Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ryan Anderson insists that his anti-gay advocacy is comparable to being "pro-life"

Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson of Heritage Foundation and Witherspoon Institute has a piece Tuesday in the Federalist titled “Will Marriage Dissidents Be Treated As Bigots Or Pro-Lifers?” The subtitle reads:
Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, but it could not designate abortion opponents as bigots. Will the same happen to marriage dissidents after Obergefell?
I am reminded that these folks had the temerity to claim that same-sex marriage causes more abortions. But I digress.

Words are important. A “dissident” is ordinarily an opponent of an authoritative state. Tyrannical regimes have dissidents. North Korea has dissidents. Does Anderson really believe, away from the public hyperbole, that the Supreme Court of the United States has effected an authoritative regime because the majority sees a right to equal protection and due process in same-sex marriage? Or is it just rulings that he doesn't like that are tyrannical?

More to the point Obergefell is not Roe. Nothing could be more illustrative of this than the fact that the pro-life (really anti-choice) movement has secular support while opposition to same-sex marriage falls strictly along religious lines. Indeed, Anderson's opposition is a product of his ultra-orthodox Catholicism. Of course Anderson's opposition to Roe is for the same reasons.

However, believing that a fetus is a baby, anti-choice activists visualize a flesh and blood victim. There is simply no visceral comparison with regard to same-sex marriage. Even before United States v. Windsor there was no momentum to overturn marriage equality in those states licensing same-sex marriages. People came to the conclusion that none of the promised horribles materialized.

I want to assure Mr. Anderson that people who don't like same-sex marriage will not be treated as bigots. There is a very simple reason for that: They are irrelevant.

That brings us to the refusal of service by public accommodations. People do not refuse to bake cakes for, or sell flowers to, gay couples because doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs. They refuse service as a means of displaying their disapproval. So if someone wants to make a point at my expense by refusing service contrary to applicable anti-discrimination laws, I will prosecute that establishment. In the end I will make the prevailing point and their demonstration will be expensive. If that is treating the owners of that business as bigots then so be it.

Similarly, if a public servant denies me a marriage license to display his or her disapproval – to make a point – then I am going to try to make that action costly. I will do my best to see to it that the individual's job is forfeit. If that is treating said public servant as a bigot then so be it.

Anderson editorializes (Gish gallops):
With its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court has brought the sexual revolution to its apex—a redefinition of our civilization’s primordial institution, cutting its link to procreation and declaring sex differences meaningless. The court has usurped the authority of the people, working through the democratic process, to define marriage. And it has shut down debate just as we were starting to hear new voices—gay people who agree that children need their mother and their father, and children of same-sex couples who wish they knew both their mom and dad.
There is no reason to attempt to rebut any of that. The matter is resolved. Further debate on same-sex marriage is a pointless waste of time. As I said, Anderson and his ilk are irrelevant. There is no reason to wade any further into Anderson's diatribe.

Having said that we must be on guard to ensure that our rights are not compromised. Most notably these efforts will come in the guise of respectable sounding legislation that, upon examination, is nothing but a license to discriminate. Such is the case with the “First Amendment Defense Act.” It provides a pass to anyone who disapproves of gay people.

According to Anderson:
We must protect our freedom to speak and live according to the truth.

The pro-life movement accomplished this on at least three fronts. First, it ensured that pro-life doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and hospitals would never have to perform abortions or dispense abortion-causing drugs. Second, it won the battle—through the Hyde Amendment—to prevent taxpayer money from paying for abortions. Third, it made sure government could not discriminate against pro-lifers and pro-life organizations.

Pro-marriage forces need to do the same: Ensure that we have freedom from government coercion to lead our lives, rear our children, and operate our businesses and charities in accord with our beliefs—the truth—about marriage. Likewise, we must ensure that government does not discriminate against citizens or organizations because of their belief that marriage is the union of husband and wife.
In other words, Anderson wants the right to discriminate against gay people because his Church teaches that they are “objectively disordered.” If recent events in Indiana (and even Louisiana of all places) are any indication then we, as a society, see through this bullshit. Using religion to oppress others is still oppression.

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