False Issue

What in the world is all this flap and hullabaloo about homosexual marriage licenses? Who cares?

This is another of those inconsequential red-herring issues designed to distract you while the politicians steal the country right out from under you. You had better worry about why one euro costs $1.19 rather than whether two homosexuals can get a piece of paper at the county courthouse.

Logically, to forbid something, one must demonstrate that the forbidden act will cause harm to others. OK. What harm will befall you and me and our children if two homosexuals get a marriage license? Well, I’m waiting. I’m sorry I have nothing to contribute. I can’t think of any harm it will cause to anyone.

The fact that the state has intruded itself as a third party in every marriage does not add to the sanctity of the marriage. It is just a state license, like a license to be a plumber. As far as the state is concerned, a marriage license is a license for a civil union, since the state doesn’t care whether a preacher or a notary public marries you.

"Civil union" is a political euphemism for marriage. It allows the politician to get votes from both sides. The politician can be in favor of civil union but not marriage. That’s like a legislator being "personally opposed" to abortion but voting to legalize it. We already have a surplus of hypocrisy in this country. Let’s not add to it with euphemisms.

Well, homosexual acts are against God’s law, you say. OK, presumably God will enforce his own laws. You won’t find in the Christian Bible any passage that says the responsibility for enforcing God’s laws rests with the secular state. There are several acts denoted as sins that are not illegal.

Furthermore, Christianity is a personal religion, not a tribal or state religion. If you wish to be a Christian, then you have a personal obligation to obey the commands of the Christian religion. Whether someone else does or does not is of no concern to you. You can be a devout, scrupulously pure Christian in the midst of the most outrageous sinners. Your obligation is to obey God’s commandments, not to compel someone else to do it.

Protestants in particular have a problem. It was the Protestants who said: "We don’t need no Pope or priest to interpret the Bible. Everybody can read it and interpret it for themselves." Well, everybody includes homosexuals. Protestants have been arguing and even fighting over interpretations of the Scripture for centuries, but again, that is a private affair and no concern of the secular state.

Some people have acted as if state recognition of homosexual marriages will cause the whole of Christian morality to collapse. I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but traditional Christian morality collapsed in this country long before homosexuals came out of the closet. This is a secular, decadent, even freaky society, or have you not noticed? Watch MTV or go to the movies or watch prime-time television. The elites in this country definitely do not practice morality, Christian or otherwise. You are already living in the dawn of a new Dark Age — or whatever the 21st-century equivalent will turn out to be. Don’t sweat homosexual marriage licenses. That is the least of our problems.

Since I’m not a plumber, the state’s policy on plumbers’ licenses is not an issue for me. Since I’m not a homosexual, the state’s policy on homosexual marriage licenses is not an issue for me. But as a libertarian, I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people have an incurable itch to control other people’s lives.

If homosexuals want a marriage license, give it to them. It won’t have any effect whatsoever on our lives or the life of the nation or the course of world history. And a word to homophobes, most of whom are latent homosexuals themselves: Denying them a marriage license does not convert them into heterosexuals.

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years, reporting on everything from sports to politics. From 1969—71, he worked as a campaign staffer for gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional races in several states. He was an editor, assistant to the publisher, and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001. He now writes a syndicated column which is carried on LewRockwell.com. Reese served two years active duty in the U.S. Army as a tank gunner.