I originally posted this article on August 2, 2012. With the ruling today banning Texas’ gay marriage ban, I thought I would post it again.
Do you support gay marriage? Or do you support state sanctioned marriage?
The second question is really the heart of the debate bleeding out of the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day that occurred this week. However, I really believe that many people really don’t know exactly what they are debating.
Chick-fil-A’s President, Dan Cathy stated in an interview that he doesn’t support gay marriage. This statement, and his donations to organizations that share this view, has generated much outrage from those who support gay marriage.
Many gay marriage advocates suggested a boycott of Chick-fil-A restaurants. Shortly later, mayors of Chicago, Boston and San Francisco suggested denying or delaying permits to Chick-fil-A.
The combination of the gay marriage advocate’s boycott and the various mayor statements created a counter protest for Chick-fil-A with an appreciation day for individuals to show support for Chick-fil-A by buying their products.
The turnout for the Chick-fil-A event today has been overwhelming for the counter protest with huge lines showing up at various Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country.
I find a few things about this whole episode problematic.
First, Cathy has stated he doesn’t support gay marriage. This doesn’t necessary suggest that he is anti-gay or homophobic. Maybe he is, I don’t know for I have never met the man.
However, I do want to share you a story of a good friend of mine I have known since high school. For this article, I will call her Susan. (Not her real name) Susan in her youth, I would have called a moderate who leaned left. However as she became older, she moved to more a moderate right stance.
I have never heard Susan ever say anything racist or homophobic. She has developed friendships with minorities and homosexuals over the years. She totally understands and sympathizes with gay couples who want to be treated the same with heterosexual couples. She does agree with them.
However, she supports the concept of civil unions for gays over marriage for because in her heart of hearts she believes marriage is something between a man and a woman.
Semantics in a lot of ways, but this is how she feels and how many in this country feel.
However, I do think many of the left who want to call my friend Susan either homophobic or anti-gay is only going to irritate her more and push her more towards the position she currently holds instead of trying to win her over their point of view.
Second thing, I really do find that mayors in some cities feel that they can issue permits in such a manner troubling. I don’t argue that cities and local governments do have the right to issue permits that they feel could hurt community standards. However, I don’t see an example of a Chick-fil-A opening that has lowered standards in any community that they currently occupy. Not issuing a permits because you disagree politically on an issue with a president of said company is morally wrong.
The best way ultimately in determining if an establishment doesn’t belong in a community is for the community to decide if they are going to patronage the establishment or not.
Last and sadly, I have spent many words going over many particulars about today’s event without really getting to heart of the story. Do you support marriage, gay or straight; or do you support state sanctioned marriage? I would suggest that many who are participating in this debate are, in fact, arguing over state sanctioned marriage.
Thomas Woods pointed out before that marriages have been historically done through churches as a spiritual event. After the French Revolution, France started issuing licenses for marriage as the Catholic Church was out of favor during this time period. Later, Southern states in the United States started handing out marriage licenses as well as a means to keep the different races from marrying.
What happens when a couple gets married? They are granted certain financial or legal privileges that others don’t have. Now homosexual couples feel like they are being denied these same privileges because they are not allowed to get married. I can totally understand their frustration.
So the argument at its root is that one group feels like they are being denied privileges granted to another group. No question this is morally wrong.
However, the question that isn’t being raised: Are these offerings of privileges morally wrong in the first place?
I would argue, YES!
This whole debate revolves around the fact that state stuck it’s nose into the marriage business. Something that it should not have done in the first place. A long time, heterosexual couple who choose not to get married don’t qualify for these privileges. Lifelong single people don’t have access to their special privileges as well.
Interesting how the state has started this fight between us by offering the privileges in the first place, but denying certain groups access to those same privileges.
Why should two people be granted special privileges just because they sought permission from the state to be married (gay or straight) and then turn around an spend some of their own money for a marriage license?
I should be able to associate with whom I want without being granted special permission or being “blessed” by the state in doing so, and also without paying the state for such an honor.
We should also be able to call our associations what we want from either “marriage” or “a really psycho relationship, but we love it never the less!” And if Churches want to offer marriages recognized by their congregations, fine!
My argument is: Instead of forcing gays to get married so they don’t have to endure getting permission from the state and paying a few a bucks for the privilege…
Let’s just nullify state sanctioned marriage.