Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why pro-marriage equality IS a conservative position

One way to separate the Goldwater/Reagan conservatives from the Christian right is the issue of gay marriage; a conservative would be in favor, a religious right type against. I can list 3 reasons an old-line conservative would support gay marriage:

1. Individual liberty. The quintessential conservative position is that all rights reside in the individual, and the state must come to the individual hat in hand begging to be granted some power. This is why it sets the teeth of a conservative on edge to hear someone speaking about government giving us the right to do this or that- a citizen’s rights are inherent, and limited only by covenant with fellow citizens. It is clear in every document of our founding fathers that a citizen’s rights may only be curtailed by the most immediate and pressing of social needs- and the burden of proof is on those wishing to curtail those rights, not on the citizen wishing to retain them. The proposed federal marriage amendment is an especially grievous violation of these inherent rights, as previous federal law already gives the states the right to refuse recognition of a marriage conducted in another state if it violates their own laws.

P.S. That law is, in my opinion, a violation of the “full faith and credence” clause in the Constitution. Suppose your state does not have “common law” marriage- would you then revoke marriage rights from couples now residing in your state because they haven’t a piece of paper from their state of origin?

2. Economics. A couple- of whatever sort- save a lot more money than do two singles; one of this country’s greatest economic weaknesses is the low rate of savings. Couples tend to have less personal debt than two singles, and high credit card debt is another of our problems. Couples are more likely to buy, as opposed to renting, than two singles (not counting property purchased as investment), and are more likely to spend money improving the property.

3. Social factors. Having a second person around the house to nurse you when you’re sick, help cover when someone must be home for repairs or installations, and listen to your rap when you’ve had it up to there will make you miss fewer days at work and be more productive while you’re there. It reduces medical costs if insurance needn’t pay for home visits, not to mention postponing (possibly eliminating) the day when you must enter a nursing home- I have seen couples where both had mild Alzheimer’s, but between them they made one functioning adult.

This is not to say that the debate is one sided- balanced against the conservative principals of individual liberty, economic gain, and greater social stability is the irrefutable fact that it makes millions of people feel icky. But for a Goldwater conservative, the issue of individual liberty alone would be enough to say “So go get married already, it’s no skin off my nose!”


Bill Baar said...

There is an excellant conservative case for marriage: same sex or otherwise.

Problem is few gay activists like to make it. I think in great part it's because the majority of gays prefer not to marry.

The huge failure gays have made politically is attacking ROTC on campuses over don't ask, don't tell. The Senate discussion over this amendment would have been entirely different if Gays had been demanding a right to join ROTC. That the war against Jihiadists was also a war for ...an existential struggle... for gays in the middle east.

Jesurgislac said...

Bill: Problem is few gay activists like to make it. I think in great part it's because the majority of gays prefer not to marry.

Good grief, where have you been? The case presented for same-sex marriage in this post (over here from The Happy Feminist by the way) is the same case I've seen presented for same-sex marriage by most gay activists. You evidently just haven't been reading them.

Whether or not "the majority" of GLBT people want to marry or not is irrelevant - to a GLBT activist, it's enough that some of us do, and there's no good reason to stop us.

The Senate discussion over this amendment would have been entirely different if Gays had been demanding a right to join ROTC.

Oh, come off it. The Senate discussion over this amendment didn't even reference the 10 000+ GLB people fired from the military since 1993 - if it mattered to anyone in the Senate that lesbians and gays who want to serve openly are not legally permitted to do so, it would have come up in debate. It didn't. It doesn't.

Of course, military action in Afghanistan and Iraq has reduced the number of discharges - but, as I thought everyone was aware, "But, despite a National Commission on Terrorism report that warned of a "very severe" shortage of Arabic translators, seven Arabic linguists were fired from the Army's Defense Language Institute (DLI) because of their sexual orientation in 2002. This was followed by a report from SLDN in April 2003 noting that the organization had provided assistance to 24 linguists targeted under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," including nine Arabic language specialists, eight Korean language specialists, and three trained to speak Farsi, the primary language of Iran. cite"

Sacking military personnel for their sexual orientation is not a conservative position either. A good half of NATO's military forces have no ban on gays serving openly in the military: why should the US continue to be a hold-out?

Don't try to argue that if only gays wanted to serve in the military it would make any difference to the same-sex marriage debate: LGB people do want to serve, and do serve - and are treated with contumely for doing so.

Bill Baar said...

Maybe the Senate would have taken up don't ask, don't tell if Leftish Gay activists had put as much energy into as they do with same sex marriage, or driving ROTC off campuses for don't ask, don't tell.... they should be inviting the recruiters to every gay activity!

I'll look up the stats on the number of Mass Gays who have married... my perception is their is not a run on Churches for this sacrament. The numbers are recall is something like only 5% of same sex couples living together indicated they would marry.