Gay Marriage Should Lead to More Freedom, Not More Government Control

Requests for tolerance must not become demands for approval.

It was a great day when the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and threw out a California case that could have undermined gay marriage in the Golden State. On that day, gay and lesbian citizens won something profoundly important: acknowledgment of the right to live as they choose, without interference from others who think they know better.

Now the question is: Will gay and lesbian citizens acknowledge that everybody else has the same right? Some certainly will. But others are challenging the notion – and thereby undermining the case for their own hard-won victory.

David Mullins and Charlie Craig, for instance. The gay Colorado couple have filed a discrimination complaint against the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who declined for religious reasons to make them a wedding cake. The Colorado attorney general’s office has taken their side. So, regrettably, has the ACLU.

And they have company: Similar complaints have been brought against bakeries in Oregon, Indianapolis, and Iowa; a Hawaiian bed-and-breakfast; a Vermont inn; a Washington florist; a Kentucky T-shirt company; and more. As gay marriage gains ground, cases such as these likely will flourish.

As they do, they will lend credence to the otherwise ludicrous assertion by social conservatives that there is a “homosexual agenda.” It will remain absurd to suggest gay people are trying to turn straight people gay. Changing other people’s sexual orientation has always been a conservative project, not a liberal one. But it will cease being absurd to suggest that requests for tolerance are actually demands for approval – and that those who claim to celebrate diversity actually insist upon ideological uniformity.

Wedding-cake cases also may help resolve one of the buried tensions over homosexuality and gay marriage – support for which flows from two different kinds of arguments.

The first is thee argument from freedom – in particular the freedom to associate with whom we wish. Its goal is to make sure everyone is treated right. It says individuals should enjoy the liberty to do whatever they like, with whomever they like, so long as their activity is consensual and does not harm anyone else. As Jefferson wrote: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” By the same token, what Adam and Steve do in the bedroom or at the altar also neither picks a pocket nor breaks a leg. So leave them in peace.

The other argument – the argument from equality – wants to make sure everyone is treated the same. So if straight people get to marry, then gay people should, too. One problem with this argument: It leaves the door open for the infringement of individual rights, so long as everybody’s rights are equally transgressed.

You could see that flaw in stark relief during the era of South African apartheid: U.S. liberals objected vehemently to apartheid, and rightly so. But some seemed almost blasé about the similarly savage cruelty of communism in Cuba or the Soviet Union. This raised the question of whether it was oppression per se that they objected to, or simply the uneven application of it.

These two arguments are not mutually exclusive. You can support gay rights and gay marriage both because they harm nobody and because people should be treated the same. And because the government should treat everyone equally before the law, which is a different and narrower sort of equality.

But there is another, stronger sort of equality: the equality of authority – which suggests social interactions should be consensual because nobody has the right to impose his will on somebody else. This is the sort of equality most compatible with liberty (including the liberty to marry whom one wishes), and the sort of equality gay-rights advocates should embrace.

They should embrace it not only because it is right, but also because it offers the surest defense against depredations by foes such as Pat Robertson – who said last week he wished Facebook had a “vomit” button he could click for pictures of gay couples kissing. Robertson’s hostility is terrible; but without any authority for him to impose his own will on others, it is also toothless.

Yet if we are to respect the best arguments for gay rights, then we also have to recognize that those arguments also apply to people like Robertson – and to the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and to others like them. They should not have the power to impose their will on gay couples. But gay couples should not have the power to impose their own will on them, either. “Live and let live” cannot be a one-way street.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • anon||

    But as A. Barton Hinkle reports, others are challenging the notion – and thereby undermining the case for their own hard-won victory.

    Of course. They're progressives. "Power for me and not for thee" is their motto.

  • John||

    Is this article a joke? Of course they are not. Gay marriage has always been about special privilege and sticking it to the gay left's political enemies. Only a Libertarian could have been naive enough to think it was about freedom.

  • anon||

    Thanks, John, for ruining my shit. Of course, I don't think the state should be involved in marriage to start with, but still. You bastard.

  • John||

    The mendacity of progressives and the naivety of beltway Libertarians who constantly believe Progs actually care about anything but the State and power can never be pointed out too often.

  • anon||

    Yeah, but John, I live in an area with a disproportionate amount of gay/lesbians. Most of them are genuinely good people that don't really give a shit whether it's legal to be married or not, and I don't really give a shit that they're gay. Win-win all the way around generally.

    I guess it just makes me a little sick that these assholes won't latch onto pretty much anything they can use as a lever of power over others.

  • anon||

    err, will, not won't.

  • John||

    That is very true. I wish people would talk more about the history of the gay marriage movement. It was started by gay prudes, most notably that sad sick little man Andrew Sullivan. The idea was that gays were these degenerate hedonists who refused to conform to societal norms and that had to be changed. The theory went that the reason they were that way was because normal avenues of civil engagement were not open to gays. Gays couldn't get married and settle down so that is why they were such hedonists. I am not shitting you this is what Sullivan and other people thought and still think.

    Really gay marriage was originally about making gays into productive, reliable suburban soccer moms. And indeed, the idea was very controversial back in the 1990s. A lot of gay people looked at the idea for what it was, a underhanded way to try to change gay culture into what prudes like Sullivan wanted it to be.

    It is a very interesting history.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I live on the edge of "Boys Town" here in LBC. All of the gays I know and have interactions with are pretty much hedonists. Productive professionals, absolute fun to hang out with, but complete hedonists. They celebrated the SCOTUS ruling. But I don't know a single gay who is going to marry his partner. In fact, I think one long-term couple may break up because of "cold feet". Go figure.

  • John||

    Maybe lesbians will get married in numbers. But I can't see gay men doing it. And good for them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most gays I've known were some really perverted motherfuckers who made a point of making their personal lives very public. They only cared about gay marriage as a way to stick it to Christians.

  • Zeb||

    I know a lot of Christians who favor gay marriage.

  • ||

    John, you're blatantly ignoring a much larger history that includes the Mattachine Society and the "homophile" movement, which was about integration and normalization. Gay radicalism didn't take center stage until almost 20 years later.

    It is a very interesting history, and it doesn't start with the Stonewall Riots and the GLF.

  • Tony||

    I don't get what your problem is with that argument. Surely the lack of an ability to marriage will inevitably result in less stable relationships--otherwise marriage serves no purpose. Sullivan notes that his argument is essentially conservative--marriage being a conservative institution.

    I don't necessarily think it's the strongest argument for gay marriage (which should argue for itself based on our basic principles of equality), but it's one meant to appeal to people like you. It increases the number of children with married parents. It strengthens relationships. If you see those as good things, what's your problem?

  • ||

    Surely the lack of an ability to marriage will inevitably result in less stable relationships

    Good point, because A) Marriage cannot exist without the state issuing a certificate that says so. And B) Look at all those heterosexual couples who are in perfectly stable relationships and never ever get divorced.

    It's a pathetically retarded argument whether it's coming from the religious right or the gay left. If anybody you disagreed with argued from the same premise you'd go batshit.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    "David Mullins and Charlie Craig, for instance. The gay Colorado couple have filed a discrimination complaint against the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who declined for religious reasons to make them a wedding cake."

    Spiteful little shits. It's not enough to be able to get gay married, but now everyone must accept and celebrate it. I'm sure they are registered at Crate & Barrel. Will they sue me if I don't get them a wedding present?

  • Calidissident||

    I don't understand why you would want to force someone who disapproves of your union to make your wedding cake

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I would suspect the frosting would contain way too many boogers.

  • anon||

    I don't understand why you would want to force someone who disapproves of your union to make your wedding cake

    Respect my authoritah!

  • Duke||

    I don't understand why you would want to force someone who disapproves of your union to make your wedding cake.

    I do: Hatefulness.

  • JW||

    Pretty much this. "He hates us! Give him money!"

    Once the special snowflakes are brutally offended, it ceases to be about service and becomes about crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentation of their women.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "My bid on your wedding cake is $57,000."

  • some guy||

    That's still discriminatory, by their logic. The only way to get the point across would be to go into various progressive-owned cake shops and force them to make cakes that they don't want to make.

