GAY MARRIAGE: The Mason-Dixon Line of Tolerance

The recent ousting of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich highlights not just the huge cultural divide on the gay marriage debate, but our nation’s dangerous misunderstanding of the term “tolerance.” Tolerance is an absolute necessity in any free society. As defined by Merriam-Webster, tolerance is the willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own. As we live in a society of more than 300 million diverse individuals, this is an essential nature to ensure domestic tranquility. The entire concept of liberty depends on each and every one of us accept that there are beliefs, attitudes and activities that differ from our own, even reprehensible to some.

How can this happen in America?

How can this happen in America?

And while much of the progressive-left wears the badge of tolerance on their shoulders, it is specifically this group which most practices an attitude of intolerance and exclusion. In our age, this intolerance has found its manifestation in the gay marriage debate. As the left defines the issue, to simply disagree with placing same-sex marriages on the same legal and moral plane as traditional marriage is not simply an opinion on a particular policy issue, but defines one as “anti-gay.” To the left, there is no debate, there is no just cause to weigh the far reaching consequences of establishing such a cultural shift. No, to them and the gay-left, to disagree is to be homophobic and hate-filled. This doesn’t leave much room for discussion or reasonable debate, the very foundations of our Republic and the very essence of the tolerance they claim to base their entire world view on.

If we, as reasonable adults, cannot agree that there differing opinions on this issue, there can be no dialogue, there can be no understanding and there can be middle ground to be found. If the larger gay community as a whole insists that to disapprove of gay marriage is to be “anti-gay” then we have a serious problem which will never be mended.

We can easily address the tangible benefits the gay community purports to achieve. Would most conservatives support granting civil partners the tax benefits, hospital and prison visitation, probate and other tangible matters that gay partners desire? I believe we would. Will conservatives, as a whole, ever come to the belief that a same sex marriage is on an equal level, with no distinctions, from a traditional practice our species has participated in since the dawn of civilization? That’s not going to happen. Ever. This could be a matter of religious belief, tradition, or simply a personal and primal instinct. All are completely understandable, intellectually and culturally and do no require “hate” to be a motivating factor. This is something that, at least within the activist base of the gay community, is not understood.

Conservative apprehension, and Newtonian backlash, comes when concerns the right has about gay marriage (dismissed by the left as alarmist and unrealistic so very much in tune their rhetoric on so many issues), are proving to be founded. The defense of “how does their marriage affect you” has been answered in that legal acceptance is no longer enough, compulsory participation is now demanded by the state. Add to that the Pandora’s Box that acceptance of gay marriage renders opposition to bigamy and incestuous relations intellectually hypocritical, and you see a huge gulf that simply screaming “homophobes” isn’t going to fill. And while the progressive’s may claim “victory” with legislation and legal decrees, if the ultimate desire of the gay community is true tolerance, on the path to acceptance, these victories will be hollow. The “acceptance” will be obligatory. Gay Americans will forever be forced to wonder what is being said once you leave the room.

There are many areas in which conservatives and the gay community can find common cause. The gay community counts among its population a disproportionate number of small business owners, for example. The concerns and struggles of these entrepreneurs are no different than that of straight business owners. Tax codes and regulatory battles have nothing to do with bedroom activities. As conservatives, our philosophy of a limited government, individual liberty and self-determination is one we believe to be superior for all Americans, the gay community included.

While the gay-left and their progressive allies bloviated in righteous indignation the actions taken recently by the Arizona legislature to strengthen right of refusal laws for business owners, they fail to acknowledge, of course, this was a crisis of their own doing. Prior to these actions, in multiple states, gay couples purposely targeted bakers they knew would refuse to do a custom order (the key term here) wedding cake for a gay marriage. When the baker refused to do this custom order, lawyers were brought in and Pandora’s box was opened.

