Monday, April 29, 2013

It's time for some daylight between Libertarians and the Gay Rights movement

Why are libertarians trying to force their will on other people when it comes to gay marriage?

It's not intentional (at least, I don't THINK it is), but the problem is this fight has become about forcing people to say the M-word.

Take prop 8 as a prominent example, It was one line of legislation. Yes, one. It read, in its entirety;

"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Nothing about nullifying civil unions, blocking adoptions, or rounding up gays into internment camps. Just the M word.

"But wait!" I've heard many times, "A civil union isn't the same as a marriage!" Actually, it is. In the state of California, civil unions have the same protections and privileges as a marriage.

Prop 8 was literally only about the M-word.

And in that paltry petition, it failed. It lost because the supposedly liberal people of California didn't want it.

Sorry, it wasn't because ZOMG TEH MORMENZ, or because the Pope pooped in the woods. It was because the people of California, when asked, said "No."

Now we get to libertarian crazy town.

Because at this point, libertarians started arguing that the government should overrule the people's decision and force them to use the M-word in describing the union of two people of the same sex.

"Don't be ridiculous!" Larry "The Big L" Libertarian says, "You act as if gangs of gays are beating up religious people until they say the m-word! No one is being put upon by this legislation!"

If that's the case then why do they keep voting it down? Over and over and over again, in state after state after state?

"Because they're bigots and hate gays!"

Supposing you're right, do libertarians advocate forcing people to agree with us? Do Libertarians demand uniformity of thought? Or is that only for beliefs that you believe are dumb?

Technically the real issue here is that the vote keeps going to the people, and the people have spoken, just not the way libertarians apparently wanted. So libertarians are arguing that people should change to suit the will of others.

Does that seem libertarian to you?

"People's religious beliefs don't trump personal freedom. Majority opinion should be overruled when it comes to personal rights."

I'm glad you brought up rights, Strawman o' mine, because the people who voted "no" were freely exercising their religious beliefs. That's actually inside the 1st amendment. Which amendment is the right to have the fedgov anoint your marriage?

"But the majority shouldn't impose its will on a minority, no matter the reason. America is a republic to defend the rights of minority. The state should overrule them!"

From a perspective of federalism, yes, the state should be able to do whatever it likes, and actually, it can.

California could try to pass it legislatively, but they go to the people because they know gay marriage is unpopular, and they like getting reelected.

"Then the supreme court should tell the states and the people what to do!"

This is where the libertarian support of gay marriage seems to go full retard.

Since when do Libertarians run to the supreme court, and ask them to force a state whose people agreed on a course of action, to overrule the state and its people?

While we're talking about the supreme court, I'd like to remind us all that nine people in robes didn't give us our right to keep and bear arms, so they can't take it away.

I celebrated the Heller decision like everyone else, but only because it extended Claire Wolfe's awkward phase. It was not a magic bullet, nor was it validation. If I elect myself ruler of your life, and magnanimously deign that you may go about your business, would you feel relief at my benevolence? Or would you just chuckle?

"Alright, fine, lets be honest... We all know this is more about getting the government out of marriage than it is about gay marriage."

This is the crux of my concern. Two groups joined up to fight for the same ground with different destinations in mind. Once that ground is gained, libertarians will lose.

The fight has become over the top and, dare I say, flamboyant. A win on this ground is a loss for libertarians who hitched their wagon to this fight and are destined to suffer from its failure.

Yes, failure. This is not a popular fight. Gay marriage has been deeply unpopular even in deeply liberal states. Many failed pieces of legislation have proven that.

Libertarians shouldn't be running to the supreme court for justice. We should be appealing to the people with common-sense and rational arguments.

So raise your hand if you think there's been an abundance of common sense and rationality in this debate.

Bueller? ... Bueller? ... Bueller?

"The ends justify the means. Getting the fedgov out of marriage would be a huge win, no matter how we get there!"

Ok, lets imagine victory. Say the fedgov threw up its hands and said, "FINE! GO BE GAY IF YOU WANT! I DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE!" and got itself out of the marriage business. Say it deferred to the states, accepting any state marriage certificate as a union with the same protections.

Do you think this fight would be over?

Of course not! There'd be gay riots in the streets! How DARE the fedgov not FORCE every state to allow gay marriage! It's about rights! Except... which right would being infringed upon at this point? The right to force other people to say a word? The right to force people to vote against their religious beliefs? Then, when libertarians celebrated it as a victory, gay activists would turn on them for not sharing their goal.

Libertarians need to acknowledge that we don't share the same goal with the gay rights movement.

There is no victory here.

Either gay marriage wins, and libertarians become a group that opposes religion and forces their will on others, or gay marriage loses, and libertarians lose the momentum they've built getting the feds out of our marriages.

"So what do we do then? Give up the partnership? Lose all we've gained?"

Not really. I think we just need a slight course deviation. Not a 180, just, like, five degrees off to one side. We're going in the same direction, but we don't have the same destination (or convoy!)

So when a gay rights advocate fights for legislation to force all 50 states to acknowledge gay marriage, just say,

"Getting the government out of the marriage business is the root of this issue, and where we should be focusing. Because it would empower the individual residents of each state to chart the course of the state, and win the freedom they seek without nine unelected people in robes thousands of miles away telling them what to do."

"You just hate gay marriage."

Actually no, I think gays should be allowed to marry. I don't think the fedgov can provide a service to one taxpayer and deny it to another. However, if it weren't in the fedgov's hands, I'd defer to the states.

"How can you 'defer to the states' when widows of gay service members are being denied benefits!"

Yeah, I keep hearing that, and I think it's wrong and distressing (again, a service to one taxpayer, but not another), but I don't think it's happening enough to warrant all this pressure on the issue. Which begs the question--

What is this fight actually about?

Love is a personal experience, and I never understood what impact a piece of paper stamped or signed by another person could possibly have on it.

There are many gay men in committed, loving relationships right now, living happily, regardless of their union status as applied by the federal government (or lack thereof!).

Look at it from a gun rights perspective. The supreme court doesn't protect my rights. I do. With my rifle, my skill, and my willingness to use it. My freedoms are extremely personal.

If Obama stacked the court with liberals and they all but nullified the second amendment, that wouldn't mean the inalienable rights endowed to me by my creator ceased to exist.

So why would a bureaucrat stamping a form have some effect on your deep, abiding love and personal commitment to your soul mate?

It doesn't make sense, and I ask again; what is this fight REALLY about?

Personally? The only thing that makes sense to me, is that it's about wanting to be normal.

If the feds made a new classification of marriage called "Super Marriage," and only allowed to a select group of couples to apply for that status, I think there'd be plenty of excluded couples clambering just as desperately for the privilege.

But I think the only couples who thought they needed a Super Marriage would be the ones that were in trouble already.

The union of two people who love each other doesn't magically improve when you call it a marriage, or a "civil union with all the protections of a marriage," or a Super Marriage, or a jelly donut.  It is what it is.

And it isn't what it isn't.

If you're not happy with your Honda Civic, forcing all your friends to call it a Lamborghini isn't going to help.

The Bard said, "The lady doth protest too much" and methinks the flamboyant and viciously vocal section of the gay rights movement is getting in our faces so it doesn't have to look in the mirror.

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