  • Killazontherun||

    Go meta and make them bake you a cake celebrating Freedom of Association.

  • some guy||

    They would happily comply, never seeing the irony.

  • Duke||

    This is the problem with taking up this cause via the government. It will result in gays being considered a protected class whom you must bake cakes for.

  • anon||

    Delicious cake.

  • Tony||

    We've had to accept and celebrate hetero marriages forever. I'm so terribly sorry for your inconvenience.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No you haven't.

  • Overt||

    "We've had to accept and celebrate hetero marriages forever."

    Man, it's your inability to understand force that really makes your arguments silly.

    You "had" to do nothing. If you didn't like hetero marriages, you never had to do one fucking thing. No one ordered you to parades celebrating the hetero marriage.

    And this is what bugs me about the "aggrieved" classes. They believe non-acceptance is some sort of force.

  • Tony||

    By "aggrieved" classes you mean those who haven't by default had all the power and privilege and ability to do whatever they please in their own society? Perhaps you don't realize you're expressing your own--far more absurd--grievance?

    When were you ordered to go to a parade? Are they forcibly busing straights to gay weddings or something?

    If you've ever been discriminated against because of a feature of how you happened to be born, you'd understand that it is a very real and direct harm.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No it isn't. And no I wouldn't. Toughen the fuck up faggot.

  • Tony||

    Bullshit. You're venting grievances left and right like a whiny little girl. Imagine if you had to deal with real negative social pressures.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Real negative social pressures? Like what? This isn't the 80s where there was still a stigma, or the 90s where it became fashionable, or even the 00s when you had to stomach the metros. Join us in the second decade of the fucking 21st century.

  • Overt||

    You were the asshole who said he was "forced" to celebrate hetero-weddings.

    Hint: People thinking you are weird does not equal you being forced to do anything.

  • Skip||

    Tony, no gay cake maker was ever forced to make a cake for a heterosexual couple in the history of the planet.

  • Tony||

    Because that would be absurd, since hetero weddings were the only kind.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Sure they did...there are more straighties so it's a matter of the cakery keeping it's doors open.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    Studies are increasingly showing that homosexuality is primarily, if not entirely, not biological. "Born this way" is not true.

  • Homple||

    Even a libertarian ought to have been perceptive enough to notice that the whining bullies of the gay-whatever movements are never about freedom.

  • Duke||

    Never overestimate a Libertarian, Homple.

  • Killazontherun||

    I see, so believing in a principle, like contractual relations between private parties being the business of the participating parties and when their rights are not secure neither or mine, is just me being a naive libertarian because there are people out there with political agenda. That is very much like proglodytes believing that civil liberties are no longer a primary concern when it is politically inconvenient to the advancement of their own political elites. There will always be shit sandwiches and giant douchebags, so when is it ever an appropriate time to reinforce principle and behave with honor?

  • Zeb||

    Go fuck yourselves Homple and Duke. A libertarian doesn't give a fuck why other people who agree with him believe what they do. I support gay marriage legal recognition because I think that as long as government is recognizing marriages at all, it is the right thing to do. I don't give a fuck why other people support it. It's not a political calculation, it's what I think is right.

  • Duke||

    Go fuck yourselves Homple and Duke.

    Really? I was making a joke, not that I should have to justify myself against such an asinine remark. I do notice a lot of name calling on this site which tells me many libertarians are very thin-skinned little cry babies.

  • Duke||

    See what I did there Zeb?

  • Zeb||

    Sorry. I just get very annoyed at the stupid collective arguments about this and the idiotic implication that everyone who supports a certain thing does so for the same reasons. Different people support things for different reasons, and the fact that some people support a thing for bad reasons is no reason not to support it for good reasons. No libertarian was fooled into believing that all supporters of gay marriage are just about equality under the law.

  • Duke||

    I get you. A close friend who is gay told me that, while he obviously disagrees with actual persecution, thinks that private actors can have opinions on who they sell their cakes or chicken biscuits to. He also loves Thomas Jefferson. And that’s why we’re friends.

  • Rasilio||

    I have long argued that freedom of association was a better grounds to argue gay marriage than equal rights ever was. The problem is most liberals would really rather that particular clause in the BOR would just go away because it really does mean that you can fire someone because you don't like the color of their skin or who they pray to.

  • Zeb||

    I think it's equal protection under the law, not equal rights. I don't think that government has to recognize any marriages at all as a matter of rights. There is no right to legally recognized marriage. But if there is to be legal marriage, all couples ought to be treated the same.

  • ||

    But if there is to be legal marriage, all couples ought to be treated the same.

    And therein lies the inherent fallacy of that thinking. When you're granting special privileges to certain kinds of people in certain kinds of relationships, you're discriminating. All people should be treated the same, regardless if they are a couple or not. Expanding the available pairings does nothing to make marriage fair or equal, because it is inherently, by design and intention, unfair and unequal. Which is why it should be a cherished social institution for the people who like it, but not a legal one.

  • Marshall Gill||

    On that day, gay and lesbian citizens won something profoundly important: acknowledgment of the right to live as they choose, without interference from others who think they know better.

    This is simply Orwellian. The "right" to force others to "acknowledge" your personal preferences? Without "interference" from others unless they decide they want the government to interfere? Coercion is Liberty and Liberty is enslavement?

    Lawrence vs. Texas was correctly about Liberty. Government recognition amounts to coercion of one form or another and is anathema to Liberty. I guess Liberty pales next to having government coercion on your side?

  • John||

    You are correct Marshall. The battle for freedom was Lawrence. That was about the ability of people to live how they want do what they like in the privacy of their own homes.

    Gay marriage is not about freedom. It is about equal access to government coercion and bennies. It may be about fairness. But it was never freedom.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fair government is a necessary precondition to freedom as much as you want it be otherwise.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I simply can't figure out how something that will remain explicitly unfair to single people as being "fair".

    Also, Fairness and Freedom are definitely not synonymous.

  • Calidissident||

    He didn't say they were

  • Zeb||

    So are you opposed to all legal recognition of marriage? If so, what you are saying makes sense. If not, you are supporting a double standard.

  • Marshall Gill||

    So are you opposed to all legal recognition of marriage?

    Of course. It is also the only libertarian position.

  • bejeta||

    It is also the only point we should be arguing. Legal recognition of marriage is a form of enslavement (you must seek permission in order to marry), is unlawful (marriage exists outside the domain of government), and as stated, anathema to liberty and freedom. Get the government out of marriage and quit begging the masters for scraps...

  • Zeb||

    Government IS coercion. Before gay marriage was a thing, people were coerced into recognizing marriages already. Unless you are just as opposed to all legal marriage, the coercion argument doesn't hold water.

  • ||

    Before gay marriage was a thing, people were coerced into recognizing marriages already.

    Only employers offering health benefits. Which is wrong, of course, and remains so even though gays can now take advantage as well. But "married" was never a protected class. No one was ever sued under the Civil Rights Act for not serving married couples at their business.

    Unless you are just as opposed to all legal marriage...

    I love how supposed libertarians throw this out like it's such a flabbergasting statement. It's basically like saying in an argument about taxes, "Unless you're just opposed to income taxation!" It might surprise you to discover that many libertarians do indeed oppose all legal marriage - and have so since long before gay marriage was chic.

  • Raston Bot||

    Kathy Green · Top Commenter
    Mr. Hinkle, looking at our history, would you say that black citizens should have stayed in their own restaurants instead of sitting at the Woolworth's counter? Live and let live, right? Nobody was denying them the right to eat.

    She makes a persuasive argument.

  • John||

    No she doesn't. If the question is "should gays be allowed to eat in restaurants and avail themselves of basic public facilities", then the answer is clearly yes. But that is not the same as saying "should gays be able to force everyone to recognize their marriage", the answer is a lot different.

    But I will give her credit for honesty. The goal here is to make it effectively illegal to object to gay marriage. It may not be criminal to be a racist, but it is effectively illegal. You could never run a business or even hold down a job if you were openly racist. The goal here is to make the same true for anyone who objects to homosexuality.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh noes people are being mean to the homophobes!

