Gays win historic gay marriage battle - it's just a shame they picked the wrong fight.

Headshot image of Robert Laurie
Published by: Robert Laurie on Friday June 26th, 2015

Another take.

I'll get this out of the way right up front.  A lot of you aren't going to like what I have to say. However, the boss doesn't pay me to tell you what you want to hear - or even what he wants to hear.  My job is to offer my opinion.  Dan gave you the social conservative reaction here, and my take is going to be substantially different. So here we go:

The Supreme Court got the gay marriage ruling right.

I know, social-cons hate it, but the SCOTUS made the right call under the equal protection clause.

I've written - for years - that the GOP's knee jerk desire to legislate morality has been both a mistake and massive failure. You're either for freedom and individual liberty, or you're not. I'll fight tooth and nail for your right to live your life and raise your families as you see fit, but your absolute right to do so ends when you use those morals to limit the secular rights of others.

It's the difference between acting upon your own personal freedom and forcing your beliefs on everyone else. This, of course, works both ways. So, when a gay couple tries to sue a Christian bakery for refusing to bake a cake, I'll support the bakery - just as I'll support the right of the couple to be a couple. When (not if) LGBT activists and left-wing politicians try to use today's ruling as a springboard for attacks on religious institutions, we'll be having a different conversation. In it, I'll be defending those institutions and their 1st Amendment rights.

However....  As a strictly secular matter, gays have every right to enter into the same legal contracts as everyone else. In the case of marriage in a courtroom, that's precisely what we're talking about: a contract. Nothing more, nothing less. You don't have to like it, support it, or endorse it, but as long as state and federal governments are in the business of offering and acknowledging secular marriage licenses, gays have a right to apply for, and receive, them.

So, under the current system, this is a big win for them. 

Unfortunately, today's ruling also expands federal power in a way that does no one - gay or straight - any real good.  Gay marriages will now be subject to the same IRS nightmares that the rest of us have endured, while the 10th Amendment has been (to a debatable degree) weakened. Gays won a historic fight, but in the long run they may discover that it was in support of the wrong goal.

They should have been working toward an endgame that lessened state and federal intrusion into everyone's life. The smarter play would have been to advocate elimination of the government's licensing of anyone's marriage.

All of us would be much better off returning marriage to the strictly religious significance it always should have had, while simultaneously implementing a flat or fair tax to eliminate federal financial discrimination. This would increase the separation of church and state, allow gay couples to find a religion that would offer them a spiritual union, and remove the IRS penalties - and benefits - of marriage. Questions about parenting, medical, and inheritance rights could be easily solved through other means and the size, scope, and power of the government would have been limited.

In short, we would treat everyone equally - as free individuals.

What we got today is a ruling that - while in my opinion correct - perpetuates current IRS practices and expands the powers of government by subjecting a whole new swath of the population to them. If you really believe in freedom, you shouldn't be arguing for licenses or the limitation of gay rights.

You should be arguing for less federal power and increased liberty for all.

Gays win historic gay marriage battle - it's just a shame they picked the wrong fight.

Be sure to "like" Robert Laurie over on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. You'll be glad you did.