Much like the case where the moron who named his kid “Adolph Hitler” was refused from a baker when a custom birthday cake order was presented, it comes down to a business’ decision to take or refuse a contract based on their beliefs. Had the baker refused to, out of hand, sell the couple a cupcake, or standard white sheet cake, this one thing, but to not wish to inscribe the cake and place figurines of two “grooms” he is making a decision based on his moral and religious beliefs. Business can choose when and if to take custom orders for all sorts of reasons. It could be based on beliefs, or that by taking this order, they may risk their reputation with their built in customer base, or simply because they cant handle the workload.

There is an aspect of karma at play here. The gay couples who purposely targeted these bakers did so specifically to pick a fight. Not only did they disregard the owners religious liberty, but the right of a business to pick and choose what customer orders they would take. After all, should we force a bakery owned by a gay man to make a custom ordered cake from someone who wished to inscribe it with anti-gay slogans? Should a public relations firm with a strong stance toward animal rights be forced to take on the marketing campaign of an ivory importing consortium? The left wing tends to base their stance not on a consistent belief set, but rather those involved in the given dispute. This is not only hypocrisy, but incredibly dangerous in a tolerant society.

The gay community has the same responsibility that the general public has, as it relates to domestic tranquility. Its a fight they

Is the gay community their own worst enemy?

Is the gay community their own worst enemy?

started,  wanted to start simply to attack some baker who happened to disagree with their lifestyle. They cared not whether this would result in the baker losing his business or livelihood, in fact they most likely desired it. Any action born of bitterness and intolerance will result have an equal and opposite reaction. One need only recall the lessons of the Weimar Republic to witness the result of pushing even a tolerant and educated people too far, too fast. When we consider there is an active “war room” in progressive circles, researching Christian-owned establishments and executives political donations, then acting to have them “purged” from active society for simply disagreeing on particular legislation, we must come to the conclusion we have reached a dangerous point in our nations history. Not only does this reveal a very “un-democratic” strain in the body politic, but opens the door for a cultural backlash that I promise will be counter intuitive to the gay communities stated goal of greater understanding and societal acceptance.

Most conservatives would defend the gay baker’s right to deny taking an order to inscribe a cake with anti-gay slogans with the same zeal as we will the Christian baker who refuses to do the gay marriage cake. This is what we call consistency, a concept apparently lost on the left, be they gay or straight. If the gay community cannot understand this, nay agree with us, then I do hold out much hope that we can work effectively with one another.





  • DaGooz88

    Very good article. Of course, the irrational children of the gay & liberal world will lose their minds over daring to suggest their can be two ways to look at this.

    • Tony Lock

      Yep, just like there were two ways to look at interracial marriage. People still want to not be judged for their bigotry (as if there’s anything wrong with bigotry, right?). Of course, the excuses about.

      • DaGooz88

        The two have NOTHING to do with each other (inter-racial & gay).

        • Tony Lock

          Of course they do. An innate quality is an innate quality..whether we’re talking skin color, handedness or orientation. Religion shouldn’t be used as an excuse for bigotry on any of the issues…and history shows it has.

      • DaGooz88

        You guys could have gotten changes to civil union laws to get the benefits, visitation, etc. But NO. You had to demand that the law recognize NO difference between the types of marriages. The article makes a good point, if you agree with gay marriage, you cant honestly be against polygamy or even incestuous marriages. It is now intellectually hypocritical to do so.

        • Tony Lock

          Only marriage is considered a basic, fundamental human right “necessary for the pursuit of happiness”..not civil unions. And if civil unions were elevated to be on equal footing as such with marriage, it would be a ridiculous proposition having two virtually identical basic civil rights with different names just to pacific your (and the author’s) exclusionary paradigm. Besides, separate isn’t equal, so why settle for anything less than equal? This IS America after all.

          Polygamy and incest? Remember what I wrote about scrambling for excuses? This is one of the best examples. Attaching gay marriage to other social issues/ills is simply a specious argument that attempts to add some sort of credibility via a completely non-cogent, illogical and impractical analogy.