  • JW||

    How? Where?

    Or is my sarcasm meter off?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Your sarcasm meter is running low on vodka. Refill it at the next convenient time.

  • JW||

    Vodka!? For shame. It's my gin tank that's dangerously low.

  • Overt||

    Her point is that refusing to serve someone because they are gay is the same as refusing to serve someone because they are black.

    I don't see any functional difference between "We only serve whites" and "We only serve male/female couples". In both cases, you have people who "Top Men" have decided are engaged in an 'immoral' practice (excluding people for a bigoted reason). The entire purpose of Civil Rights laws is to force these 'bigots' to change their behavior.

    So indeed, the same logic that would lead someone to applaud the coercion of racist restaurants would lead one to applaud the coercion of wedding-services people that exclude gays.

  • JW||

    The entire purpose of Civil Rights laws is to force these 'bigots' to change their behavior.

    You seem to be confusing civil disobedience with laws that usurp the property rights, which is why she doesn't have a persuasive argument.

    Anyone is within their rights to protest a business' practices as a means to change them, not use the police powers of the state to get your way.

  • Overt||

    "Anyone is within their rights to protest a business' practices as a means to change them, not use the police powers of the state to get your way."

    So you say, but about 50 years of American History disagrees. The Civil Rights acts certainly usurped an Employer's rights to associate with whomever they wanted- including choosing not to hire someone they disliked due to race, age, religion, etc. Are you disputing that?

    My point was that if you felt it was ok for the State to usurp rights of property owners then, there is no real reason to object usurping rights on the behalf of gays today.

    I understand there is an argument that the Civil Rights Acts should never have been passed. But many Libertarians find that a difficult argument to make, so I am trying to understand why they would support coercion then but not now.

  • JW||

    I understand there is an argument that the Civil Rights Acts should never have been passed. But many Libertarians find that a difficult argument to make, so I am trying to understand why they would support coercion then but not now.

    I'm not supporting coercion, then or now. Persuasion is always welcome.

    The coercion was utterly predictable, but in now way should be used as a reason to defer the expansion of liberty. It's a separate issue.

  • Zeb||

    Overall, the civil rights act is a good thing, but it would be better without the parts that apply to private businesses. Most of it applied to government, and making it illegal for government to discriminate based on race is definitely a good thing.

  • ||

    The previous civil rights acts had already largely made it illegal for government to discriminate based on race, and the civil rights act of '64 could have been passed so that it only applied to government. So no, it's not 'overall a good thing'. Overall it's a piece of fucking shit. Tiny shreds of it that pertain to legitimate restraint of government discrimination are good. "Overall" it's a monument to thought policing and government overreach.

  • JC25||

    If the bakery's lawyer is any good, they will refute this argument. The owners were not refusing to serve the gay couple. They were refusing to make a cake with a particular message on it.

    This should be obviously acceptable: If a white customer asked for a cake with the message "Sorry about your skin color" on it, the owners would have a right to refuse to do it.

  • KPres||

    No. Blacks would be better off today if they'd have "stayed in their own restaurants", and the racists who kept them out would be worse off. Markets are fair when you let them be, and they punish bigotry. But forcing people to behave a certain way doesn't change anybody's attitude, it just builds up resentment.

  • JW||

    But there is another, stronger sort of equality: the equality of authority – which suggests social interactions should be consensual because nobody has the right to impose his will on somebody else. This is the sort of equality most compatible with liberty (including the liberty to marry whom one wishes), and the sort of equality gay-rights advocates should embrace.

    But, that doesn't jive with the majority's MOAR FREE SHIT and punishing their ideological enemies mindset, so the bulk of people won't. Most people won't accept of the concept that with greater freedom, comes the right and ability for someone to do something they don't like.

    And that just can't stand. They've been indoctrinated from birth that the correct way to build equality of results is through force, which they will happily advocate the use of.

    SLD, none of this should be a valid reason to oppose increasing liberty. The moral code police state on the flip side of the state coin is the problem, not the expanded liberty.

  • Overt||

    What Mr Hinkle doesn't understand is that to gays, this wasn't about liberty, it was about fairness.

    A significant number of people believe it is completely acceptable to legislate morality. For MOST gay-rights activists, they weren't trying to FREE themselves, they were trying to make sure their moral code (one where gays are treated nice) was legislated.

  • JW||

    How is using the police power of the state, fair? How is using state coercion to achieve a subjective social goal, good?

    Fairness is when people stop using the state's ability to commit violence to enforce their own moral code.

  • Overt||

    "How is using the police power of the state, fair? "

    Fairness is a moral question. In your (and my) moral code, fairness is leaving people the fuck alone. Most Gays' moral view of fairness is similar to grade school- where everyone must be nice to one another.

    I'm not trying to defend the legislation of schoolyard etiquette. Rather, I am explaining why its supporters are being completely predictable and consistent and why Hinkle et al were fools to think this had anything to do with Liberty.

  • Charles.H.Anziulewicz@wv.||

    DEAR MR. HINKLE:

    Yours seems to be the perfect argument for scrapping ALL of our modern civil rights laws. Shall we just start by getting rid of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then, in addition to for-profit businesses turning away Gay people, landlords could refuse to rent to Asians, restaurants could refuse to serve Blacks, businesses could refuse to hire Muslims ... and the only justification they need is, "It's against my personal religious beliefs."

  • John||

    But I thought marriage was special and different? It is not that argument at all. No one is saying a restaurant should be able to refuse to serve gay people. The question is can gay people force a church to marry them or a business to support their marriage. You are committing the worst sort of bait an switch here.

  • Overt||

    John-

    I don't see a bait and switch here. What makes serving/hiring/renting to a Muslim fundamentally different than marrying a gay couple such that they can be separated for the purpose of this discussion?

    Not trying to be snarky here. Mind you, I don't agree with this tactic of enforcing Pro-Gay morality on the masses, but I am having trouble seeing how one can support (or tollerate) the former and still decline the latter.

  • John||

    What makes serving/hiring/renting to a Muslim fundamentally different than marrying a gay couple such that they can be separated for the purpose of this discussion?

    Because religion is a protected class and being gay isn't. I can refuse to serve you because you are a Green Bay Packer fan. And there is nothing you can do about it because being a Packer fan isn't a protected class. Being gay, currently isn't either. If you want to make it one, then understand that the effect of that would be to make it effectively illegal to publicly object to gays. Remember, discrimination laws cover a lot more than public accommodation. They create things like hostile work environment suits and such.

    So the question becomes do you want to make publicly objecting to homosexuality the same level of public offense as publicly endorsing racism? I say no.

  • Overt||

    But "Protected Class" is merely a legal construction. And by the way, around the country, many states include Sexual Orientation as a protected class.

    "So the question becomes do you want to make publicly objecting to homosexuality the same level of public offense as publicly endorsing racism? I say no."

    So what is the logic behind this? To me, the camel is already in the tent. Supporting Civil Rights is supporting coercion of people who don't like blacks/muslims...Why not support the coercion of people who don't like gays? Is it just that you believe that is an ok form of discrimination?

  • Overt||

    In effect, once you have allowed for the Civil Rights act, you have moved the discussion into Moral codes. You have dispensed with the argument that "We Shall Not Coerce" and we have moved into "What forms of bigotry are Ok?"

    Once you have acknowledged (through support of the CRA) that it is ok to label certain behavior 'bigoted' and to outlaw it, the question is "Why would you allow bigotry towards gays, but not muslims?"

    The only reason I can think of is that the person just doesn't like gays. That is, they don't want anti-bigotry laws to help gays because they don't like gays themselves.

  • Duke||

    No one is saying a restaurant should be able to refuse to serve gay people.

    A restaurant can refuse service if you’re not wearing shoes or a shirt. But what if you’re dressed like this?
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VnO-.....f7cb67.jpg

  • JW||

    Nice. Gets it on the first try.

    And the only reason you need is "I don't want to."

  • Marshall Gill||

    And the only reason you need is "I don't want to."

    You say that like you have some right to choose for yourself! Obey your betters!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yes, please. But without needing any justification at all.

