On Tuesday the New York Times posted a list of prominent Republicans who had signed a legal brief supporting gay marriage.
Just a quick heads up, GOP: you’re doing it wrong. How you personally feel about gay marriage is irrelevant. Whether you whole-heartedly support it, wish to participate in it yourself, or think it could be the downfall of American society is – believe it or not – completely irrelevant.
Why? Because you claim to be conservative. You say you support smaller government. You claim that the inalienable rights enumerated in the Constitution were given by God, not government, and that the Bill of Rights exists pretty much for the sole purpose of keeping the federal government off your lawn.
How exactly does this apply? Simple.
It’s not in the federal government’s job description to define marriage. The minute we allow them to define it, we give them the power to regulate it. And giving them any increase in power or size flies in the face of conservative principles.
But here’s the real controversy:
There is no such thing as gay rights vs. heterosexual rights. In a constitutional republic there are only citizens’ rights. And the reality is that your rights in the United States as they stand today, whether you are gay or straight, are the same.
As a heterosexual woman, I did not have the unfettered right to marry anyone I wanted. I had to find someone who was not a close blood relative, who was over a certain age, who was not married to someone else, and who was male. Yes, just like every lesbian in America, I was barred from marrying another woman. The fact that I did not WANT to marry another woman is completely irrelevant, as it has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on what my rights are.
So here’s your problem in a nutshell, GOP: if some of you push for legislating gay marriage into being, you’ll lose half of your base. If some of you push for legislating gay marriage out of being, you’ll lose half your base. So maybe you should do the conservative thing and push to get legislation out of marriage entirely. It’s the only position actually supported by the Constitution you claim to be representing.