The Preposterous Premise for Gay Marriage

Frank Turek

11/26/2008 12:01:00 AM - Frank Turek

            After the passage of Prop 8 in California, homosexuals are still howling that they don’t have “equal rights.”  Hopefully, the California Supreme Court will respect the equal rights of voters by affirming Prop 8 because the howls of homosexuals are false.  The truth is every person in America already has equal marriage rights!

            We’re all playing by the same rules—we all have the same right to marry any non-related adult of the opposite sex. Those rules do not deny anyone “equal protection of the laws” because the qualifications to enter a marriage apply equally to everyone—every adult person has the same right to marry.  

            Homosexuals want the court to believe that because of their sexual desires they are a special class of persons that is being discriminated against. In other words, they think that sexual desires guarantee people special legal rights.

            That’s a preposterous premise!  It would mean that men born with a desire for many women (i.e. most men) are having their rights violated because marriage laws provide no means for polygamy.  Likewise, it would mean that people desiring to marry their close relatives don’t have “equal rights” because our marriage laws have no provision for incest. And bisexuals could object because existing marriage laws don’t allow them to marry a man and a woman! 

            If desires alone guarantee someone special rights, why no special rights for pedophiles and gay bashers?  The answer is obvious—because desires, even if you were “born” with them, do not justify behavior, do not make anyone a special class, and should have no impact on our laws (see Born Gay or a Gay Basher: No Excuse). 

            Laws encourage good behavior or prevent bad behavior. Desires are irrelevant.  We enact all kinds of laws that conflict with people’s desires.  In fact, that’s why we need them!  We wouldn’t need any laws if people always desired to do good, which is why James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

            So there should be no legal class of “gay” or “straight,” just a legal class called “person.”  And it doesn’t matter whether persons desire sex with the same or opposite sex, or whether they desire sex with children, parents, or farm animals.  What matters is whether the behavior desired is something the law should prohibit, permit or promote. Those are the only three choices we have when it comes to making law. 

            We already permit homosexuals to pledge themselves to one another “till death do them part.” They can privately commit themselves to one another in every state, and in California domestic partnerships give them all the benefits of marriage. But that’s not enough for homosexual activists. They want homosexuality to be promoted and endorsed by getting the government to call it “marriage.” That way they can get the social approval they want and use the law as a club to beat homosexual values into our school children, businesses, and charities. 

            Sorry, but there is no “right” to have any sexual relationship officially called “marriage” and have it granted benefits by the state.  We have government-backed natural marriage because it benefits the country greatly, especially children, and because we voted for it! 

            Gay complaints of “discrimination” are bogus as well. Marriage laws do not discriminate against persons, they discriminate against behavior. That’s true of most laws. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment discriminates against the behavior of some businessmen who might like to improve their profits through slavery, but it does not discriminate against those businessmen as persons.  And the First Amendment’s freedom-of-religion protections discriminate against the behavior of some Muslims who want to impose Islam on the entire nation, but it does not discriminate against those Muslims as persons. Likewise, our marriage laws discriminate against the desired behaviors of homosexuals, polygamists, bigamists, adulterers, and the incestuous, but they do not discriminate against them as persons. 

            The nonsensical comparisons to interracial marriage don’t work either. Race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it. There is nothing wrong with interracial marriages because men and women are designed for one another and can procreate regardless of their racial background. But same-sex marriages can’t procreate or provide a mom and a dad to kids.  No law can change that or alleviate the documented health problems that result from same-sex couplings. So our marriage laws should be color blind but not gender blind.

            Ironically, it’s not conservatives but homosexual activists who are acting like racists. Instead of asking the state to recognize the preexisting institution of marriage, homosexuals are asking the state to define marriage. That’s exactly what racists were trying to do to prevent interracial marriage. Racists wanted the state to define marriage as only between same-race couples, instead of having the state recognize what marriage already was—the union of a man and a woman regardless of their racial background. While racists and homosexuals may want to alter the legal definition of marriage, they can’t alter the laws of nature that helped lead to the recognition of legal marriage in the first place.

            The bottom line is that we’re not discriminating against anyone with our current marriage laws.  Like most laws, we’re only discriminating for or against behavior that is good or bad for our country. So this debate really has nothing to do with equal rights, discrimination, hate or bigotry, but whether or not same-sex marriage would be good or bad for our country.  As I’ve shown in Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know It’s Bad, the evidence clearly shows same-sex marriage would be detrimental to everyone which is why we should oppose it.  

            If the California Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, the people who will be denied equal rights are the majority of Californians who voted for it.  The rights of more than six million voters will be denied by four judges who refuse to acknowledge a false and preposterous premise. Only democracy will be in the closet at that point.