  • R C Dean||

    and the only justification they need is, "It's against my personal religious beliefs Because fuck you, that's why."

    You aren't free unless you are free to be wrong.

  • anon||

    Yours seems to be the perfect argument for scrapping ALL of our modern civil rights laws. Shall we just start by getting rid of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964?

    Yes.

  • Hash Brown||

    See, now this is why we can't have nice shit. Would it kill you guys to prevaricate? Just a little?

  • anon||

    Also yes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sounds good.

  • Matrix||

    Charles,

    You believe it is your civil right to force someone else to serve you? What kind of monster are you? Oh, yeah, you're the average person out there. You believe it to be your right to force a restaurant to serve you a sandwich or any other business to provide you a service.

    Sorry, that is not how LIBERTY works. Just as you should be free to do business with those you see fit, others should have the same. Just as you should be free to refuse business with those you see fit, others should have the same. If you don't like McDonald's, for whatever reason, and refuse to do business with them, McDonald's should have the same right to refuse business with you for whatever reason.

    I don't care if someone is an atheist. They should have the right to do or not do business with whomever they see fit, regardless of whether or not you find their reasons justifiable. If I own a house and want to rent it out, I should be able to rent it to whomever I see fit. It's my property, and I should be able to do what I want with it. If I own a business, I should be able to hire and fire whomever I choose.

    If you don't like the hiring practices or other business practices of a company, you are free not to give them your business, and you are free to encourage others to do the same.

    Liberty is a two way street.

  • Zeb||

    We should keep most of the CRA. Just get rid of the parts that strip business owners and other private parties of their freedom of association.

  • ||

    ---"Yours seems to be the perfect argument for scrapping ALL of our modern civil rights laws"---

    Civil Rights laws should apply only to the government. The Government should be required to treat all citizens(/residents?) equally.

    Such laws should not apply to private citizens and their actions. I find discrimination despicable, but that doesn't give me the right to force my beliefs on others.

    If a business wants to forego a potentially large share of the market by acting like assholes, that is a private matter. They will suffer in terms of market share and likely in terms of the number or quality of employees the can attract. But it is a decision for each person to make for himself.

    You cannot force somebody to accept something they don't like or want, nor should you try by force of law.

    In the same line, I think that it would be wrong to prosecute George Zimmerman for civil rights violations when I don't believe that private parties have civil rights obligations to anyone. There are criminal statutes that govern this situation, and the jury has found GZ not guilty.

  • ||

    Shall we just start by getting rid of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964?

    Sounds good to me.

    Then, in addition to for-profit businesses turning away Gay people, landlords could refuse to rent to Asians

    Holy shit, you mean private business would have freedom of association?! Well now it's starting to sound scary!

    restaurants could refuse to serve Blacks, businesses could refuse to hire Muslims

    OMG! You mean people would have moral agency?! Like, they could just do whatever they want with their business and personal property?!

    and the only justification they need is, "It's against my personal religious beliefs."

    Well, now you've convinced me. Up until this sentence I thought people in this alternate world would just be free to do whatever they wanted for any reason or no reason at all. Which was starting to sound scary enough. Now that it involves religious liberty, I'm afraid that's just a bridge too far.

    Protip: When arguing with libertarians, shaming them based on the Civil Rights Act of '64 is a shitty strategy since, by and large, they reject it and its premise the freedom of association ends when you obtain a business license.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "As gay marriage gains ground, cases such as these likely will flourish."

    When *I* made this point, I was met with the response that limits on private businesses have *absolutely nothing to do* with the holy libertarian cause of marriage equality.

    No, these suits against bakers, florists, T-shirt makers, etc., etc. were operating on a totally separate track from the heroic libertarians who were seeking to have the government recognize same-sex unions!

    Now that the *Reason* staff has come out of the closet in support of the rights of private businesses to engage in "discrimination," they will have the chance to be on the receiving end of the SSM backers' hate. It's starting already.

    Get ready for the attacks on "the Koch-funded Reason Foundation" for "opposing LGBTQ equality."

  • ||

    Correlation does not equal causation. These lawsuits have gone on it places without legal marriage equality. Nobody here is in favor of non-discrimination ordinances that force butchers, bakers and candlestick makers to ply their trade in support of gay marriage, but some of us support the government being gender neutral in how it defines married. You are not Cassandra, everyone heard you and knew that these lawsuits would continue. The lawsuits (and the non-discrim ordinances that enable them) are deplorable, but gay marriage is in-and-of-itself not.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Do you agree or disagree with Hinkle's remark: "As gay marriage gains ground, cases such as these likely will flourish."

  • ||

    Do you believe that the veracity of that statement affects mine?

    Do you agree or disagree that correlation does not equal causation?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Just humor me, please, and let me know if you agree with Hinkle's remark.

  • ||

    The implication that gay marriage will increase those lawsuits is false, although I can see those lawsuits becoming more frequent with the societal and legal shifts that prefigure changes in marriage law.

    Now humor me, please, do you believe that correlation does not equal causation?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    In the abstract, correlation does not equal causation, as both of us know.

    But you disagree with Hinkle's common-sense conclusion that, in this particular instance, promoting SSM while rejecting any "exemptions" for religious conscience - except for specifically religious organizations, which doesn't protect florists, T-shirt makers, etc. etc. and in any even violates the aversion which many H&R commenters have to religiously-based exemptions - has a natural tendency to encourage the coercion of private businesses.

  • ||

    As I said above "The lawsuits (and the non-discrim ordinances that enable them) are deplorable, but gay marriage is in-and-of-itself not."

    I think people's freedom of religious expression should include telling gays to fuck off from a bakery. I hope a good lawyer challenges one of these ordinances and they get cut off at the national level rather than trying to battle them one location at a time, but that doesn't mean that gay marriage is the culprit, it's just one vehicle for the abuse of non-discrim law.

  • Zeb||

    I'm still a little puzzled about exactly what religious doctrine declares that a Christian must not bake a cake or arrange flowers for a gay wedding. Of course, I think that bakers and florists absolutely have the right to refuse to serve anyone for any reason. But I still find it funny that there are people who think that doing so violates their religious principles (actually, I bet that no one actually thinks that and it is just political posturing or run of the mill assholery, which is also their right).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's not necessary to agree with, or even understand, anyone's religious objections before defending their right to hold, and act upon, those objections.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, absolutely. I'm just personally amused that there are people who think that providing food for a gay wedding violates their religious convictions.

  • ||

    I'm just personally amused that there are people who think that providing food for a gay wedding violates their religious convictions.

    Who is anyone to say what anyone else's religious convictions are or should be?

    If you knew anything about other people's religious views this probably wouldn't be so befuddling. Given that the big 3 Abrahamic religions all believe homosexuality to be immoral, why would you think they would be otherwise cool with helping homosexuals to celebrate the union they believe to be immoral? The same people would also probably object to selling a bouquet of flowers for an adulterer to give to his mistress. There's certain religious denominations that don't believe in divorce who would probably object to catering someone's 2nd marriage. You can disagree with those moral views, but it's not terribly difficult to understand the reasoning that follows from them.

  • bejeta||

    The government cannot define marriage as it is not the owner or creator of marriage. Marriage exists without the government. A true Libertarian should not want the government attempting to define concepts or regulating things outside their domain...

  • Zeb||

    Eddie baby, everyone knew that from the beginning. Yes, with gay marriage will come more of these lawsuits. And they are separate issues. The fact that there are bad laws on the books should not be a reason to oppose a good law.

  • cavalier973||

    On that day, gay and lesbian citizens won something profoundly important: acknowledgment of the right to live as they choose, without interference from others who think they know better.

    So...were same-sex couples going to jail for having a ceremony and putting it out that they were married? How did this "interference" manfest itself?

  • cavalier973||

    "manifest", "MANIFEST"!

    WHERE'S THE DANG EDIT BUTTON????

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Gay marriage is a "manfest".

  • SugarFree||

    Any state official that knowingly issues a marriage license to a same sex couple in Kentucky can be charged with a Class C felony.

  • cavalier973||

    Do the same-sex couples themselves get fined/jailed/punished in any way?

