Tag Archives: Equality

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

 THOMAS JEFFERSON

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Born This Way? It Doesn’t Matter.

Last week, Cynthia Nixon announced that she had chosen to be gay, and she’d chosen her current relationship with a woman over her past relationships with men. Leaving aside the possibility that Ms. Nixon is bisexual and doesn’t realize it, it’s important to note that it doesn’t matter if she chose it or not. Gay rights activists — in an effort to cast themselves as a civil rights movement — have made being “born this way” the crux of the argument that LGBT people deserve equal rights. Their argument should be a different, more liberty-centered approach.
Now, I personally believe that the vast majority, if not all gay Americans were “born that way,” but that doesn’t actually matter. If you’re a Hindu or a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew, you weren’t born that way, but you’re protected with the full force of the US constitution and US law. You were most likely not born owning your current property, but you chose to buy it, and the government will protect your right to own it (unless they want to put a highway there.) We are free to make choices, and not lose our rights based upon those choices. If you are a Christian, and chose to become a Muslim tomorrow, you would not lose any rights. As it should be. If you are straight, and you choose to change your sexual orientation tomorrow, you should not lose any rights because of it. If you choose to be a Republican, you have the same right to free speech as a Democrat or a Libertarian (who, by the way, you should thank for most of these rights.)
As the criticism leveled against Nixon has shown, the gay rights movement seems to have forgotten what rights are and gotten too caught up trying to make a liberal argument for what is essentially a libertarian argument. Rights are things that remain granted no matter what we choose to say, think, or do, so long as we do not inflict harm upon others. In reality, what the gay rights movement should be seeking is not so much “marriage equality,” but rather the “freedom to marry.”
Cynthia Nixon is entitled to do whatever the heck she wants, it’s none of our business, and that’s how it should be.
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