Next Victim: Conscience

conscience

Score one for marriage equality. But will equal rights win out in the long run?

The Supreme Court of the United States struck a blow for gay marriage by declaring unconstitutional a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed in 1996 that hampered the ability for same-sex couples to have their marriages validated by states not recognizing gay marriage. While the issue of same-sex marriage at large is far from over in the U.S., the decision does represent the proverbial writing on the wall: sooner or later it’s going to happen.

But don’t be so quick to celebrate. If we’re not careful, freedom to marry might come at the cost of freedom of conscience.

The key issue at the center of the gay marriage debate was freedom to live one’s life peacefully. The ability of homosexual couples to live their peaceful lives at liberty was, and is still, marginalized. Now, those who disagree with their life choices might become targets of oppression. Let’s not forgot the needless, overblown stir caused by Chick-Fil-A’s position on what constitutes a marriage. In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, more dissenters of conscience are feeling the hate.

Now, keep in mind that all manner of lifestyles, whether normal or alternative, have their detractors. Vegetarians and vegans differ from common eating habits, and in many cases consider normalcy in this domain to be immoral. Jews and Muslims abstain from eating pork on the religiously-informed grounds that it’s “wrong.” Amish abstain from most forms of modern civilization altogether. All these people maintain moral objections to what can be called normal, natural human behavior. The same goes for believers in traditional marriage. Some faiths may maintain that homosexuality is a sin. And that’s fine, so long as they don’t infringe on the rights of gays to live their lives in happy disagreement.

The continuing battle for gay rights revolves around the fight for the freedom to live and let live in peace. Let’s not simply trade one oppressed minority for another. Let’s win the fight.

Comments

  1. In regards to Chick-Fil-A, what pissed me off is the limited understanding of free speech. Yes, you are totally allowed to express your opinion–that is free speech. But free speech ALSO means I get to criticize your opinion and boycott your restaurant. The latter part is always forgotten in the whole “free speech” crusade.

    So yeah, churches can keep doing their close-minded, judgmental shit, and we can stop donating to them and stop attending them. We can also criticize them and call them out for being judgmental, hypocritical, and bigoted.

    • What’s worrisome is the blanket, mob-like judgmental attitude towards a different set of values. It’s what got gays persecuted in the first place, and while right now it’s still private citizens exercising their freedom of choice, it can easily slide into straight-out persecution.

      Also, we should keep in mind that most disagreement with homosexuality isn’t of the “God hates fags” variety… it’s a simple lifestyle difference, i.e. “I don’t think it’s good or healthy to live like that.” The proper, measured response should be “Well I gayly disagree, and will live my life how I see fit,” not “BURRRRRN THE HERETIC!!!”

      • From my reply below:

        “And it’s not just that the owner of Chick-Fil-A has a different opinion, but that the company chooses to donate money to “charitable” organizations that are explicitly anti-LGBTQ, money that comes from CFA proceeds, which come from customers. Let’s not pretend the outrage and boycotting was because a person has a different opinion. It’s called “voting with your dollar.””

        It’s not a “blanket, mob-like judgmental attitude towards a different set of VALUES.” It’s not wanting your money to support organizations that are considered hate groups (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center). And I don’t know what lovely anti-gay people you know, but I’m from the South. I have yet to meet a person with anti-gay values who 1) doesn’t take a Christian perspective on it and 2) wants that Christian perspective to be law.

    • nathanwellsfry :

      So your freedom of speech right extends to Slander, Libel and hate speech? Chick-Fil-A says they think homosexuality is wrong, you respond with “Fuck you! Close minded, bigoted, hypocritical Bastards!! I’m gonna fucking boycott you!!” Seems fair, as long as I can criticize you and call you a close minded hypocrite for not accepting that someone disagrees with you.

      • Vegetarians think eating chicken is wrong. Your point?

      • Since when is calling someone a bigot or close-minded hate speech? I’m pretty sure you also added quite a bit of colorful language NOT in my original comment. And it’s not just that the owner of Chick-Fil-A has a different opinion, but that the company chooses to donate money to “charitable” organizations that are explicitly anti-LGBTQ, money that comes from CFA proceeds, which come from customers. Let’s not pretend the outrage and boycotting was because a person has a different opinion. It’s called “voting with your dollar.” Out of curiosity, did you also have a moral, libertarian outrage when Christians decided to boycott JC Penney?

  2. Franky Gonzalez :

    “Score one for marriage equality. But will equal rights win out in the long run?” Pretty much sums it up.

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