  • SugarFree||

    No, because even if they get a license it is deemed illegitimate because the law was broken when it was issued to them.

  • cavalier973||

    Do the couples themselves view their marriage as illegitimate?

    Because if the FedGov/stategovs came out and said that my marriage was invalid, I would laugh and laugh. My marriage has been ordained and sanctioned by the Infinite Creator of the Universe. The State can go pound sand.

  • SugarFree||

    Getting the state out of marriage and returning to a religious arraignment suits me just fine. But the authors of the Kentucky law just didn't want the icky fags to have the same state recognition.

  • cavalier973||

    "arraignment"? in an argument about marriage? Is this a "ball-and-chain" type joke?

  • ||

    They might go to jail if they opt not to testify against their partner, opt not to pay inheritance taxes at a non-married rate, or be deported if they stay in the country without a green card.

  • Marshall Gill||

    They might go to jail if they opt not to testify against their partner, opt not to pay inheritance taxes at a non-married rate, or be deported if they stay in the country without a green card.

    All areas where NO ONE deserves special treatment. "Fairness" would end these loopholes, not slightly expand them for some while continuing to deny them to others, wouldn't it?

  • ||

    I think the government shouldn't be able to force testimony out of anyone, I think we should have much more open borders and a more coherent and open immigration system, and I think inheritance taxes are cray-cray. In Libertopia, I wouldn't want or need the option of civic marriage to shield myself from the government being shitty, but in America I would prefer to have that option.

    Look at the current immigration bill and tell me you have any faith that our borders are heading in a libertarian direction.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I wouldn't want or need the option of civic marriage to shield myself from the government being shitty, but in America I would prefer to have that option.

    So would single people.

  • ||

    That's retarded.

    A single person can plead the fifth for him or herself. The reason spousal privilege exists is because a spouse has such intimate knowledge of one's day to day business that not allowing them the ability to decline to testify is tantamount to forcing the first person to testify (I would support expansion to include immediate family here) A single person does not have this liability. A single person is not torn in half when trying to put down roots in a country and can rely on family bonds to assist parents or children for immigration purposes. A single person's economic well-being isn't intrinsically tied to the well-being of one other person (parents and children already have a special place in inheritance tax law).

  • Marshall Gill||

    C'mon Jesse.

    In your examples above, you suppose that because someone isn't "married" that they do not have a close personal relationship with another person or that all people who have close personal relationships should/must get "married".

    A "spouse" has more intimate knowledge of one's day to day business than a long time, live in relationship? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly not simply because of a "marriage certificate" or ceremony.

    Most of your other examples are about "family" which almost all single people also have.

  • Marshall Gill||

    When I say "single" I should probably say "not married". Just because you are not married does not mean you are not in a committed relationship.

  • ||

    Marriage is a means to make someone not part of your immediate family into someone who is part of your immediate family. A week or two ago someone living in a straights-only marriage state adopted his partner* for inheritance purposes. Most of those things are about relation to family, but again straight couples can legally make their partners "family" but gay couples did not have that recourse.

    I agree that a live-in relationship has that kind of personal access, but a straight live-in relationship has the opportunity to get hitched if they need access to those protections from the government. I don't think they should have to, but they can. My argument is that marriage doesn't confer protections to a single person where single person meant individual, not unmarried but in a significant relationship. I'm sorry for the confusion.

    *This structure was used during certain periods of Roman history in what John Boswell referred to as lateral adoptions.

  • Marshall Gill||

    But the necessity for individuals to be "family", of any kind, is discrimination against individuals.

    There is no difference between my wanting to hire an immigrant to work and your wanting to marry them, except personal choice. The same with inheritances. Granting special immigration or inheritance or tax law to one group, those with personal relationships or "marriages", while denying them to others isn't "fair".

    All of your examples are still made up of individuals. There is no reason that ANY group of individuals deserves special treatment over loners who no one likes.

    The ability for people to "get hitched" for government benefits is the problem, adding a few more who can do it isn't a move in the direction of more Liberty, but more benefits distributed by government fiat.

  • Marshall Gill||

    And I just talked to a friend who is a glaring example.

    He lives with his ex-wife and three sons. He and his ex are not married and do not sleep together. Their finances are, for all intents and purposes, intertwined. He has even asked her to marry him again, but she is unsure. So they are two people, who meet most of the criteria you describe, who do not receive the benefits of marriage because of their personal relationship.

    No single loner who no one loves can leave SS benefits to an heir. This single example, considering the amounts involved, makes the licensing of marriage wrong.

  • ||

    SS is a better example for your point than what we were talking about earlier, but it still comes down to there being shitty governance and marriage being a place where people are able to catch a break from it. Like I've said, I don't think people should have to get married to shield themselves and their families from big government, but I'll take those pockets of reprieve where I can find them.

    Your friend isn't really a glaring example though. They are legally capable of getting married if he were to get arrested for securities fraud, she were about to get deported or one of them ended up with a terminal illness and they wanted to lock in their estate.

  • ||

    The employer/employee relationship is one that's already privileged (although not nearly enough) for immigration purposes.

    All of your examples are still made up of individuals. There is no reason that ANY group of individuals deserves special treatment over loners who no one likes.

    I find this unpersuasive because all of those are relational and don't change how individuals are treated. Individual inheritance doesn't make sense, 5A covers singles just fine, and sponsorship only makes sense when there are two people involved.

    I ultimately agree with you that these things shouldn't be an issue in the first place, but they are, and workarounds for these shitty bits of governance have been in place for straight couples without complaint.

  • ||

    Individual inheritance doesn't make sense

    How so. Do all unmarried people have no assets?

    sponsorship only makes sense when there are two people involved.

    And of course you wanting to bring a person to America for the purposes of fucking should supersede my desire to bring a person to America for, say, friendship?

    You're trying to justify an institution that doesn't exist by appealing to carveouts that shouldn't exist. Weren't you the one say one shitty law doesn't justify another?

  • ||

    *institution that shouldn't exist, not doesn't exist.

  • ||

    Weren't you the one say one shitty law doesn't justify another?

    Not exactly, I said that I don't think marriage should be thrown out because of the non-discrim bathwater. I agree that civic marriage shouldn't be a thing but unfortunately it is, and that's because there needs to be some sort of safety valve on how shitty other areas of our other laws are. Fix those and we don't have to have a discussion about marriage.

  • SugarFree||

    Gay couples should be voting with their money and not lawsuits. What's the point of forcing anyone to serve you? The service is just going to be shitty.

    Business owners have the right to make stupid financial decisions.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I wonder if I could get a libertarian cake ordered at any bakery? If not, can I sue?

  • SugarFree||

    A solid gold cake sounds deliciously deflationary.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Solid gold would be a bit much, but gold flecks in the icing would be nice.

  • SugarFree||

    Monocle-flavored cake.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What someone needs to do is to make a monocle cake. Cake on the outside, with edible glass in the middle.

  • ||

    Monocle-flavored cake.

    That makes no sense. The cake should be child-flavored. Like a libertarian would ever eat an expensive monocle...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Wouldn't that be poisonous? Pretty sure I saw it in an episode of House.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not too many flecks.

  • Zeb||

    You can have a whole lot of flecks of gold leaf before it adds up to any significant amount of gold.

  • John||

    Because when you force someone to serve you, you get the smug satisfaction of watching the government crush them.

    Understand, we passed the CRA because there were large areas of the country where black people couldn't stay in a hotel or go to a decent school. Passing the CRA and making race a protected class came with a lot of costs to our freedom. But that cost was justified because of the harm it was preventing was so bad. You don't have to agree with that. But it is at least a case.

    Here, we are talking about doing the same thing for gays, even though gays are as a group richer and better educated than the average and there are comparatively few places in the whole country who would actually refuse to sell to a gay wedding.

    This isn't about gay marriage or gays at all. It is about using the government to control what is acceptable thought and what isn't.

  • Tony||

    gays are as a group richer and better educated than the average

    Actually this is a myth.

  • ||

    But that cost was justified...

    [citation needed]

    I know you went on to say

    You don't have to agree with that. But it is at least a case.