          If gay marriage is such a bad idea to you “thinking” opponents, then those reasons against gay marriage should be able to stand on their own merits, yes? Otherwise, saying gay marriage is bad because polygamy or incest or whatever is also bad becomes akin to declaring that rape is bad only because murder is bad. Isn’t rape bad because rape is bad? How about murder? If the individual arguments against gay marriage must rely so heavily on misaligned associations, how strong are those arguments to begin with? How well do they truly withstand scrutiny?

          Also, when polygamy or incest or whatever can be shown to be a distinct, legally recognized minority that is recognized as a normal (by all mainstream healthcare organizations) innate quality, then maybe those other issues should have their day in court. Until then, this author’s (and your) point of argument is about as hollow as they come.

        • Merv99

          Your comment supposes a level of good will from conservatives that has simply never been in evidence. Conservatives have consistently pursued the path of maximum hostility to gay people within the bounds of political feasibility. This is glaringly obvious with their stubborn refusal to repeal laws criminalizing homosexuality. Until the 2003 Supreme Court decision, there were still 14 states with sodomy laws on the books. Until 2010, the state Republican party platforms of Texas and Montana included planks calling for the return of sodomy laws.

          As for recognition of same-sex relationships, the same intransigence is evident. Conservatives bitterly opposed introduction of civil unions in Vermont in 2000, as well as later in other states. After Washington state passed domestic partnership legislation in 2009, conservative groups gathered signatures to force a public vote, which they lost. Of the 33 or so states that passed constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage, around 19 also had provisions prohibiting civil unions. Does that sound like the spirit of compromise to you?

          If conservatives had ever actually been sincere in their embrace of marriage alternatives, it might have actually been effective in delaying same-sex marriage. Denmark was the first country in Europe to enact civil partnerships in 1989, but well behind the curve in Europe on same-sex marriage, adopting it in 2012. But, of course, back in the 1980s in the US, when the AIDS epidemic made the need for such agreements obvious, with tragic stories of hospital visitation denied and surviving partners being kicked out of shared housing by vindictive families, conservatives were opposing any recognition at all. It’s only when their strategy of stonewalling is beginning to fail that they cynically accuse others of refusing to compromise.

      • Tim Brown

        What an ignorant comment. Interracial marriage was still marriage. Sodomites are wanting to REDEFINE marriage. They want to bastardize the institution of marriage, which has been defined for all of human history as between members of the opposite sex. The only bigotry going on is from those that hate the definition of marriage.

        • Tony Lock

          And what’s wrong with redefining a term to be more inclusive in honoring America’s principles of equality and reciprocity? I suppose we could challenge the definition of “all MEN” being equal, as the idea was eventually expanded to not only include non-white males and non-land owners, but even WOMEN (now THERE’s a real change in definition for “men”).

          Besides, the modern idea of marriage where women aren’t considered property or marriage is about more than family arrangements and exchange of goods isn’t “old” at all – it can only trace back to last century.

          So, the meaning of marriage has been changing for quite a while. It’s about time it caught up to embrace a more inclusive paradigm in better honoring our core principles.

          • DaGooz88

            What about one man and two women? You cant really be for gay marriage and not for polygamy? Or cousins.

  • Tony Lock

    What the author wholly neglects to consider is that we live in a pluralistic society, and when entering in the business world, there is an implied (and often legally enforced) social contract of reciprocity. That is a key dynamic for our becoming one out of many.

    Considering reciprocity, is it right that a Christian baker refuses to bake for a gay couple, but doesn’t bat an eye on making one for a Hindu or Buddhist ceremony?

    What is worse to a Christian – same sex marriage or not believing in Christ at all?

    The SAME principle and legal standing that says the Christian baker cannot refuse a Hindu or Buddhist or Wiccan or Muslim or Jew or Atheist (and VICE VERSA) is precisely the same principle and legal standing that should also be applied to the gay community.

