googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: What about my rights?

Friday, June 26, 2015

What about my rights?

There isn't a law that says gay people can't marry. It's just that there hasn't been a law compelling everyone else to recognize a gay marriage.... until now.

You've probably already heard that the Supreme Court has just ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide. But I say again, whoever said they didn't have the right to marry? I don't know every law on the books in every state but I do know that most laws against sodomy were overturned years ago. There is no law, to my knowledge, that says same sex people can't marry. I'm sure they can find a pastor, have a ceremony, exchange vows, and live together happily ever after without fear of anyone from law enforcement knocking on their door and hauling them off to jail for it. Gay marriage isn't “illegal.”

Alas, gay couples weren't content with just having the right to marry. They also wanted everyone else to recognize their marriage as being legitimate. This ruling, then, doesn't free gays from some imagined shackles and finally allow them to marry. They already had that. Instead, it places shackles on me and forces me to acknowledge gay marriage as being normal. The ruling doesn't affect the 1-3% of people who are gay; it places a burden on the 97% plus of us who aren't.

So let's say I owned a piece of property and, because of my religious convictions, I did not want to rent it out to a gay couple? Then it's too bad for me. What if I, as a Christian business owner, did not want to spend money buying benefits for the gay spouse of my employee? Again, too bad for me. If I owned a catering company that doesn't want to cater a gay wedding, the gay couple is free to find someone who will. But that's not enough for them. They want to sue me. They want to use the law to force me to violate my religious convictions.

My right to exercise my religion is pushed to the back of the bus whenever a gay person wants to sit down. There wasn't a law against gay marriage but now there's a law that can close my business, take my property, and maybe put me in jail for standing by my religious beliefs. I've said it before and I'll say it again: liberals are tyrants!

When Jesus was asked about marriage, He said:

Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female... For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (Matthew 19:4-5)

God created marriage and He defined it as one man and one woman. I don't care what the Supreme Court says. I don't care what the gay community says. All the gay “couples” out there, listen to me very carefully: You're not married!!

So there! Sue me!


Steven J. said...

First, let me note that I agree in this case with Chief Justice Roberts, who noted that those who celebrate this decision should at least refrain from celebrating the Constitution, since that document had nothing to do with this outcome.

Second, surely you're wrong to say that no one had said that homosexuals were forbidden to marry. To the best of my knowledge, there were a week ago several state laws that did exactly that. Beyond that, there was the custom, from time immemorial, of regarding marriage as something a man did with a woman, so that implicitly it was not something a man did with a man or a woman with a woman. If there had been no impediment to same-sex marriage, there would have been no adjudicable issue for the Court to decide, rightly or wrongly.

This goes beyond the ability to say "we're married" even if there is no marriage certificate or legal recognition for such a marriage; I read recently that it had to do in part with spouses being eligible to inherit rent-controlled apartments but merely shacked-up partners being ineligible. Probably there are similar instances where spouses enjoy superior rights and benefits under the law to those of mere "partners" or lovers.

A side note: I see a significant disanalogy between laws against same-sex marriage and laws against interracial marriage. Every law against interracial marriage (from laws in sixth-century Italy against Goths marrying Italians, to laws in 17th century Virginia against free (white) people marrying enslaved (black) people, arose at a particular time and place in order to preserve sharp lines between a ruling class and a subservient class, to prevent the birth of people who blurred those lines. They were exceptions to the general rule that any man eligible to marry could take any woman eligible to marry as his wife. This does not seem to be the case for the traditional non-recognition of same-sex marriage, or even really for modern laws against it.

Now, my own preference (rare these days) is for property rights and freedom of association to apply indifferently to both sides of a business transaction. If I don't wish to buy or rent from you because you're a Christian, or white, or straight, or whatever, that is my right and no civil rights commission can force me to do business with you. But if you, as a Christian, don't wish to sell or rent to me, that ought to be -- and frequently isn't, these days -- equally you're right. The freedom to engage in commerce or not ought to be equally available to both sides. But that position hasn't been popular since Barry Goldwater was arguing for it, and lost. I suppose I favor, as a crude stop-gap, the sort of religious-freedom acts recently passed and excoriated in Indiana. Whether you can get them or not is another matter.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

You said, “Second, surely you're wrong to say that no one had said that homosexuals were forbidden to marry.”

That's precisely what I mean to say. A gay couple can have a ceremony and call themselves married. It's not “illegal” the way bigamy is illegal. A bigamist risks criminal prosecution but not so with gay couples who “marry.”

You said, “This goes beyond the ability to say "we're married" even if there is no marriage certificate or legal recognition for such a marriage.”

That is point of my post – the Supreme Court decision doesn't suddenly allow gays to marry. It suddenly forces everyone else to recognize gay marriage. Gays could already say they were married, buy a home together, live together, open joint checking accounts, and engage in nearly every domestic activity that straight, married couples share. The only difference was that I (or any other person) didn't have to acknowledge them as really being married. The decision didn't affect them – it affected me.

As to your points about property rights, I believe that outside of our religions and views on origins, you and I probably agree on many things. Or maybe I speak presumptuously. I believe, for example, we should completely do away with all types of discrimination laws. Freedom should work both ways. A coffee shop may have a sign saying they serve black coffee but not black people but I won't visit there and neither would most people. Let the free market decide. I doubt there are enough Klansman to keep a business like that open.

Thanks for your comments. God bless!!


Emily Gurupira said...

It is surely time for a Holy God to arise and prove Who He is.