    But, yeah. It's a shitty case.

  • ||

    Gay couples should be voting with their money and not lawsuits.

    Agreed, it's both morally better and strategically better. It would be particularly fun with saccharine reviews.

    "Lovely florist shop, politely told that they don't do floral arrangements for sodomites. Will not go back."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    *Reason* is like Dr. Frankenstein...beginning to realize that the monster it created isn't all that friendly.

    Or like the guy who dug the Cybermen out of their tomb:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9or2yDvC3Ck

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Hinkle tries to reason with gay-rights advocates:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g59vR0o28iU

  • Cytotoxic||

    Gay marriage isn't a 'monster' and Reason didn't create it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Limits on the rights of private business are monstrous, wouldn't you agree?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Your beef is with anti-discrimination laws, not gay marriage,

  • ||

    Actually, his beef is with gay marriage, which is why he's so intent on conflating the two for a libertarian audience.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I believe I've made broader agruments against SSM, such as the fact that it would allow your same-sex lover to claim parental rights over your child even if they have no parental claim over said child.

    When it comes to the rights of private businesses, I have focused in like a laser because it's a very vulnerable point in the cosmotarian position. Just like the part when they say that a lover with no relation to the child can have a say in that child's upbringing.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Can't step parents in either type of marriage make this claim?

  • cavalier973||

    Christians in the wedding industry, rather than rejecting the business, should rather agree to take all the same-sex marriage business they can get--advertise specifically for it, even. They should view it as an opportunity to share the Gospel.

  • Duke||

    I think many of the angry gays know the gospel of Jesus Christ but reject it. Why should the cake bakers "throw their pearls before swine,” so to speak?

  • cavalier973||

    Because Christians aren't aware that one has rejected the Gospel until one actually does so.

  • Duke||

    I’m not following you I guess. I haven’t met a gay person yet who hasn’t heard of Jesus or didn’t go to church at least once. Jesus said go out and preach the gospel, but to those who reject it, turn around, shake the dust off your feet and walk away. My point is simply this: if you’re a believer like I am, why keep pressing Jesus in someone’s face who clearly won’t believe but who may turn around and tear you to shreds? Just look at the civil rights lawsuit for man not baking cake for gay couple’s wedding due to religious beliefs. That was really the only point I was trying to make.

  • cavalier973||

    It is teeth-gnashingly upsetting that such a lawsuit is pursued, but it is the world we live in, and we should view difficult situations as opportunities rather than problems.

    My views on homosexuality changed significantly after listening to Sy Rogers.

  • buddhastalin||

    Gay marriage is about equality before the law. Whether private businesses must accommodate everyone in every way is a separate matter. Yes, there are those who are pro-gay marriage who will also take the stance bakeries must serve people they don't want to serve. But just because those people conflate the issues does not mean that you should too to the detriment of equality before the law.

  • R C Dean||

    Outside of tax law, there is really nothing in marriage that can't be duplicated via private contract, enforceable in court without regard to gender. IOW, the only real inequality before the law was tax law.

    So, no, gay marriage was never about equality before the law. It was about acceptance, validation, celebration, all that stuff that used to be the province of civil society before the inexorable rise of the Total State.

    Now that we have on the books that acceptance, validation, and celebration of gay marriage is mandatory, there should be no shock that the mandate is being extended to everyone, not just the state licensing office.

    And anyone who didn't think that was the plan all along is a fool.

  • Tony||

    Whatever straights get, that's what gays should get, nothing more or less. We can avoid increasing the scope of antidiscrimination laws if people would do their part and not be bigots.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fuck you. It's not in your place or anyone's place to make sure I 'do my part'.

  • Tony||

    Well then to the extent that you contribute to a discriminatory environment, set aside a little blame for yourself when government steps in to fix that environment, and wonder why you couldn't just have grown up and been a big boy and realized that gays are people too.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'm fine with gays, so again fuck you.

  • Duke||

    Whatever straights get, that's what gays should get, nothing more or less. We can avoid increasing the scope of antidiscrimination laws if people would do their part and not be bigots.

    So the gays should get deer rifles and 4-wheel drive trucks? That’s what this straight gets.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think anyone is proposing forbidding gays from having those things.

  • cavalier973||

    Straight couples get the ability to have children with each other. We should do something to correct the inequality in couples' child-bearing capacity.

  • Zeb||

    Straight couples get the ability to have children with each other

    Not all of them do. I see no real difference (at least none that the law ought to recognize) between a gay couple and an infertile straight couple.

  • cavalier973||

    Even infertile couples can engage in the procreative act. Same-sex couples really only engage in mutual masturbation sessions.

  • Zeb||

    I really don't see how that is relevant. There is no law requiring straight married couples to have sex in a certain way. And if they use birth control, it is just as much a masturbation session as any gay sex.

  • cavalier973||

    A straight couple has an ability that same-sex couples don't--the ability to engage in procreative sex. This unjust inequality should be remedied by the FedGov.

  • cavalier973||

    Per Tony: "Whatever straights get, that's what gays should get, nothing more or less."

  • cavalier973||

    I suppose one could argue that a man with homosexual orientation could cover his eyes and engage in procreative sex with a woman, but that's not the same as giving same-sex couples "whatever straights get."

  • ||

    So the elderly, sterilized and infertile should not be allowed to marry. Gotcha.

    Funny that some states require sterilization to allow certain types of marriages (cousin).

  • cavalier973||

    Did I say that? That's a different argument. Tony says that same-sex couples should get everything that straight couples get. Same-sex couples don't get procreative sex (with each other). I argue for a rememdy to this tragic situation.

  • cavalier973||

    *remedy

    There should also be a remedy for the deplorable situation of not having an edit button.

  • ||

    I was responding to "Even infertile couples can engage in the procreative act. Same-sex couples really only engage in mutual masturbation sessions." not the bit where you were sniping at Tony.

    It's just a weak point to hold the line at with all of the infertile straight couples who get married without a problem, or without society questioning the validity of those relationships.

  • cavalier973||

    I really don't care if a same-sex couple wants to have a ceremony and put themselves out as married. I don't even care if they want the right to grovel before some state bureaucrat to have their relationship validated for them.

    "Marriage", though, has a particular definition that excludes all but heterosexual unions. I don't exlude, the definition itself does. Just as the definition of "apple pie" exludes pies made with fruits other than apples (or, alternatively, other kinds of apple-based pastries, like cobblers). It's not a judgement on the worthiness of other types of pie (I speak metaphorically of relationships, of course), it's just that's what the definition of "apple pie" is.

  • ||

    Isn't that just tautology? Marriage is defined as one-man, one-woman because that's how it's defined?

    Or is it an appeal to authority? God says marriage is between one man and one (or many depending on his mood) women.

  • cavalier973||

    All definitions are tautologies, I suppose.

  • Cytotoxic||

    And anyone who didn't think that was the plan all along is a fool.

    Did you hit a stupid tree while you were away? Do you actually see conspiracies?

    And I love how you sweep equality under tax law aside as if it were no big deal.

  • R C Dean||

    Using inequality under the tax law is a nice bootstrapping move, but its part and parcel of the usual "government is broken, so we need more government" schtick that I find unpersuasive.

    Whatever straights get, that's what gays should get, nothing more or less.

    And my point was that, aside from the tax laws (which burden and benefit marriage, depending), there is pretty much nothing legal in marriage that straights could get that gays couldn't duplicate without marriage.

  • buddhastalin||

    As it stands, straights can get married under the law everywhere and gays cannot. That is inequality before the law. Gay marriage laws eliminate that disparity.

    The fact that you can duplicate certain features of by contract is irrelevant. In any case, there are many rights and privileges that you simply cannot establish by contract, such as those pertaining to evidence in court, next-of-kin status and immigration sponsorship.

  • ||

    Outside of tax law, there is really nothing in marriage that can't be duplicated via private contract, enforceable in court without regard to gender.

    I was unaware that you could contractually exempt yourself from testifying when subpoenaed. I will file that away in my handy-dandy book of facts.

