WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States government
stated recently that it would withhold foreign aid from African nations
that do not legalize homosexual marriage, thereby blackmailing African
nations that refuse to surrender to western indecencies. A recent headline
stated, Hillary Clinton Declares ‘Gay
Rights Are Human Rights.’ The article began, “The U.S.
has publicly declared it will fight discrimination against gays and
lesbians abroad” who wish to marry. The article continued by
quoting administration officials who say that the U.S. government will
deny foreign aid to poor nations that do not legalize homosexual marriage.
Websites that promote homosexual behaviors make similar statements.
An example is the main web page of the National Center for Lesbian
Rights, which states, “The freedom to choose whether and whom
to marry is a fundamental human right.”
Those fiery words of rhetoric bring up some fundamental questions:
Is it truly a human right for two men or two women to marry? Is it
discrimination when two people of the same sex are denied a marriage
certificate? Finally, are there any similar historical cases that can
shed light upon this issue?
The first question one is compelled to ask is whether opposition to
homosexual marriage is truly discrimination. There are many historical
examples of discrimination to draw from to see what discrimination
is: slavery in the United States, injustices against Jews, lack of
equal rights for women, and genocide against a race or tribe. Slavery
was a prejudice in certain countries against blacks—a race. The
prejudices against Jews indicated intolerance of both an ethnicity
and religion. The movement to win equal rights for women was an effort
to combat discrimination against a person by reason of her sex. And
with genocide, the prejudice has been against a person’s race
or tribe. This final example was seen in a most horrific way in Rwanda.
A list might look like this:
injustices against Jews (ethnicity)
lack of equal rights for women (gender)
Each of these examples demonstrates prejudices against a group of people
because of who they are, which should be contrasted with, say, the
actions they perform. The actions a person performs do get judged,
but we can’t say that if someone dislikes or even outlaws a particular
action it is discrimination. A list of actions might be: eating, drinking,
driving, folding laundry, and walking down a street. There are thousands
of actions to choose from, each of them a deed a person performs. With
that in mind, it is important to establish that it is impossible to
be prejudiced against a person’s action. For example:
Is it prejudiced to condemn someone who doesn’t stop at stop
Is it discrimination to object to someone who jaywalks at intersections?
Is it unjust to condemn someone who doesn’t pay taxes?
Because these examples are actions people perform, the principles that
apply to them would apply to marriage:
Is it prejudiced to outlaw polygamy?
Is it unjust to condemn marriage between siblings?
Is it bigoted to outlaw marriage between a father and son?
Can the people in each of these groups claim that there is a “universal
human right” for them to be able to choose whomever they wish
to marry? Recall the statement on the main web page of the National
Center for Lesbian Rights: “The freedom to choose whether and
whom to marry is a fundamental human right.” It is not a fundamental
human right for people of the same sex to marry any more than it would
be for two siblings to marry. If we allow marriage between people of
the same sex, we then open up marriage literally to whomever anyone
After some reflection, nearly everyone will agree that to marry is
an action (note that “to marry” is a verb). The laws and
regulations of western nations as well as Africa must hold in check
the landslide of combinations that will result if same-sex marriages
are allowed. We regulate all sorts of actions in our society, so why
should we stop when the debate turns to marriage? Therefore, there
is no prejudice or discrimination when someone objects to another’s
actions. A law against homosexual marriage today is no more an instance
of bigotry or prejudice than the laws against polygamy that the United
States enacted in the 1800s.
Candid Comments archives
Candid Comments column is copyright © 2012
by Craig Turner and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com.
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