Tag: Same Sex Marriage

Matt Walsh Is My Hero


I just finished listening to Matt Walsh’s appearance on the Joe Rogan Podcast, episode #1895. I listened via my Spotify subscription so I’m not sure if I can provide a link. Interesting discussion, worth the time. They spoke about two issues: what is a woman and gay marriage.

The “What Is A Woman” discussion was great, as usual, even though the two largely agreed. It was interesting to hear the agreement from Rogan’s perspective, and I’m glad people like Rogan think it important enough to provide the platform to Matt Walsh and to the bigger idea about contra-gender-ideology.

Recipe for a Wedding Cake


In his famous poem “Ozymandias,” Percy Bysshe Shelley describes the head of the tyrant’s statue lying in the desert sand:

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

Ozymandias’ nameless sculptor had one thing in common with his innumerable brother sculptors, painters, and other artists throughout the ages: he was not well-positioned to turn down the job. Had he suggested to the king’s agent that his religion and his conscience really did not permit him to honor the king with his artistic talents, presumably the sculptor’s head would have hit the sand long before the king’s statue did.

Let Them Bake Cake


Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips.

In its 2015 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Colorado Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which sanctioned Jack Phillips, a devout Christian and the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, for violating the Colorado Antidiscrimination Laws (CADA). His offense: refusing for sincere religious reasons to prepare a custom-made wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a gay couple. His insistence that he enjoyed the First Amendment protections of freedom of religion and speech were roundly rebuffed—as were similar claims in the 2013 New Mexico decision in Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock and the 2017 Washington decision in State of Washington v. Arlene’s Florists, Inc. The Commission then ordered Phillips “to take remedial measures, including comprehensive staff training and alteration to the company’s policies to ensure compliance with CADA.”

So Phillips had to submit to the state’s regulations if he wished to remain in business. But why this compulsory re-education program? Phillips does not insist that Colorado limit marriage solely to unions between one man and one woman. He only resists providing them services that go against his religious conscience. He routinely supplies his gay and lesbian customers with off-the-rack items for use in same-sex marriages. And he has courteously directed his gay and lesbian customers to other establishments that supply services for same-sex weddings. Phillips thus tolerates and accommodates the practices of others with which he does not agree. But the Colorado Commission decidedly does neither.

Richard Epstein describes the dramatic failure of the federal government’s attempts to balance anti-discrimination laws against religious liberty protections.

The Roaring Success of Chick-fil-A in New York City


Remember when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that Chicago would not welcome a certain chicken sandwich restaurant? Or when Boston Mayor Tom Menino wrote a letter to that same company’s president saying that there was “no place for your company” in Boston? Good times. But in spite of liberal outrage over an executive expressing his views on marriage and sexuality, the hateful bigots at Chick-fil-A have opened a restaurant in Manhattan. And each day the line to enter winds down the sidewalk.

Just another success story the Mainstream Media won’t tell you.

Your humble correspondent’s interviews in line last weekend revealed that patrons were mostly New Yorkers originally from the South, or people who had tried Chick-fil-A previously while in the South. They were loyal, eager, and willing to wait for a few minutes in a line that looked daunting but moved rapidly. All our orders were handled with typical Chick-fil-A courtesy, and we had our order in less than twenty minutes.

Thousands Leave the LDS


salt-lake-mormon-temple71Now you might have missed this news, what with the attacks in Paris and the childishness in the universities, but breaking news: The Church of LDS believes homosexuality sinful. Gasp! Who knew such beliefs lurked deep in their ways? Oh wait, everyone. Still, last week, that didn’t stop a few thousand from making a scene over a recent policy: the church will not baptize children of same-sex couples until they turn 18 and denounce same-sex marriage. So of course my social network feed exploded in outrage, of which I’d estimate 10 percent came from actual Mormons.

The latest news is that recently a few thousand made a public stand to quit the church, with at least 1,500 showing up in person, and another 2,000 (approximately) sending in legal representation to affect the same. (Side note: my lovely wife Amanda is unimpressed by sending your lawyer to submit your resignation. As she knows, you just need write a letter saying that you’re out.)

In my skepticism, I’d wager that few if any of those making this stand are seriously active in the church at all. I have a good friend who is very active in the “Ordain Women” movement and publicly denounced this decision by the church, but she remains equally active in her church. This likely was just a convenient excuse for those leaving to do so while making oneself look important.