  • R C Dean||

    Fair point, although the law on spousal privilege is a bit of a mish-mash. Generally, spousal privilege doesn't apply in criminal proceedings, and unlike "real" privileges, it can be invoked only by the person being asked to testify, not by the other person in the "privileged" relationship.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Outside of tax law, there is really nothing in marriage that can't be duplicated via private contract, enforceable in court without regard to gender.

    That's a mighty important exception considering how high and heavy handed taxes are. I'm also not sure you're correct, I'm thinking of things that were brought up at oral argument that could not be duplicated by private contract law (like having spouses buried in military cemeteries of adoption preferences).

  • Zeb||

    So, no, gay marriage was never about equality before the law.

    That is rather broad and overgeneralizing. Gay marriage is about different things to different people.

    And while tax law may be the only real equality issue, it is a very big one. It's the only reason I'm legally married.

  • Tony||

    But it will cease being absurd to suggest that requests for tolerance are actually demands for approval – and that those who claim to celebrate diversity actually insist upon ideological uniformity.

    Damn straight. Acceptance of LGBT people as full human beings with full rights of citizenship is nonnegotiable. Bigotry is not a species of diversity worth tolerating for its potential value to society. And yes the worst fears of opponents of marriage equality are true: we do want social attitudes to change. The horror!

    There is a difference between tolerating people because how they happened to be born and tolerating all viewpoints, no matter how revolting. That straight white Christian males constantly confuse this matter is funny and pathetic.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tolerance means being intolerant of people with incorrect thoughts. The more intolerant you are of people with incorrect thoughts, the more tolerant really you are. In a truly tolerant world, truly tolerant people would be free to kill subhumans with incorrect thoughts.

  • Tony||

    Tolerance doesn't mean accepting all viewpoints as valid, and never has. It should be the policy of our country that gays are full and equal citizens, and people who disagree should not get their way.

    Straight white male Christian grievance is fun and all, but it does get tiresome.

  • Calidissident||

    "It should be the policy of our country that gays are full and equal citizens, and people who disagree should not get their way."

    There's a difference between saying gays are full and equal citizens, and requiring that other people serve or associate with them.

  • Tony||

    To the extent that participating in one's society and commerce is part of being a full and equal citizen, public policy maybe should address it. That's the justification for antidiscrimination laws with respect to race. Black people were essentially left out of participating in their society. That's not full and equal citizenship. I would agree that the best option is to not need such laws because society has become sufficiently tolerant.

  • Cytotoxic||

    To the extent that participating in one's society and commerce is part of being a full and equal citizen, public policy maybe should address it

    And that degree is 0.

  • Tony||

    Then you don't get to blame minorities for their relative lack of wealth. If you can't participate equally in commerce, then the market is working against you. So you don't get to endorse a free market as something that's fair either.

  • cavalier973||

    Then you don't get to blame minorities for their relative lack of wealth. If you can't participate equally in commerce, then the market is working against you. So you don't get to endorse a free market as something that's fair either.

    According to Dr. Sowell, the African-American community's greatest gains economically occurred in the 1940's and 1950's--before the Civil Rights movement succeeded legislatively.

    The poverty rate among blacks was nearly cut in half in the 20 years prior to the 1960s, a record unmatched since then, despite the expansion of welfare state policies in the 1960s.

    Unemployment among black 16 and 17-year-old males was 12 percent back in 1950. Yet unemployment rates among black 16 and 17-year-old males has not been less than 30 percent for any year since 1970 -- and has been over 40 percent in some of those years.
  • Calidissident||

    Everyone has a right to participate in commerce. They don't have a right to compel others to participate in it with them.

    "Black people were essentially left out of participating in their society."

    Yeah, that obviously had nothing to do with segregation laws, many of which mandated segregation by private businesses

  • Zeb||

    Tony seems to be forgetting that before the CRA passed, businesses were legally forbidden to serve blacks and whites in the same facilities. I think it would have been wiser to first eliminate the laws mandating discrimination and see if things improve on their own. If after a few years without Jim Crow blacks were still excluded from society to a great extent, then maybe talk about laws banning private discrimination.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes, I understand that tolerance is about being intolerant. The more intolerant you are, the more tolerant you are. Isn't murder the ultimate expression of intolerance? Thus it is the ultimate expression of tolerance as well.

  • Overt||

    "Acceptance of LGBT people as full human beings with full rights of citizenship is nonnegotiable"

    So do you believe that Full Rights of Citizenship now includes cakes from any shop you desire?

    "we do want social attitudes to change."

    This, is too passive. You want to FORCE people to change their attitudes. Be honest.

  • Tony||

    I don't really think it's possible to force people to change their attitudes, but you're still operating with the premise that being a homophobe is an attitude that's possibly worth something to society. One of the truly unsullied good things the US has brought to the world is its civil rights legislation and jurisprudence and the accompanying changes in attitude (which may simply be generational). I think we've long ago rejected the argument that it might be good to be a bigot. Just because someone's bigotry is only a metaphorical slap in the face doesn't mean it's not the infliction of a harm.

  • Calidissident||

    Someone doesn't have to think homophobia is worth anything "to society" to think that homophobes shouldn't be required to associate with gays.

  • Tony||

    By associate with you mean engage in commerce with--hiring or selling to. Not like, "here's your new government mandated gay best friend." Simple principle really: to the extent that gay people's economic situation as a group is harmed by discrimination in society, there is arguably a role for public policy, just as was the case for black people and very necessarily so.

  • Calidissident||

    "By associate with you mean engage in commerce with--hiring or selling to."

    Yes.

    Here's the thing - let's take the example of the wedding cake situation - if the guy who sells wedding cakes never opened his business in the first place, would that be harming the gay couple? So how does opening a business, but refusing to serve gay couples, harm them any more than not opening a business in the first place. And was this really the only place they could get a wedding cake?

  • Tony||

    I only advocate for an anti-discrimination law if the discrimination is pervasive enough to meaningfully affect the minority class's ability to participate in society. Because it definitely is a trade-off on freedoms. Of course I don't believe the freedom to be a bigot and discriminate as a part of property rights is necessarily as important as the freedom to participate in your own society.

  • Edwin||

    Yeah, but not getting cake-making or photography services will hardly ever keep a minority (like gays) down. Maybe the laws could be changed only to prevent discrimination in important things, like housing, and maybe places of public accomodation (like restaurant - and I'd only want the second one so that everyone gets the message that they HAVE TO tolerate certain people in society, because there's always some minority of the majority who will become violent in trying to oppress whatever group of people)

  • ||

    Maybe the laws could be changed only to prevent discrimination in important things, like housing, and maybe places of public accomodation

    Yeah, maybe we could just have a little bit of thought-policing totalitarian government. Maybe just the tip. Just once. Just to see how it feels.

  • ||

    ...to the extent that gay people's economic situation as a group is harmed by discrimination in society, there is arguably a role for public policy

    Fuck. Off. Slaver.

    Individuals don't exist to advance the economic interests of some abstract group of other individuals - whether the group is determined by race, sexuality, height, weight, or any other arbitrary factor. Freedom of association entails freedom of non-association. You don't have a civil right to my commerce.

    In the marketplace these things tend to work out pretty great anyway - fabulous, you might say! Like gay bars that straight people don't go to, skinhead bars that black people don't go to, biker bars that sane people don't go to, etc etc. Forcing people to engage in commerce with each other is not only completely immoral, but practically retarded. And this is a particularly bad example, since you would have nearly have to go out of your way to track down a florist, cake maker or event planner that ISN'T gay.

  • Tony||

    In the marketplace these things tend to work out pretty great anyway - fabulous, you might say!

    Except when it doesn't, and entire races are barred from participating in their society, perhaps with a concession that they get their own bathrooms and drinking fountains. You can't just claim the world is just fine, I win.

    So societies are nonexistent but markets are not only not mere collections of (flawed, oftentimes corrupt and horrible) individuals, but is a thing that exists apart from people and on top of that has the magical ability to solve endemic social problems?

  • Overt||

    "but you're still operating with the premise that being a homophobe is an attitude that's possibly worth something to society"

    No, YOU are operating with the premise that maximizing someones "worth" to "society" is justification for coercion.

