Gay marriage: The terms of surrender
As gay-marriage proponents pile up win after win, “all that’s left is for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.”
In “less than a blink of an eye,” said Jonah Goldberg in NationalReview.com, “homosexuality has gone from a diagnosed mental disorder to something to be celebrated.” And judging from the uproar over the recently vetoed Arizona bill that would have allowed for a “minor amendment” to the state’s existing religious freedom protections to include businesses, the refusal to celebrate “is now tantamount to a crime.” Sponsors of the Arizona bill—and other states’ “religious freedom”-legislation—simply wanted to give business owners with religious objections to gay marriage the option not to sell flowers or wedding cakes to same-sex couples. Is that really so horrible? In a saner society, a religious baker or florist could serve whom they please, and a gay couple could tell that baker or florist, “Go to hell,” post a “vicious review on Yelp,” and take their business elsewhere.
Nobody is being forced to “celebrate” gay marriage, said Kirsten Powers in TheDailyBeast.com. Gay people aren’t asking florists and bakers to endorse their weddings; they just want to be served like any other customer walking into a store. “The only people who are demanding affirmation” are the religious conservatives who want a legal right to discriminate, based on “bad theology.” Actually, there is a real conundrum here, said Cathy Young in Newsday.com.Why compel millions of “traditional religious believers” to ignore their churches’ teachings on homosexuality, and cause an even deeper rift in our fractured society? A better alternative is an “informal accommodation” in which conservative business owners could refer same-sex couples to other businesses eager to serve them.
Let’s face it, said Ross Douthat in The New York Times.Before long, the U.S. Supreme Court will inevitably “redefine marriage to include gay couples in all 50 states,” and the adherents of traditional marriage will be at the mercy of the winners of the culture war. Will businesses that decline to participate in same-sex weddings be forced out of business? Will religious schools and colleges have their tax-exempt status revoked and their public funding withdrawn? Will “the substantial minority” of religious conservatives be scorned until they renounce their beliefs? As gay-marriage proponents pile up win after win, “all that’s left is for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.” The prevailing sentiment among the victors seems to be: “You bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.”