    Extrapolating on the author’s perspective, I suppose anti-discrimination laws should not exist in any context then for housing, hiring, etc.? Again. ideology that enables such thinking ignores our history and current reality of prejudice. A prejudice that government intervention has greatly assisted in significantly reducing if not completely eradicating for other groups, and is now doing the same for gays.

    By the way…EVERY wedding cake of any decent quality is considered custom….unless you are shopping at Costco.

    So again, what is worse to the Christian baker – not believing in Christ at all…or gay marriage? Why pick and chose between a Hindu or Muslim or gay couple?

    Reciprocity, my friends. Reciprocity. That’s how America functions as a pluralistic society.

    Welcome to America!

    • DaGooz88

      But he did make that point:
      “it comes down to a business’ decision to take or refuse a contract based on their beliefs. Had the baker refused to, out of hand, sell the couple a cupcake, or standard white sheet cake, this one thing, but to not wish to inscribe the cake and place figurines of two “grooms” he is making a decision based on his moral and religious beliefs. Business can choose when and if to take custom orders for all sorts of reasons.”

      • Tony Lock

        Wrong, custom is custom. And it’s beyond a weak rationale (simply hiding behind pseudo-logic) to say it’s such a burden to put two grooms on a cake versus baking for a non-Christian ceremony. No sane judge would consider that a rational argument or viable legal position.

        No, people can’t refuse others based on religious beliefs, as I pointed out. All you are arguing for is this one exception (against gays) to promote and support the grand hypocrisy of the rationale.

        Then again, I suppose baking for a non-Christian religious ceremony – thereby involving the Christian baker in promoting “false” gods is acceptable? Well, actually…legally it is not only acceptable, it’s required!

        Reciprocity…that’s the basis of America’s functioning as a pluralistic society.

    • DaGooz88

      Just because a birthday cake is custom, as you point out, doesn’t change things. If anything, more than justifies his argument. You cant do your best work if your heart isn’t in it. By taking a project you morally disagree with, your level of excellence is put to the test, and your quality is gonna suffer.

      • Tony Lock

        That reasoning applies to EVERYTHING, not just orientation. Interestingly, that rationale can NOT be used legally when thinking about a wedding cake for non-Christian ceremony. If the baker wants to maintain a good business reputation, s/he would think more than once about not doing their best.

    • DaGooz88

      One question. Winters used the example of a gay baker not making a cake with anti-gay stuff on it. Would you agree? Or should the baker have to do it.

      • Tony Lock

        That isn’t discriminating against or refusing a person as being part of a distinct legal class or minority. Aside from the oppression gays have faced, there is no (recent) acknowledged legal standing or precedent for protecting the promotion of bigotry (not since the civil rights act at least)…which IS what you are arguing for the baker being allowed to do. The only difference is that you are supporting the business side of bigotry instead of the customer’s side (which was the the example the article gives). Neither scenario carries any legitimate weight.

        • DaGooz88

          How convenient. I think you just made the authors argument.

          • Tony Lock

            No, I didn’t. Trying reading what I wrote a little more slowly. And when you are done scrambling for excuses or loop holes to promote and enable bigotry, you might want to take a different tact and try approaching it from an angle of promoting American principles of unity and finding reasons to honor America’s pluralistic society (actually – I sort of did that for you with the reasons spelled out – you just have to decide to respect those principles enough to honor them.)

  • Eric L.

    Typical alarmist right wing tripe. Was expecting something better. Something did stand out to me though:

    “Most conservatives would defend the gay baker’s right to deny taking an
    order to inscribe a cake with anti-gay slogans with the same zeal as we
    will the Christian baker who refuses to do the gay marriage cake.”

    Really now? I want to believe this, but the rhetoric of right wing groups seems to continue to propagate an “us vs them” mentality. If right wing groups genuinely reached out to gay groups and said “Ok let’s try and make things equal for everyone in a way we can all agree with” I would change my opinion about them.

