Minnesota’s Gay Marriage Amendment

Currently the state of Minnesota has a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage on the ballot for next November and it has been making a lot of people very angry.  Naturally, we have been hearing a lot of the GOP and GLTB talking points (and some other weird stuff), but I read this in the Pioneer Press the other day and it got me to think about why conservatives should support legalizing gay marriage:

America is about freedoms… Like you used not to be able to marry somebody of a different race, and that is just ridiculous now.  So I think that its just a matter of time… People will be surprised that it was ever an issue.

This is a quote from a 19-year old resident of Minneapolis who visited the state fair this past week, and I think what she says brings up two very important parts to the gay marriage debate that conservatives need to consider.  

First, “America is about freedoms.”  Conservatives see themselves as defenders of freedoms from the left and the government, yet this particular freedom is just a little too much for them.  You cannot pick and choose what freedoms people can and cannot have — you are either free or not.  I am a firm believer that once you compromise on one part of a freedom, you compromise on 100% of that principle.  The principle here is people having the liberty to free association, and this can be with your employer, organizations, or who you choose to marry.

The second point is that marriage laws have a clear history of being used to limit the rights of minorities, such as Jim Crow laws which prevented interracial marriages.  Likewise, laws which outlaw gay marriage limit the right of free association of the LGBTQ minority.  Conservatives do not want to be remembered 40 years from now as the people that held back the rights of those with a different sexual orientation, just like we look back with shame on those who held back the rights of those with a different skin color.  Moreover, it’s always important to remember that if you give the government the right to limit the freedom of a group you don’t like, there’s no reason to think that same power won’t be used against you somewhere down the line.

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