Although radical statists continually refer to same-sex marriages as a civil right and a matter of liberating society from hidebound prejudices, such policies are actually government imposition of a small group’s sexual values on a reluctant and indeed strongly resistant population.
After all, such laws and court rulings would not be necessary if the public already agreed with them, would they? The public would accept such marriages without government forcing them to.
The California Supreme Court’s ruling that the people’s expressed will, shown powerfully in a state referendum opposing government establishment of same-sex marriages, should be overcome by government force is in fact an outrage, an act of gross oppression.
An article I wrote earlier for this publication regarding Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy’s publicly stated opposition to same-sex marriages shows this dynamic in practice:
It’s important to bear in mind that what Dungy is doing is defending a liberal position: he wants the government to refrain from forcing people to acknowledge unions between [same-sex] homosexuals as marriages.
This is the essential point. Where the use of force is proposed is against those who don’t want to have anything to do with [same-sex] homosexual marriage.
The matter at hand is whether the government should force people to accept and acknowledge "marriages" between same-sex individuals.
No one—repeat no one—is making any effort whatever to stop homosexuals from having marriages performed in any kind of ceremony they may choose. That is not at issue.
What people do object to is changes in the law that would force people to acknowledge these unions as marriages.
There is no practical need whatever for such laws. Insurance companies, for example, can allow benefits for such couples if they wish, but the government doesn’t force them to do so. That is exactly as it should be.
The ones who are trying to force these "same-sex marriage" laws on a decidedly unreceptive population are the ones who are against liberty in the matter.
And they should be characterized as the tyrants they are.
In an earlier article, I showd that a truly liberal position on same-sex marriages would refrain from forcing individuals to recognize "marriages" they consider invalid:
Classical liberals would surely deny that there is any "right" to homosexual marriage. Rights are negative, not positive. That is, people have a right to be left alone by the government to do anything that does not harm others.
Applied to homosexual marriage, the argument following from this principle is clear: If homosexuals want to live together and get married in churches, they have an absolute right to do so, unless their way of doing so harms the community in some real and measurable way. But do they have a right to force others to acknowledge their choice? Absolutely not. The government has no right to force insurance companies, churches, schools, neighbors, etc., to acknowledge homosexual couples as marriages.
Why, then, does the government force these institutions to acknowledge heterosexual marriages? The answer is simple: It does not. These institutions acknowledge heterosexual marriages on the basis of historical and cultural preferences developed over centuries. The government didn’t decide this; society did. In pursuit of social order, governments have required institutions to acknowledge marriage in their dealings with married couples (by creating marriage licenses, etc., with force of law), which from a classical liberal perspective makes sense as it did not infringe on individual liberties because people were already agreed that marriage was a valid institution.
Moreover, even homosexuals agreed, and still agree, that marriage is a valid institution, which they confirm by trying to alter it so that their own couples can be included. The key factor is that the government, in acknowledging heterosexual marriage, does not force anything on the society, instead merely enforcing a contract that all or nearly all people accept as valid and sensible.
Homosexual marriage has no such status in society, as evidenced by the fact that it has little support in law nationwide and that nearly all of the moves to legalize it have come from the courts, not the democratic process. Hence, while the government has no call to prevent such marriages from occurring, it also has no valid authority to force individuals and organizations to acknowledge them. . . .
Homosexuals are already free to marry in America, they just aren’t free to force others to acknowledge those marriages. That seems a reasonable position at this time in human history and is most conducive to both liberty and social order.