’m wonder why you would endorse the outdated notion of marriage as a relationship between just two people of any sex…or even between members of the same species. Why let these obviously religious-based notions stop our progress? What basis do we really have to discriminate against five guys and a lady…or four females and a horse, from forming a marriage? Seems to me your argument rests mainly on personal preference than on actual logical thought as to how and why we should be governed by any laws.

    Now, I have no interest in keeping you from having sex with those whom you wish to have sex with…male or female. And, if the government wishes to extend benefits given to other couples to you and your same sex partner, I see no problem there. But, I also see no rational basis to go changing the very concept of marriage just because it’s now become fashionable to do among a group who self-identifies by the manner in which they choose to engage in sexual relations. I also don’t see any rational basis for the government to seize my property and give it to another citizen, no matter how popular the idea might become. I’m comforted by the fact there’s Ten Commandments, one of which is, “you shall not covet your neighbor’s property”. See, no matter how the tastes of culture may change, I will still know I have a right to personal property. And I have God backing that idea up because it came from Him.

    No, if we’re going to live in a free, civil society, we’re going to have to have laws and we’re going to have to agree on where they come from. Until the last 100 years, we all did. Now, we’ve got some real problems.

    We’re going to have to agree that certain things are called certain things and you can’t change the whole idea of an institution, just because a lot of people now think it’s fashionable to do so. I’d rather get my laws from the timeless and universal principles espoused by the Judeo Christian ethic and worldview than by the shifting sands of popular tastes.

  • Pjg100

    Interesting and thought-provoking.  Cynthia, there are two reasons that many conservatives and libertarians would prefer that social advancements such as gay marriage equality progress through the democratic process rather than through the courts.  First, if one subscribes to an originalist interpretive method (and, really, anything else simply enables one to use the Constitution as a blank slate onto which to project your own policy preferences as dictat) it stretches the text of the Constitution beyond credibility to suggest that it requires the states to legitimize gay marriage.  While I agree that a just and wise society will recognize and support gay marriage equality, it simply is not a basic right enshrined in the Constitution.  Second, change that is this fundamental should prudentially progress through the democratic process rather than the courts, because that both reflects and reinforces societal acceptance of the change.  Absent that, you are more likely to see the type of backlash that we saw in California with Prop 8. 

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  • http://twitter.com/TeachersDiction TeachersDictionary

    “Jews got tossed out for refusing to become Christians.”

    I’m sorry, but this is nonsense. The preference among Jews for left-wing, “Social-Justice” legislation is well documented. The notion that Social Conservatives expect Jews to convert is simply a rhetorical fantasy.

    Jews vote Left because, by and large, they are Left.

  • Mudsack8

    Cynthia.  There is no such thing as ‘gay marriage’.  It does not exist, anymore than a ‘martini’ made of orange soda and yogurt exists.  It does not have the correct ingredients.  Not all mixtures are ‘martinis’, and neither are all relationships ‘marriages’.

    I object very strongly to the attempt to pervert the language.  Other perversions I tolerate, but not the misuse of our language.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Peter, I hope you and Linda Lou are feeling better and the pugs are well. First, consider what a boost to the wedding industry gay equality is — seriously. Next, it’s going to lift the housing market because marriage really does made a big difference in people’s ability to buy a home and their willingness to do so. Remember when I say this that I was a Realtor for several years. In addition, gays play a huge role in urban renewal because we are not afraid to move into blighted neighborhoods, fix them up and start businesses, which generate jobs and leads to improved schools. And for the same-sex couples who break up, why not be optimistic and figure that all those extra divorces will generate enough jobs and income taxes that they actually will create prosperity. Honestly, Peter, I think we really are looking at the potential for enduring economic growth from gay equality, in addition to greater social stability and more respect for the institution of marriage.

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  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    I am amazed by these assertions since I don’t consider my post or replies to be very emotionally charged. I know I didn’t have any particular heat or rancor when I wrote them. I also don’t remember the exchange at POWIP. However, one of the reasons my posting has been infrequent since last November is that I have been on a diet since last June and starting in November the hunger in the evenings, when I usually write, really began to get to me and I’ve had a headache almost non-stop from then to now. I also was very angry and felt duped and betrayed to find that the vast majority of conservatives who had run on fiscally conservative platforms, the instant they were safely elected, ripped off their masks and declared that their first order of business would be to round up all the gays and make us die in a fire on account of how, according to their religion, we are intrinsically evil. Restoring our economy to a sound footing would have to wait until that noble task was completed to their satisfaction, no matter how long it took. I have to admit that I was most exceedingly wroth at the discovery of this duplicity. So that may be when you decided I had thin skin. However, once I realized that I had lost my bliss and the sense of humor that I strive to make the hallmarks of this blog — my brand — I decided it was better to step back, work on my health, and resume blogging when I had worked my way through my health problems, which are life threatening, and had recovered my bliss and my sense of humor. I still have plenty to do on that score, but decided I felt well enough to join the fray at this historic point, especially since the call for exactly this information was put out on Twitter by conservatives I respect and I’m really the only gay conservative in the entire blogosphere making these points.

