Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ron Paul and gay marriage

Kip Esquire posts back in October about Ron Paul flipping on gay marriage. His observation pretty much confirms my own: like many of his followers, in his prejudices, Ron Paul is not all that different from any other Republican, except he knows a weakened federal government will make it easier to impose those prejudices through state legislatures. I'll only add that the weakened federal government Paul envisions is actually unconstutitional according to current readings of the 14th Amendment, and according to Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas, and other landmark Supreme Court decisions.

In other words, Ron Paul doesn't support the Constitution. He doesn't support the law. He only supports these things as a means to achieving the domination of gays and other minorities.

Don't believe me? Let me quote Dr. Paul:

If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’s constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a “same sex” marriage license issued in another state.

Recall that Paul also supported federal legislation that would have included zygotes in the legal definition of person. In both cases, I'm sure libertarians would tell me that Dr. Paul's goal is to ensure that states get to decide issues for themselves, and that the federal government ought to be neutral.

But neutrality is sometimes impossible. According to Ron Paul, states should not have to recognize same sex marriage licenses issued in other states. But states do have to accept heterosexual marriage licenses -- that is simply the status quo. Paul simply refuses to extend the legal protections heterosexual marriages already enjoy to same sex marriages. Any idea why? Take a guess.

To use the law to maintain this status quo is not neutral; it is, rather, to endorse that status quo, and to keep same sex couples in a position of legal inferiority. It is to affirm bigotry.

(Next, libertarians will be telling me that Dred Scott was a neutral exercise of federal power because all it did was reaffirm the widespread southern belief at the time that African-Americans could not be citizens. Maybe forcing the southern states to grant African-Americans a modicum of political equality violated the sovereignty of those states; it was still the right thing to do. Especially from a libertarian perspective. Individual rights trump states' rights.)

In the Republican debates, when asked about gay marriage, Ron Paul made this very revealing statement: "We do know what marriage is about. We don't need a new definition or argue over a definition and have an amendment to the Constitution."

Well, yeah, he was in a room full of Republicans. I'm sure they do know what marriage is about, and their agreement makes further argument unnecessary. I'm sure a lot of Republicans agree with Ron Paul's legal definition of person, too. Notice, also, how Dr. Paul encased "same sex" in scare quotes in the passage I quoted previously.

There's only one definition Ron Paul of marriage could have meant in the context of the debate, and it's the same one that affirms the status quo. It's the one that legally discriminates against gays and lesbians.

[Edited to make the post more "fair and balanced."]


P. M. Jaworski said...

And you still miss the one important point: Under Ron Paul, the States would get to decide about gay marriage, meaning that it would be legal in plenty of States.

Ron Paul also says that this is a contract issue, and consenting adults should be free to make whatever contract they'd like. Including same sex marriage contracts.

RP's position is more nuanced than you're (ever) giving him credit for. More "fair and balanced" (i.e. more in line with the Fox principle of helping Giuliani win the election) would have meant you doing exactly what you did. More fair and balanced in the ordinary sense of those words would have included an explanation of Paul's stance on contracts, and on the fact that in spite of his personal opinions on the matter, a Paul presidency would be a giant step forward for the recognition of gay marriage--a recognition I support wholeheartedly.

But that would complicate the post, and violate the mission of this blog. Which is to make spurious insinuations and cast aspersions.

This blog is bullshit.

Terrence C. Watson said...

I think you're missing the point. It doesn't matter (much) what Ron Paul's ultimate goal is. The fact is, the Defense of Marriage Act created an exception to the Full Faith & Credit Clause, one that was solely targeted at gays and lesbians. It would have created an additional hurdle for gays, one straight couples would not have to jump through themselves.

Oh, and by the way, such a reinterpretation of the Constitution seems arguably inconsistent with the wording of that clause. Have you actually looked at it?

Or do you presume that whatever Ron Paul says about the Constitution must be correct, since he's a "constitutionalist"?

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