This is it. The month in which the Supreme Court of the United States will hear cases on two laws concerning gay marriage: Proposition 8 from California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
And, in a move that surprises few, President Obama has finally come out full force for marriage rights for homosexual people. The Department of Justice has filed a brief with the Supreme Court which argues that people have the right to marry whoever they want, even if that person is the same gender as them.
I applaud President Obama’s decision. I suppose that it doesn’t matter that he didn’t care enough to take a stand for LGBT rights when he was in his first term or that he used LGBT rights to pursue his own political ends before the election. I suppose that it doesn’t matter that the constitutional argument for gay marriage has been staring him in the face since he started—staring us all in the face for decades. What matters is that he’s doing the right thing. It’s been a long time coming.
The obviousness of gay marriage is something that libertarians picked up, oh, about 40 years ago.
Despite how many libertarians you hear screaming about how we shouldn’t be worrying about gay marriage and instead be focusing on getting the government out of marriage (which is completely beside the point), acceptance of different lifestyles and marriage of people of the same gender has been in the Libertarian Party since its founding in 1972. Don’t believe me? Have a look:
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
Right from the party founding, Libertarians took a stand for the equal rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation. It didn’t matter whether it was politically opportune, whether they were going to gain face with our public, or whether it would get them elected to another term. Libertarians took the stand because it was right.
Either way, the Obama administration’s move is cause for celebration. I can put aside my bitterness (no really, I promise!). I am truly happy that those in power are finally starting to pay attention to the deprivation of rights of LGBT people. I can only hope that the obviousness of the constitutionality of gay marriage will not escape the SCOTUS and we can get this whole mess settled.
Government shouldn’t be able to tell people what to do with their lives, and if it violates that, then laws must apply equally to all people. Freedom to choose, and, if not that, then equality under the law. It’s not that hard.
Welcome to the 21st century, Obama administration. Libertarians have been waiting for you.