    Frankly, considering that 99.9% of the writing in the conservative blogosphere seems to spring from either rage or derision, and yet my blog is generally instructive, inspirational and/or humorous, if I turn out to be human and occasionally get short tempered with people who assert that gays are intrinsically evil sub-humans who should submit to the religion of other people, I think I deserve the latitude.

    • http://twitter.com/Root_Enoch Enoch Root

      I hear you.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    I recommend Jimmy’s blog, The Sundries Shack, to my dear gentle readers. Thank you, Jimmy, for linking this post and dropping by.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Actually, the fact that married couples have these options to care for one another is one of the features of gay marriage equality that will make our society stronger and more prosperous because it will reduce the number of people who fall into poverty and become dependent on the government due to an accident or illness.

    • Rich

      “it will reduce the number of people who fall into poverty and become
      dependent on the government due to an accident or illness.”

      Because of joint insurance policies? The tact of fiscal benefits to all seems a bit strained..but I imagine money and benefits are a driving force in this pursuit. That’s why I think it would be helpful to the debate to pull out the implied contracts therein and see if they really mesh with conservative thought in a society that has very different arrangements than when marriage became an institution.

      • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

        I am surprised at how many ramifications and benefits of marriage that straight people have and are unaware of or take for granted. Same-sex marriage is not driven by greed. Same-sex couples want the same rights and benefits straight couples have because that is what equality means and because they do help couples prosper. But the marriage contract also creates legal obligations of one spouse to the other that come with penalties for trying to evade those duties, such as abandoning a sick or disabled spouse. I doubt you could really duplicate this with a contract. And why should same-sex couples be burdened with having to pay a lawyer’s fees every two minutes to write a contract to get a pale duplicate of what straight couples have the instant they sign the marriage license? In addition, marriage brings together two families, which can greatly increase the support network for both spouses, which helps the couple stand a better chance of getting through hard times.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    I’ll have to give Podhoretz’s book a look-see, but I suspect it’s going to have a lot in common with feminists who run the scam that feminism and Leftism/socialism/progressivism go together. This is an issue on which Little Miss Attila, dear Joy McCann, has provided the most leadership. In other words, I suspect Podhoretz’s book is intended to dupe Jews into buying into the economic and social theories of the Left, which are, in every way, against their interests.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    You always go there and I really don’t know why.

  • Rich

    Another vote for gay marriage as stimulus. Hmmm.

    • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      There is quite the pent-up demand in the gay community for marriage and at the very least it will be a boost for the wedding industry. Married couples buy houses and need to furnish them, so there is a possibility of a ripple effect there, too. And gays really do revive blighted neighborhoods. If Michigan ever wants to turn things around in Detroit, I bet enacting same-sex marriage equality would be the cheapest and most effective way to do it. Necessity has made us an extremely resourceful and self-reliant group.

  • Liz

    Ed Morrisey, himself a social conservative, points out that socons have created most of their own problems by depending on the govt and the courts to define marriage:

    “Social conservatives insist that the states need to protect the sanctity of traditional marriage for a few reasons — to encourage procreation, for societal stability, and others. However, this is a rather odd argument, given the fact that childbirth outside of marriage has been an epidemic for decades, and societal instability followed along with it.

    “We don’t need help encouraging procreation; we need help in encouraging better parenting. That certainly relies on stable relationships between parents and children, but enforcement of the one-man-one-woman model didn’t keep the societal instability from rapidly expanding, especially in the cities…

    “…American marriage didn’t get devalued because New York’s legislature followed that of New Hampshire and Vermont in legalizing same-gender marriage. It got devalued when we began treating marriages as less important and less binding than business partnerships.”

    http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/216769/be-careful-what-you-wish-for

    Blaming Teh Gheyz for the fact that straight people are deeply confused about – or actively antagonistic to – marriage and the family is ridiculous.

  • http://aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

    Yes, they make sense for both straight and same-sex marriages. There is no reason that gays should be second-class citizens denied the 1,031 federal rights and hundreds of states’ rights associated with marriage on the basis of the religious beliefs of other people whose intention is to destroy them by denying them those rights and full equality.

    Also, the financial benefits to society of equality for gays are just happy side effects. The fundamental reason for enacting laws for gay equality is that the liberty to choose a same-sex spouse is just as precious and worth protecting as the liberty to choose one’s faith AND to be free from those who wish to impose their faith by force.

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