May 7, 2014

"Coercion dolled up as civil rights"

Brendan O'Neill, the editor of Spiked , who describes himself as "an atheistic libertarian" writes

Same-sex marriage: coercion dolled up as civil rights


This is the thing no one in the gay-marriage lobby, or in political and media circles more broadly, seems to want to talk about - the fact that in every jurisdiction in which it has been introduced, gay marriage has been heavily attended by authoritarianism and coercion.
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As the National Review said, ‘refusal [to celebrate gay marriage] is now considered tantamount to a crime’. Eich’s treatment only made more explicit this creeping criminalisation of opponents of gay marriage. In Britain, too, one of the first things secularist supporters of gay marriage did when it became clear that their new institution was going to come into being was to agitate against Catholic schools for failing to promote it. They accused Catholic schools of ‘politically indoctrinating’ their students by teaching them only about traditional marriage, and said such ‘encouragement to bigotry’ shouldn’t be allowed.
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Anyone who over the past few years has paid attention to the moral delegitimation of critics of gay marriage, to the state attacks on anti-gay marriage protesters, to the social ostracism of those who favour traditional marriage, to the attempt to force religious schools to teach about gay marriage, and to the Orwellian airbrushing from history of the words and identities cleaved to by the already married, cannot have been surprised by what happened to Eich. His fate wasn’t the product of a handful of zealous campaigners going too far on Twitter - it was the end result of an intolerant culture, sometimes mob-like, sometimes state-enforced, that has been gaining ground for years, and which showed long before the elbowing aside of Eich that it was more than happy to ostracise, punish, criminalise and censor anyone who dared raise a peep of opposition to gay marriage. Coercion is built into gay marriage. They used to say love and marriage went together - in the gay-marriage movement, it’s authoritarianism and marriage that are bedfellows.
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The sacralisation of homosexuality corresponds precisely with the growing denigration by the state and others of the sphere of the family and the ideals of lifelong commitment, because celebrating gayness has become the main and most PC means through which traditional values might be dented and traditional identities called into question, even thrown open to heightened official scrutiny.

This is what explains both the peculiarly speedy and strikingly authoritarian way in which gay marriage has been adopted by governments across the West who otherwise care little for freedom and choice - because officials recognise in it the opportunity to push further their instinctive hostility towards traditional communal and familial ideals that to a large extent exist outside of the purview of the state. ….
Posted by Jill Fallon at May 7, 2014 9:45 AM | Permalink