Yes, SSM Opponents Realize That Homosexuals Are People

Several times in the last couple of days, I've seen people claiming that anyone who is against SSM does not think that homosexuals are people.

Okay, by the same logic, does anyone who is against group marriage think that polygamists are not people? Does anyone who is against marriage between two siblings think that people who want to marry their one of their siblings are not human?

The fact of the matter is that marriage is not, unlike expressing one's opinion, something one can do on one's own, so long as no one interferes. It also is not, unlike f&*#king, something any two people can do on their own, so long as no one interferes. No, marriage is a request for public approval of a relationship. If you want to believe that spiritually you are married to the planet Neptune, I don't think anyone should get in your way. But if you come and ask for public approval of your "marriage" to the eighth planet, then don't be surprised if the public does not, in fact, approve.  And if it doesn't approve, it does not mean people think you are not human. (They probably just think you are a very silly human.) It does not place those who want to marry planets in an "apartheid regime," as one commenter here ludicrously contended SSM opponents wish to do to homosexuals.

To drive on public roads, one needs a driver's license. (Please don't bring up anarchy here: there is no reason to think that private road owners would not be even more restrictive than the government is about who can drive. This, in fact, probably would have been seen by, say, Rothbard, as a great advantage of private road ownership: crappy drivers could just be denied all access to "the better sort" of roads.) Today, we do not grant drivers licenses to blind people. Perhaps soon, with the onset of automated cars, we should consider doing so. But that we don't do so today does not mean that we think the blind "are not people," nor does it mean that the blind are living in "an apartheid regime."

Similarly, when one wants to get married, one goes and applies for a marriage "license," right? Maybe, as some libertarians believe, the State should have no part in this process. But as long as it does, some people will be turned down, or the license will cease to have any meaning at all.

It is fine to vigorously disagree with someone else about who should and who should not be granted a marriage license. But it is really not cool to demonize those who disagree with you about where that line should be drawn. You do realize that traditional Christians, Jews, and Muslims are people too, don't you?

8 comments:

  1. How do you feel about anti-miscegnation laws? Do you think they constitute apartheid, and that people who supported them thought blacks were less than fully human? How would you feel about a boycott of businesses that supported such laws?

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    1. Did any great natural law thinkers argue against miscegenation?

      Strong and time-tested arguments merit more tolerance than racist rationalizations that resemble the former arguments only superficially.

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    2. I don't knock anti-miscegenation laws: if they were still on the books in 1992, they would have saved my wife a lot of grief!

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  2. So Gene you don't think homosexuals should be allowed to operate motor vehicles?

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    1. No, Bob, it is the Irish should not be allowed to operate motor vehicles.

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  3. "Maybe, as some libertarians believe, the State should have no part in this process."

    This always irked me, this talk about "state involvement" in marriage. The operating concept for me is "the law" rather than "the state", so this phrasing just feels out of step for me. I mean, one can look to "stateless" societies where there are marriage laws and therefore no "state involvement". It is for this same reason that I have qualms with speaking of intervention in the market/economy.

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