Some discrimination should be allowed.

The Des Moines Register recently published a nice essay by a gay couple who got married in Iowa without any discrimination issues to deal with. (See link to Register essay below.) It is fair and reasonable for government to prohibit discrimination against gay couples and others in the selling of standard goods and services that are offered to the public, like most products retail stores, rooms at hotels and motels, and meals at restaurants. But when the product or services needs to be customized or personalized by the seller, then discrimination by the seller should be allowed, and the buyer should not be able to enlist the force of government to require the seller to provide the product or service. So, for example, cake bakers should required to sell what is what is on their shelves and available for sale without discrimination, but they should not be required to create custom cakes against their will.  At the same time buyers are free to choose other sellers and to organize peaceful protests and boycotts against such discriminating sellers.  This way, everyone’s liberty is preserved, and no force needs to be used, by government or anyone else.
As readers of this blog may know, I am and atheist libertarian and support gay marriage.

Supreme Court was right on gay marriage

The Supreme Court did get it right on the gay marriage issue.  The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution says, “No state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  Equal protection of all citizens by government is fundamental. Government must not give favorable or unfavorable treatment in the same circumstances to any individual or group. The right of two people to voluntarily marry is a fundamental right, even if it is not stated in the Constitution.  Remember the ninth amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This ruling does not require any person or church to conduct or participate in a wedding between gay people.  It only requires that state governments not discriminate between heterosexual and homosexual weddings and marriages.  There was a time when  our Constitution was interpreted to not protect marriage between people of different races.  The current situation is very similar.  Even if a majority of people think that gay marriage is wrong, peaceful and honest people who do no harm to others should be free to voluntarily enter into marriage and government should not discriminate against them whether or not they happen to be of the same sex.

Vote YES to retain Wiggins!

Vote YES to retain Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins.  His retention is being opposed by people who don’t like that he voted to overturn the Iowa law which had prohibited gay couples from getting married.  He voted to overturn the law because it violated Iowan’s Constitutional right to be treated equally under the law.  He correctly judged the case based on Iowa law.  Those who oppose his retention don’t like the result, and they want to “shoot the messenger.”  
 
The Iowa Constitution, in Article 1, Section 6 states: “All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.”
 
Individuals and private organizations, such as churches, should be free to decide who they recognize as married and who they will associate with.  But government, which by its nature uses force to make all people comply with the law, should treat people equally unless there is a rational and overwhelming public purpose to treat some people differently. It should not be easy for a majority to prevent the equal treatment of minorities by government.    If there are enough Iowans who Iowa want to prohibit gay marriage, then they should work to amend our Constitution, not vote to oust a judge who properly followed our Iowa Constitution.

Gay marriage is good.

Even if it is a fact that traditional marriage, between one woman and one man, is best for children, and is good for the state, it does not logically follow that gay marriage is bad.  Is it better for children to live in an orphanage or with a loving family, even if they are a gay couple?  Is it better for gay couples to live together in uncommitted or committed relationships?  When no one is harmed by the voluntary peaceful actions of adults, what is “good for the state” is a poor reason to use the force of government to prohibit those actions.

This blog post was prompted by a blog, “Marriage isn’t about love”, on Tom Quiner’s site: http://quinersdiner.com/2012/10/09/marriage-isnt-about-love/#comment-5260

Chick-fil-a is wrong, but that’s okay.

The owners of Chick-fil-a have spoken out against gay marriage, and have financially supported groups that are against gay marriage. Many supporters of “traditional marriage” have shown their support for Chick-fil-a by patronizing their stores. Many who oppose discrimination against gay marriage have boycotted and protested against Chick-fil-a.

All of these peaceful and private actions are morally acceptable and should be politically acceptable. What we don’t want is for government to get involved. Privately owned businesses, even though they open their doors to the public, do not give away their private property rights or speech rights. People should be free to speak on both sides of the issue. Rallys, protests, and boycotts by groups for or against gay marriage rights should be allowed without interference by government.

Our laws should not discriminate against people who are peaceful and honest. The force of government should not used to require owners of privately owned businesses to provide products or services that are against their moral philosophy. In the case of Chick-fil-a, they should be able to employ or say, or do whatever they want as long as they don’t use any force or fraud against others and don’t infringe on the same rights of others.