    As it stands right now they just seem interested in beating those nasty homosexuals. They show no interest in trying to be the level head. Until they do, I’m going to continue to side with the LGBT community.

    • DaGooz88

      Maybe you need to open your mind up and hang out with more conservatives. Just like the gay community, or the black community, or Latinos (Im latino), the conservative community is diverse. Yeah, the hard core Christians aren’t going to be easy to warm up to, but youd be surprised, most of us don’t care what you do.
      I can speak to me and my friends attitude, we have no problem with what you do in the bedroom, be happy in your life bro, we just don’t want to constantly hear bout it.
      But about the gay baker example he gave, Im with that..all day long. Its not a gay issue, its a freedom issue.

      • Eric L.

        I live in the South. I am surrounded by conservatives. One of my supervisors is an ardent reader of The Blaze. While I realize that the conservative community is diverse, I highly doubt (if given the upper hand on this issue) that they will actually promote the type of freedom that you and Mr. Winters idolize. If all gay rights organizations and lobbying groups decided tomorrow to throw their hands up and say “Ok conservatives we give up. You get to decide what constitutes a marriage and what, if any, rights gay people should have” can you really assert that conservatives would defend a gay man’s right to do as he pleases in the bedroom and deny service to someone that finds him morally repugnant?

        I often hear the argument that gay people already have all the rights they would ever need afforded to them, but that is assuming that the authorities that be ensure that these basic rights are distributed equally. If conservatives were left to their own devices, can you be positive that they will not go out of their way to obstruct the basic rights afforded to gay people through the constitution? Never mind the so called “special rights” afforded by state anti-discrimination statues The answer is no. As can be seen by the actions of Russia, the opposite is more likely to happen if conservatives are allowed to have their way.

        As for the “constantly hearing about it” comment. While I agree that conversations about sexual acts are inappropriate in most contexts, I think there is something you fail to consider. If you get to talk about your wife, your kids, your girlfriend in a non-sexual context, or proclaim how much you love Jesus, how is it fair that I should have to clam up about my boyfriend assuming the conversation is not in regards to actual sexual acts? Let’s make a deal: when straight people stop making such a big deal about their opposite sex spouses, children, or opposite sex partners we’ll stop making such a big deal about being gay.

        In end, while I do want to believe that conservatives would defend the right of a gay person to live their lives freely, the fact of that matter is (if given the opportunity) conservative groups have made it abundantly clear that they don’t just want to stop the gay rights movement, they want to reverse it in the name of “morality.” You say “most of us don’t care what you do.” If that is the case, why all the fuss?

      • Eric L.

        By the way, I think some of the tactics of the left (especially the gay left) are very underhanded. Nonetheless, I prefer those underhanded tactics to the possibility of Russia like sanctions.

        Also not sure what hanging out with more conservatives has to do with my point that they continue to feed the fires by propagating this “us vs them” mentality. If the left is fascist and intolerant, why don’t reach out to try and find middle ground? Nope, more interested in playing the victim game of the left.

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  • Maria

    The beauty about our country is that there are plenty of bakeries to go to. Should a gay baker be forced to make a cake with anti-gay stuff on it? No,of course not. Businesses have the right to refuse service to any one for any reason.

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  • CrissCross

    Demanding LGBT be tolerant of your intolerance will result in nothing but a demand that you be tolerant of their intolerance of your intolerance.
    We could escalate it further by demanding they be tolerant of your intolerance of their intolerance of your intolerance.
    We could spiral to hell and back in a vortex of escalating demands for tolerating intolerance.

    Give it a rest. You are simply escalating for the sake of escalating with no end goal in mind.
    Stirring with your wooden spoon in hand, oblivious to the fact that the pot has been worn away to nothing, leaves you flapping a bit of old wood at the gays.
    We stopped being cavemen millenniums back. Join us.

    • Dan Dobrowolski

      You’re an idiot.