Gay Rights and Religious Sensibilities

The Democrat-controlled state government of Washington passed a law adding gays to the list of people that you’re not allowed to discriminate against. Here’s a bogus comment on this event from The Chronicle of Centralia, a rural Washington newspaper.


[T]here should be allowances for people of conscience who oppose what they see as the sin of homosexuality not to be forced to act in a way that in effect condones it.


First, let’s reflect on how far liberal thought has progressed. Even when taking a conservative point of view, the editors couch their argument in liberal terms. It’s not the objective sin of homosexuality that’s at issue. Instead, it’s the individual conscience and point of view that (supposedly) is not to be violated. We can take this argument as evidence of a dramatic liberal victory in framing public debate.


Second, let’s take this argument apart. The implication here is that people should be able to discriminate against others if they see those others as sinful. By the same logic, those who believe that interracial marriage is a sin should be able to discriminate against interracial couples. Those who believe that Catholics are idolators just because they venerate statues of the divine dead the way pagan Romans did should be able to discriminate against them. Those who believe that God wants women to stay in the home should be able to discriminate against working women. Coming up with more examples is a trivial exercise.


If those opposed to gay rights think that intolerant religious beliefs should give people the special privilege of being able to discriminate against others, they should come out and say so. Otherwise they should stop using specious arguments.


July 2006


Gay Rights and Choice: bad rhetoric on the other side


Gay Pride Parade
Seattle 2006
click for more photos