By Aaron M. Rodriguez
In a recent opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, columnist Joe Simon wrote about Miss California Carrie Prejean’s response to gay marriage and whether she thought it should be allowed in every state. His article was entitled, “Beauty Masks an Ugliness,” and it went on to describe Prejean's conservative philosophy as the “continued devaluation and marginalization of gay people.” Simon used a lot of the same exhausted analogies utilized by pro-gay propagandists that compare the oppression of gays to the plight of blacks and Jews. He also compared the Christian anti-gay marriage position to the bigoted pro-slavery stance of the 1800s. By characterizing the gay marriage debate as an issue of civil rights, proponents like Joe Simon have conveniently postured themselves on the winning side of American history. They point to the moral evolution of our society that shows a developed a state of American enlightenment toward minority groups, and therefore we should also accept gay marriage as a state of justice, liberty, and equality for all.
In his article, Joe Simon wrote,
“What exactly is the polite way to respond to being told you are not deserving of even the most basic of civil right of love and companionship? Had the contestant made a comment that blacks, Jews, or Muslims should not be allowed to marry, I am sure she would not have been applauded for speaking her mind, no matter how pretty her smile might be.”
Simon is right. Miss California would not have been applauded for stating that blacks and Jews should be prohibited from marriage. Simon is also wrong because gay marriage is not a civil right. It’s important to note that our U.S. Constitution does not designate marriage to be a civil right. Therefore, if marriage is not a civil right, then it logically follows that the same is true of gay marriage.
Our 14th Amendment states that,
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
All citizens are granted equal protection under the law, and states shall not limit the privileges and immunities of her citizens. But have homosexuals really been denied the right to marry? The most obvious answer is no. Our laws allow them to marry, just not members of the same sex. In terms of legislative equality, homosexuals are granted all of the same privileges as heterosexuals.
The objection, however, is that homosexuals are not granted the right to marry whom they wish. And in this vein, they are not granted the same freedoms as heterosexuals. Current laws define marriage as a state-recognized institution between one man and one woman. Definitions are important because they keep terms and concepts disciplined so they cannot be stretched out and contorted to mean something else. For instance, if marriage were to be defined as a government construct meant to recognize and sanction the bonding of two distinct parties, then marriage laws would not prohibit polygamous marriages, incestuous marriages, adolescent marriages, and of course, gasp, . . . pedophiliac marriages.
Final Thoughts on Gay Marriage
If the definition of monogamous and heterosexual marriage is broadened and bastardized, then there is no force fixed into place that prevents other advocacy groups from fighting for similar inclusions. Imagine the cultural uproar if siblings began to fight for the right to marriage? Could they not use the same arguments and philosophical justifications that gay advocates currently use to justify their viewpoints? Would Joe Simon write another article asserting that "the continued devaluation and marginalization" of incestuous people has got to stop? My bet is no.
Proponents of same sex marriage enjoy framing the debate on homosexuality so if you oppose it, you are a bigot, homophobe, gay-basher, or in the case of Miss California “ugly” on the inside masked only by an outward beauty. By demonizing the opposing viewpoint, Columnist Joe Simon has demonstrated a good example of true bigotry. According to Simon, Miss California found an audience for her prejudiced and homophobic viewpoint. And as irony would have it, Mr. Simon also found an audience for his anti-Christian bigotry as well.