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It’s times like this I wish the US were more aggressive not just at spreading the idea of democracy around the world, but also at cloning its specific Constitution and Bill of Rights for use in other countries. The First Amendment would be handy in Tasmania at the moment, where a left-wing Greens Party candidate has lodged […]

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Judging Kim Davis


DavisI’ve spent the past few hours reading up a bit on the Kim Davis controversy (I highly recommend Eugene Volokh’s primer). My overwhelming feeling toward Davis is empathy. While many people — myself included, initially — responded with some variation of “If you don’t like the job, you can quit,” the simple fact of the matter is that the terms of the office Davis was elected to were changed on her, and in a way that most of us find deplorable and indefensible. Obergefell was a terrible decision, and many who’ve hailed it as the new Loving will one day come to see how it’s more like the new Roe.

Second, Davis has become the latest victim of the left’s scorched earth tactics. Rather than simply accommodate Davis’s objections by driving to another of Kentucky’s innumerable and relatively tiny counties — all of which can issue marriage licenses to any state resident — the couples suing Davis have decided to use their marriages to make a point at someone else’s expense. Moreover, Davis’s recent conversion and previous marriages have been treated as the butt of jokes, rather than celebrated as someone learning from her mistakes and changing her life for the better.

Lastly, it appears that Judge Bunning took the simple-if-inflammatory option of jailing Davis for contempt when other options were open to him. As much as one plays Bartleby with a federal judge at one’s own risk, Bunning’s wrath seems excessive.

Marriage, Schmarriage, and Blarriage


Earlier this year, I signed on to one of the amicus briefs arguing against judicial imposition of nationally recognized same-sex marriage and I am not changing my position here. However, I have gradually come to understand — largely thanks to the tireless efforts of SSM-supporting Ricochetti over on the SSM PIT — a pretty good argument for it. This argument deserves a fair hearing, and traditionalists like myself deserve the chance to confront it directly. Hopefully the result will be that some of us understand each other a little better, even if no one is actually convinced of anything.[1]

I say the argument is good because its premises support its conclusion and all of the premises — if not unquestionably true — at least have something going for them. Now, arguments have forms (as I explained here) and it’s probably best to not jump right into the argument itself, but its form, which is as follows:

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Through the years on my blog, which covers issues of concern to the Christian church (writ large), I have occasionally touched on the hot-button issue of sexual orientation. Today I admit to finding myself increasingly reluctant to do so, because the topic has become such a lightning rod, and because I know so many people who are touched by this […]

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Pennsylvania Law as a Model for Dealing with Same-Sex Marriage


love-park-philadelphia-600x400This is a little on the end of “cart before the horse,” but it’s definitely a predictable direction that legislative action can take in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when it comes to dealing with the recent SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage. Of course, since the ruling, there has been a flurry of commentaries and stories about potential lawsuits against churches that refuse to sanctify these unions. That problem may not play the same in Pennsylvania as it will in most other states.

The commonwealth already has two forms of marriage licenses available in many counties, because our law permits self-uniting marriage licenses. Enjoy the irony if you like, but that is because of a religious belief – Pennsylvania is the Quaker state, and Quakers do not believe that a human being can stand between God and couple when they enter in a covenant of marriage. Their beliefs only permit people to witness that covenant, so we have marriage licenses that only require signatures of two witnesses. Until 2007, it was possible for a county to refuse to issue those licenses without verifying the religious beliefs of the couple, but now they cannot do that. Anyone can opt for the self-uniting license, if they are willing to pay a little more for it.

Because the difference in price isn’t significant (it’s just $10 more in the City of Philadelphia, for example), same-sex couples in Pennsylvania that might want to sue a church over refusing to sanctify a marriage will be a little difficult. If our legislature would happen to change how people get marriage licenses in the first place, those lawsuits would be impossible to start in the first place.

Process Matters


imagesOne of the differences between the Right and the Left is that the Left is concerned only about outcomes while the Right is concerned about outcomes and process.

When you think about it, all the major conflicts in America’s history have been more about process than the underlying issue. The American colonist’s slogan was not “No Taxation”; it was “No Taxation Without Representation,” which is fundamentally about process. Even when Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, the colonists weren’t satisfied because they had no say in the matter and thought — correctly — that the repeal was just as arbitrary as the original act. Most of the grievances leveled against King George in the Declaration of Independence were about the arbitrary exercise of royal power. The American Revolution was fought over process; the ability for free men to govern themselves. While the underlying moral cause of the Civil War was slavery, the proximate cause was about the process of laws and policies concering slavery that lead to secession.

