“Let all that you do be done in love” – 1 Corinthians 16:14
New Jersey legalized gay marriage yesterday, becoming the 14th state to do so. Some speculate that Chris Christie has endangered his chances at a presidential run in 2016 by angering the establishment Republicans, but to him I say well done.
And so should anyone else who claims to support equality and civil liberties. Because supporting gay marriage has nothing to do with supporting homosexual activity – and everything to do with equality under the law.
Being from Alabama, I can definitively say that there are many conservatives and Republicans who still find homosexual activity to be a sin, an act against nature and God. Many of these people feel that supporting gay marriage will defy their beliefs as both a Christian and a conservative, so they stand as staunch opposition to legislation that will end bigoted restrictions as to who can join their lives under the law.
The people who feel this way are failing to recognize that as conservatives and Christians, they are called and inclined to support freedom of association, equality for all children of God, and the proliferation of love. You can support gay marriage without supporting gay culture; you can stand for equality without defying the beliefs of your church or your ideology.
As a libertarian, I (and those like me) believe that I don’t have to agree with your lifestyle to support your right to live as you choose, so long as you aren’t transgressing on the liberties of other people. This idea — this very beautiful concept — is at the heart of the argument I seek to make today. As noted by A. Barton Hinkle in a Reason article:
“[Theodore] Olson penned a piece for Newsweek explaining his version of “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.” He pointed out that “same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize” – such as commitment, stable families, and “thinking beyond one’s own needs.” Moreover, gay marriage follows from the “bedrock American principle of equality.” If you believe in the values of the Declaration and the Constitution, then you believe in equal rights, and “marriage is one of the most fundamental rights that we have as Americans.””
So while there is a very obvious liberal argument in support of gay marriage — that everyone wins with diversity — there is also a very palpable conservative one. Freedom is good for everyone; end of story. Every individual’s inherent right to choose the life best suited for them trumps any perceptions on which lifestyles should be frowned upon; regardless if those opinions are founded in faith, reason, or metaphysical speculations.