    Do you spend every day obsessed with how you are improving society? Every drink you eschew? Every luxury like computers, tvs, or fancy shirt that you decline to buy?

    Consider the next time you are engaged in an activity without "worth" to society whether or not you should be justifying the majority having the option to prohibit it from you.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Tony, if your goal is to eventually lessen anti-gay animus do you really think forcing little old Bible reading ladies to make cakes for gay weddings is going to promote that goal rather than hinder it?

  • Homple||

    The goal is to rub the noses of little old ladies who bake cakes and read the bible in a pile of gay triumphalism.

    The love that dared not speak its name now won't shut up, yammering on with a most astounding combination of whining and bullying.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't think that is the goal with most gay rights advocates. I think the goal is what they say, to promote the acceptance of gays. That's why I think this kind of thing should make them think the other way, I don't think it's going to change anyone's minds except to make gay rights look like bullies.

  • Tony||

    "Why won't the gays just shut up and go away so I can pretend the world is 1960 again!," he said in a high-pitched whine combined with feet-stomping.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Just because someone's bigotry is only a metaphorical slap in the face doesn't mean it's not the infliction of a harm.

    Poor Tony. Sticks and stones can break his bones but WORDS really, really hurt him. If I ever become so pathetic will someone please kill me?

  • Tony||

    The last thing I ever expect from a libertarian is a capacity for empathy. But I wonder if you might try thinking about what it's like to be a member of a race or sexual orientation that is automatically treated as suspicious by most of society on a daily basis.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I hope gays are made of sterner stuff than fags like you are.

  • Tony||

    I'm fine, I'm just worried about the 40% of homeless youth who are LGBT, that factor contributing directly to their situation. They are victims of culture and are at the absolute bottom rung of the economy only because of how they were born. I suppose the libertarian solution is suggesting something about bootstraps.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'd suggest a citation actually.

  • ||

    LGBT rates of youth homelessness are more a product of dysfunctional families than anything. I'm not really sure how any of the legal force being used has any effect on that situation, and gay triumphalism in the culture wars only serves to cause the opposition to dig in their heels. There is such a thing as being a sore winner and it's an ugly thing.

  • Marshall Gill||

    I'm just worried about the 40% of homeless youth who are LGBT,

    Then by all means, I urge you to take personal action.

    Oh, you meant that you wanted to force others into personal action.

  • Tony||

    Then you don't get to argue that the market is free or fair or that people's inability to succeed in it is entirely their fault.

    This is especially a stark reality when it comes to children, who have few choices in life.

  • ||

    Then you don't get to argue that the market is free or fair

    Kill him Tony! Kill that strawman!

    or that people's inability to succeed in it is entirely their fault.

    Come on now! You've almost got him! A couple more solid blows ought to do it!

  • Tony||

    So you don't believe the market is free or fair? So why shouldn't it be regulated? And if people's success or failure is partly the result of luck, isn't there an argument to be made for a safety net? Or are you advocating social Darwinism and not some fantasy about the market being the best force for good?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So... we need to use the force of government against wedding cake bakers... for the children?

  • buddhastalin||

    Libertarians of course can be empathetic. We just have an aversion towards coerced empathy, which is not genuine and only engenders bitterness and resentment.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well said.

  • Tony||

    I don't buy it. You're not consistent on coercion, because you're not anarchists. You sure as hell want me coerced to stay off your property and you want coerced tax money to pay for it.

    As with the horrifically hypocritical Farm Bill/Snap episode with Republicans, coercion seems to only be disfavored when it's helping out the poor and vulnerable, but is perfectly OK when it's helping out the winners.

  • JosephA||

    That coercion is protection of individual freedoms. We unite in society to protect ourselves. By ensuring the protection of others, we protect ourselves. Anarchy doesn't work; people must be protected from becoming non-consenting victims. Why? Because if you do not coerce people to leave each other alone, you end up in a coercive society, perhaps even with slavery. It is the one restraint needed to make maximum liberty HOLD.

  • Tony||

    In other words all your premises are stupid and wrong?

  • JosephA||

    You said yourself that we're not anarchists, so no - the premises are consistent. Maximum freedom through minimum legislation, allowing only just enough to protect individuals from harm. Simple.

  • ||

    You sure as hell want me coerced to stay off your property and you want coerced tax money to pay for it.

    Forcing me not to use force to violate your rights is coercions! HURRRR DURRRR

    You have to give it to him, he never tires.

  • ||

    I wonder if you might try thinking about what it's like to be a member of a race or sexual orientation that is automatically treated as suspicious by most of society on a daily basis.

    Considering libertarian ideology is an official terrorism profile... Not sure you're on great grounds there.

    And anyway, gee, yeah, I couldn't possibly imagine what having other people not like or accept you must be like. Nobody but gays ever experiences that 50 billion times before they graduate grade school.

  • Tony||

    "Considering libertarian ideology is an official terrorism profile..."

    Hahaha. In other words you have no clue. Getting swirlied in high school is not the same as living in a culture that treats you as a potential target of real violence at all times because of how you were born.

  • lap83||

    I fully believe that most of the actual participants in gay marriage just want to be left alone. The problem is (and always has been) the crusaders fighting for some idea of a victim. It's like the ideal customer profile that marketers use (Janet the soccer mom) except with a laundry list of political grievances. (Tony the homeless gay prostitute who can't get a regular job or home because of discrimination)

  • JosephA||

    They always exist. We have our equivalent of race-baiters in this community. Doesn't change the necessity of equality, but we need to get tougher on the rights of individuals in a general sense.

  • Edwin||

    Yeah, SHOULD not lead to more government control. But we all know how that works out

  • Bert Loftman||

    The government should treat people as individuals, not pairs and groups.
    Marriage should be about church and legal contracts.

  • JosephA||

    Nothing having to do with church should be present in said legal contracts.

  • ||

    Why not? You can set up Sharia-compliant loans that way.

  • JosephA||

    the same goes for Sharia.

  • John P.||

    If you live in a state that has anti-discrimination laws, and sexual orientation is a protected category, then you have to make the cake for homosexuals. It's just like saying, I don't serve African Americans, well, guess what, that's not going to fly either.

    For good or ill, we're well past the stage where people can discriminate based on a protected category when it comes to a private contract.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, we are well past the of freedom of association being a dead letter.

  • Edwin||

    This is what Tony sounds like

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JElywbkSbY

  • JosephA||

    So since I'm LGBT, here's my two cents.

    What this boils down to is the same problem that plagues the black community: those friendly liberals. Just like the people who oppose you, the friendly liberals want a socially coerced ideology; it just so happens that THIS ideology favors you. You are the victim, the one being discriminated against, therefore it is okay to apply the same strong-armed tactics as you turn the tables right around. How very satisfying.

    In this way, liberals manage to suck minority groups in, champion their rights, and then go right back to their fascist policies without even CONSIDERING any broader concept of personal liberty. Forget removing government from marriage. Forget letting the market purge itself of bigotry on its own (it will.) Forget those polygamists or non-reproducing incestuous couples - they're still creeps, after all. As long as people like Obama get to ride up on their white horses and save the minorities, who needs a rigid foundation to our laws and practices as a nation?

  • JosephA||

    Something else: stupid actions don't change the necessity of fairness and equality under the law.

  • ||

    It was a great day when the Supreme Court... threw out a California case that could have undermined gay marriage in the Golden State.

    Yeah, it was awesome! Now any popular referendum can be pocket vetoed by the state government simply by failing to appear so long as they can find a claimant to challenge the law in court. Because who needs those pesky proles passing laws over the objection of their political leaders? FREEDOM!

  • JosephA||

    To allow people to vote on the rights of others in matters which do not concern them seems to be rather antithetical to the libertarian live-and-let-live philosophy. Of course, so is the government handing out special rights to people just for marrying.

  • Tony||

    So 50%+1 should be able to determine my civil rights?

  • c5c5||

    All marriages "pick my pocket" in that there are over 1100 marriage only benefits given. So long as any type of government privilege comes with marriage, all government sanctioned marriage, both gay and straight, should be abolished.

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