What is the Constitution of the United States other than a document describing the process by which the people will govern  themselves? When the Supreme Court issues rulings like they did last week, they usurp this most fundamental of all rights. The Left will never understand our concern with process, which they consider to be a minor detail on the road to utopian social justice. What they fail to understand is that someday the arbitrary exercise of power may go against them. By then it will be too late — and a country of the people, by the people, for the people will have perished from the earth.

The Libertarian Podcast: The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage


Still hungry for more razor-sharp constitutional analysis after yesterday’s Law TalkYou’re in luck. We’ve got a double-shot this week, as Professor Epstein also weighs in on the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in the new episode of The Libertarian. And the conversation here is a little different — for instance, Richard discusses whether Chief Justice Roberts has any discernible judicial philosophy and whether Rand Paul’s suggestion that we get government out of marriage altogether is practical. It’s all available by listening in below or by subscribing to The Libertarian via iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

The Hidden Message of Same-Sex Marriage


shutterstock_219219871The four dissenters in Obergefell v. Hodges lucidly expressed the profound offense against constitutional law and representative democracy the ruling represents. In short, five lawyers, accountable to no one, chose to legislate on a profoundly consequential matter that the people were just beginning to address through democratic means. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote: “Who do we think we are?” If justices cannot resist the urge to legislate, let’s drop the pretense that constitutional law is guided by neutral principles and at least give the people the option to vote justices in (and out).

That the court has struck a blow for gay rights is true enough (and treating homosexuals with respect is long overdue). Unfortunately, the claim that this ruling also strengthens marriage is almost certainly false. To understand why is also to answer the question so often pressed as a taunt by gay marriage supporters: How can extending marriage to gays possibly affect your marriage? The answer lies in the hidden message.

The road to gay marriage began with feminism. Feminists argued that there were no important differences between the sexes. Thus, mothering and fathering were interchangeable. The word ‘parent’ became a verb. If mothers and fathers bring nothing unique or complementary to their roles, then it logically follows that two mothers or two fathers should be just as good. Talk of three or more parents misses the mark. The relevant number is one. If fathers are no different from mothers, then single women needn’t pause before embarking on “parenthood” solo – and they aren’t.

Obergefell’s Threat to Religious Liberty


As a libertarian, I support same-sex marriage. As a libertarian, I also fear the totalitarian overtones sounding from the next round of gay rights initiatives. The nature of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriage in Obergeffel v. Hodges has only compounded the danger. As I note in my newest column for Defining Ideas from the Hoover Institution:

…[I]n the wake of Obergefell, we have to ask what the next step in the struggle over same-sex marriage will be. By insisting that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right, Kennedy has consciously introduced an equivalence between race and sexual orientation. How far is he prepared to go? In the 1983 case of Bob Jones University v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld an IRS decision to deny tax-exempt status to schools engaging in racial discrimination. The Court acknowledged that it could not outlaw the Church’s practices, which were protected as a free exercise of religion. But the differential tax treatment was fine because “the Government has a fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education.”

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There are few writers I enjoy reading as much, and from whom I learn as much, as Mollie Hemingway. Her Tweet that Obergefell is the next Roe expressed a thought many on the right hold. Here’s why I think it’s wrong.  Unlike abortion, SSM is mostly about the related issues Abortion is mostly about abortion. Dead […]

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Silver Lining to the Rainbow Victory?


Illinoisreview.typepad.comPointing out that the Supreme Court found the right to gay marriage in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, Bob Owens of Baring Arms seems to have found a silver lining in last Friday’s Obergefell decision. The Court wrote:

“The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs…Courts must exercise reasoned judgment in identifying interests of the person so fundamental that the State must accord them its respect. History and tradition guide and discipline the inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.”

There are currently 36 states with “shall issue” firearm license schemes; i.e., one where anyone who meets certain objective criteria must be issued a license. By using the same rationale as the Court used on Friday, those holding valid concealed carry permits must be granted the same protection in places like D.C., Maryland, New Jersey and New York. After all, while the Court had to strain to find its rationale to overthrow 6,000 years of human history, the Second Amendment is right out there for all to see.