Dogma v. Individual Authority and Personal Choice: A Libertarian Compromise on the Issues
by John Savage
The conflict between Gay Orthodoxy, Tradition and Civil Rights as can be seen in the Eich/Mozilla Affair can be resolved with a conversion of the right of Gay Marriage to one of the right to Civil Unions, with all of the same rights and privileges contained therein.
On the surface of things this compromise seems to have the same desirability as the doctrine of “separate, but equal.” In the case of minority rights, “separate, but equal” leads to continued discrimination and a lack of social cohesion. But in the case of Gay Civil Unions, the reverse is true.
The insistence on the right to Gay Marriage has led to a breakdown in the cohesion of our society. Those who do not conform to the orthodoxy of Gay Political Dogma are the ones that are discriminated against and face the possibility of real political persecution and legal prosecution. This flies in the face of First Amendment Rights of the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. This has led to a situation akin to a tyranny of a minority over the majority. This is a distinctly un-American development.
This situation is untenable and creates a divergent plurality rather than a convergent one and threatens to disrupt, if not destroy, the cohesion of American society and culture… or worse. This is not the course of “e pluribus unum.”
The compromise of Civil Unions is the optimal legal solution, though perhaps not the ideal one from any particular and rigid perspective. It gives gays the right to form civil unions and share all of the same rights and privileges as married heterosexual couples, but preserves the First Amendment Rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, etc., for ALL.
It respects the civil rights of individuals even while we disagree with them. It allows for the possibility of agreeing to disagree and yet maintains social cohesion. It maintains individual liberty, the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and the concepts that inform Classical Liberalism. It defuses dogma and short-circuits the temptation to persecute others with whom we disagree. Additionally, it puts an end to legal prosecution of those who by tradition, religion and/or personal belief wish to define their union in a way that they choose, be that “marriage” or “civil union” by Justice of the Peace.
Further and perhaps more importantly, “civil unions” preserve the integrity of the individual. No longer does the individual have to make one set of claims publicly while maintaining another set of claims privately. The individual will be allowed to stay true to him- or her- self. A person will be allowed to keep a job or a business while maintaining this integrity even if it flies in the face of company policy or social convention. This leads to increased self-esteem, mental health, self-determination, the integrity of American society and its conception of individual liberty.
It is time we put an end to this civil war that we call activism for tolerance. One cannot demand respect and expect to gain it. Respect is a mutuality, it is something that is earned, not taken. We respect the right of others to determine for themselves how to see society and reality in general… and in turn they respect us. We cannot force ourselves upon one another.
This is an honorable compromise regarding this most divisive issue of our day and is in line with the Libertarian moment that seems to be increasing in magnitude and scope in our exceptional nation.