The PJ Tatler

My Gay-Marriage Dilemma

I have “come out,” as it were, on the screens of this venerable website several times in my support for same-sex marriage. I don’t do this to annoy people or to be a “contrarian” or to curry favor with various groups that value image over substance; I have drawn this conclusion based on the rather unfashionable classical liberalism in which I have believed, to one degree or another, since I became politically conscious.

What disturbs me now, however, and what has always disturbed me, is that the primary driving force behind gay-marriage legalization is not people who believe in individual rights. This push is, rather, largely the work of the identitarian New Left, the same Marxoid juggernaut that has brought us some of the most destructive policies and concepts in our history. What should be a movement based on individual liberty is actually a Frankfurt School-tinged movement of identity politics. It’s true that the pro-gay marriage crowd contains a truly diverse group of people: there are libertarians (Reason magazine), center-left liberals (most mainstream Democrats), neoconservatives (Dick Cheney), moderate conservatives (Ron Radosh), pseudo-conservatives (Andrew Sullivan), and many others. But behind this diverse vanguard one detects the greasy and despotic hand of the radical ’60s Left. I don’t mind standing with the former; I DO mind standing with the latter, since if you give them an inch, they take a mile, and that mile usually leads somewhere not too pleasant.

I have a feeling that if the push to end DOMA and Prop 8 were primarily the work of Reason or the Ayn Rand Institute, certain traditionalist conservatives would be at least slightly more amenable to it. This would be because the implicit threat of future civil-rights lawsuits against, say, churches that refuse to marry gays would be a moot point. No Cato Institute senior fellow wants to file suit against the Catholic Church for exercising its First Amendment rights. Social conservatives know this; they trust libertarians enough even if they don’t agree with them.

With the New Left, however, all bets are off. You know what’s coming: a whole new bureaucratic tangle of “disparate impact” and “hate crimes”-style legal crusades, backed by the full faith and credit of the Democratic Party and the American Trial Lawyers Association. The targets of this campaign will be Catholics and Protestant evangelicals. This campaign has really already begun, but it will continue and be amped up to radical intensity. Phony legal arguments will be cooked up by the professional activists to eviscerate the First Amendment on grounds of “equality.” The goal is not tolerance but conversion.

What’s a guy like me to do, then? In actuality, I support neither side in this debate. The radical identitarian Left is all of a sudden pretending to be Constitutionalists, citing the 14th Amendment as if they actually gave a sh*t about equal protection under the law — this canard after decades of shilling for affirmative action, PC campus speech codes, reparations, anti-male divorce courts, the subsidization of contraception by religious objectors, “abortion on demand,” etc. I have no time for this gang of phonies and tyrants; I don’t believe a word they say.

An analogous, if exaggerated, situation would be if I lived under a fascist military junta and were scheduled for execution the following week, the only way to stop this being to support the planned communist coup of the underground demagogue. I would know what was coming: I would trade one set of executioners for another. There’s no room for pure principle in a case like this.

The creepy cult of identity politics, the centerpiece of modern progressivism, is something that I oppose with every fiber of every muscle of my body and mind. The corollary of this cult is the practice of liberationism — the push for amassing greater state power, which will (in theory but not in practice) be wielded for the benificent purpose of “social justice.” Anyone who has ever walked into a DMV knows how fraudulent the notion of benevolent government is. Anyone paying attention to the EU’s siphoning of wealth away from Cypriots, or to the assault on free speech in the name of political correctness taking place in Canada, the UK, and continental Europe, knows that no principle is safe these days in the face of the state.

Let this, then, constitute my dissent-in-part to the push for greater recognition of same-sex marriage.