Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

Anti-gay Marriage:  The State vs. The Individual

   If the Idaho Legislature enacts a constitutional amendment to ban civil unions and gay marriages, it will have ridiculously enacted a law to repeal its own existence.

   The real issue concerning the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment to the Idaho Constitution is not about same sex marriage; this issue is about the individual’s right of voluntary association – at a religious level AND civil rights level.

   As ridiculous as it may seem biologically for same sex marriages, we must remember that Darwin did not write the U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights.  I may not agree with the actions of individuals participating in same sex marriages, but I will fight for their freedom of voluntary association and right to choose.

   The Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment, if passed, would set a dangerous legal precedent.  The same philosophical reasons to ban voluntary gay marriages will be the same philosophical reasons to deny ALL other voluntary associations, and thus our basic freedoms.  Our freedoms and morality do not emanate from the state legislature.  They are a gift from God, not the government. 

   Individuals are born with rights to freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, and freedom of voluntary association.  These freedoms form the basis for all of our other freedoms:  freedom of trade, freedom to exchange ideas, commodities and services, and freedom to enter into voluntary contracts of marriage or any other union – religious and civil – as long as they don’t infringe upon those same rights of other individuals.

   How ironic that the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment seeks to define and ban voluntary associations between consenting adults.  Antecedent to the Idaho Constitution is the God-given right of individuals to freely associate.  With that God-given right, individuals can choose to associate and form a government.  That government cannot then prohibit individuals from voluntary association.  What a contradiction.  The very legislative body created by voluntary association -- the state legislature -- is being used in an attempt to deny individual freedom and voluntary association of others.

   To deny freedom of individual association is to deny the very premise for the existence of a freely created government in the first place!

   Collective institutions have no rights.  Only individuals have rights.  Individuals cannot grant to government those rights that they did not originally obtain from God, or Nature.  Individuals do not have the right to infringe upon or limit other individuals’ rights of voluntary association.  Therefore, a collective of individual legislators do not have the right to limit other individuals’ same rights of voluntary association.  We have a Bill of Rights to prohibit such government infringements.

   The Bill of Rights does not grant freedoms; the Bill of Rights is a document that prohibits infringements of our God-given rights, a priori to the establishment of a government.  Hence we have a limited constitutional republic, not a strict democracy, and certainly not a theocracy.

   Nor can individuals extend their particular moral values to a government body in an attempt to govern the morals of their neighbors.  In the same manner that you do not have the right to tell your neighbor what to eat, what to drink, what to smoke, which church to attend, or how to participate in consenting adult sex, you do not have the right to grant that action to a government.  Mob rule by the state does not supersede individual rights obtained from God or a Universal Force.

   This issue is not about same sex marriage; this issue is about individual rights vs. tyranny by the majority.

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