Star Parker

The latest Gallup polling on attitudes regarding same-sex marriage shows a trend that should concern conservatives as well as all Americans.

From the narrow view of just the same-sex marriage issue, although the majority of Americans are still opposed to legalization, they are a lot less opposed than they were in the a decade ago. From the vantage point of homosexual activists, the trend certainly appears to be their friend.

Moreover, given how this debate is formulated and presented, I see a broader message emerging. I get a sense that Americans are increasingly confusing entitlement and political power with freedom and tolerance. This does not bode well for the future of a free and vibrant country.

The most recent polling shows that a strong majority of Americans oppose legal recognition of same sex marriage (58 percent) and a slight majority favor a constitutional amendment (50 percent for, 47 percent opposed). The support breaks out consistently along partly lines. Republicans favor the amendment (66 percent for) and Democrats oppose (55 percent against).

These results are about the same as they were last year. However, they have changed a lot over the last 10 years. Today 39 percent of Americans support legal recognition of same sex marriage, up from 27 percent 10 years ago and 58 percent oppose, down from 68 percent 10 years ago.

Completing the picture of what seems reasonable to call a trend, the area of the population where support for same-sex marriage is strongest and growing is among young people. Time does not seem to favor those who want to preserve tradition.

A more qualitative measure of this trend is to just listen to how the debate is cast.

A Washington Post editorial opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment accuses Republicans of "picking on gays and lesbians." According to the Post, such an amendment would "discriminate against a class of people."

Mary Cheney in her new book equates this alleged discrimination to denial of rights in the past to women and blacks and prohibitions against interracial marriage.

So, along with the trend toward increasing acceptance of the idea of same-sex marriage has been the complete obliteration of the idea that homosexuality is a type of behavior as opposed to a state of being. The discussion has long disappeared that this is about attitudes regarding this behavior and it has become almost exclusively cast as discrimination claims against gays and lesbians.

Philosophers of science point out that there is nothing we can prove. We can only disprove things. The only thing that it takes to disprove something is to find one incident where the theory doesn't work.

We have, for instance, a law of gravity. However, if we find one morning, while someone is eating their bowl of cheerios, that their spoon jumps out of their hand and flies up to the ceiling, we kiss goodbye to our law of gravity.

Now there are without question instances where individuals change their sexual behavior.

I have never heard of instance of a black person becoming white or vice versa.

Yet, somehow we have gotten to the point where it is generally accepted that being gay is a fact and not a choice.

The more we obscure where choice lies and the more we obscure where responsibility lies, we become increasingly transformed into a political entitlement society rather than a free and tolerant society.

If gay activists really wanted freedom, as opposed to advancing a particular political agenda, they would be hard at work moving government control out of areas of our society that limit their as well as everyone else's freedom.

They should be fighting for nationwide school choice, so they can send their children to schools that teach what they want. They should be fighting for private social security accounts and so they could stop complaining about discrimination in survivor benefits. They should fight for private health care accounts and getting corporations out of the benefits providing business and so they could stop complaining about discrimination in benefits toward gay couples.

Unfortunately, this is not happening. From what I see, despite the hijacking of the language of freedom, rights, and discrimination, this movement is about sleight of hand and political power.

And, more unfortunately, it appears to be succeeding. Particularly among our young people.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.