from The Miscellany News published September 7, 2011.
I was in New York City this summer when gay marriage was legalized; the joyful buzz in the air following the announcement was contagious, as was the happiness of newly-wed LGBTQ individuals who could now proudly have a legalized commitment to their partners. As someone who is a registered Republican but identifies as libertarian, people are sometimes surprised that I vehemently support LGBTQ rights. However, given the current “don’t tread on me” mentality of the right-wing, conservatives who still believe gay couples should not be granted the same rights as straight couples are simply inconsistent; it is their views that should be shocking.
A very libertarian theme that Republican candidates have recently expressed is that the government should stay out of one’s personal affairs, especially when it comes to health care and taxes, both hot-button issues of the Tea Party movement. A conservative who believes strongly in individual rights should then fully support allowing the government to marry individuals of all sexual orientations, since the government should have no say in who can or cannot wed. This is not the case among many Republicans; in fact, only four Republicans voted in support of the marriage bill in New York, while 28 voted against, and most of the Republican presidential candidates have come out as strongly opposed to gay marriage.
There seems to be an issue of confounding morals with rights and legality. While I see nothing immoral about any love and commitment, many conservatives do disagree with the notion of gay marriage on moral grounds. However, this does not mean that it should be illegal, just as being dishonest is not illegal, although it is likely considered immoral by the majority of the voting population. A rational conservative should recognize that their personal judgment should not affect another individual’s rights and fully support individuals being able to have legal commitments to their romantic partners, regardless of sex.