I wanted to add a thought to an already thoughtful exchange between my friend Roger Simon and fellow PJ guy Bryan Preston, whom I don’t have the pleasure to know. Roger, a firm supporter of gay marriage, put forward the idea that the nation (as opposed to our reckless, corrupt and idiotic government) is becoming not more leftist or conservative, but more libertarian, more dedicated to individual freedom. Because of that, Roger argued, the only thing saving intrusive leftism from the death it so richly deserves is social conservatism — especially the right’s opposition to gay marriage which, to young people, is “a done deal”:
SoCons who continue to press this issue on the political (not the personal or religious) stage have to realize that they are damaging many of us who have other concerns domestic and foreign, many of which we would probably agree on more easily.
Bryan responded in a friendly but impassioned post:
Where do the surrenders end? Those who share the shut-up sentiment never say. They just tell social conservatives to shut up already and give up on the issues that for many are the very reason that they got into politics in the first place. So we surrender on marriage, then we give up on life, and pretty soon, they’ll be telling us to give up on the Second Amendment, then the First, then something else. Always retreat, ever surrender, because they say so, never offering a glimpse of what might be the end game.
This caught my attention because, while I’m far closer to Roger on this issue than to Bryan, I feel strongly that any move toward gay marriage needs to be accompanied by well-stated protections for religious conscience — yes, even though my own religious ideas are different. It should not be that a religious person or organization that holds homosexuality sinful should be forced to relate to gay couples in the same way they relate to straights. I don’t think Catholic adoption agencies should have to cater to gay couples, and I certainly don’t think a religious photographer should be forced to photograph a gay wedding. Please don’t leave comments comparing this to denying service to black people. Race is a nothing, an invented nonsense. Gay people commit acts that long tradition condemns. It’s a much different proposition.