Gay Marriage is NOT a Conservative Cause

cops gays and blacks_

Conservatives have always been at the forefront of civil rights: abolishing slavery, desegregation, and women’s suffrage. Democrats were in favor of each of these assaults on individual freedom and fought hard to keep them in place. The Democrats of today cannot claim to be the historic pioneers of the emancipation of slaves, nor of women’s rights: their entire history is devoid of the pursuit or defense of freedom. So in recent years, Democrats have hijacked traditionally conservative values and achievements, specifically “civil rights” and “freedom.” This was not only to gain more power and influence among the populace, but to cloak one cause in particular – gay marriage.  This has led conservatives to believe gay marriage is a conservative cause because it promotes freedom.  This has also led Americans to believe that gay rights are akin to civil rights by conflating the black struggle during the civil rights movement to the homosexual’s struggle for gay marriage.

Only, the civil rights struggle and the “struggle” for gay marriage are incomparable, and gay marriage does NOT promote freedom.

Conservatives believe that individuals should be free to pursue happiness without government intrusion into their private lives and as long as they do not infringe upon the freedoms and rights of others.  We could then conclude this to be a perfect reason as to why conservatives should jump on the ‘gay marriage’ band-wagon.  After all, homosexuals (are we even allowed to use that word anymore?) desire just as much to be happy as anyone else and marriage – a voluntary contract between two parties – hardly infringes upon the freedoms and rights of other people. This argument has prompted over 100 Republican politicians to sign a “Gay Marriage” brief seeking to have gay marriage protected under The U.S. Constitution and so be nationally recognized.  Conservatives are slowly buying into the lie that if we do not change our stances on issues such as gay marriage, the Republican Party as we know it will slip into oblivion, never to recover again.

Even if we were to grant that in the name of freedom, gay marriage should be protected under the constitution, would conservative individuals like pastors and business owners retain their freedom to deny service to homosexual couples under the First Amendment?  If the answer is no, then providing an increase in freedom for a protected minority group while denying a natural freedom to individuals would not be a conservative cause; that is liberalism.  If the answer is yes, then homosexuals will not have gained anything that has not already been guaranteed to them through common law partnerships or civil unions… and so, why would we as traditional conservatives fight for it?

The confusion stems mainly from a lack of public understanding or caring as to why The US Constitution exists. We’ve heard many on the left scoff at the desire to protect the right to own semi-automatic weapons on the basis of defending against possible tyrannical governments when the Constitution, and by extension the Second Amendment, exists to protect against that very thing! The Constitution protects us from government tyranny. It does not protect your rights from someone else; the U.S. Criminal Code does that.

If “gay marriage” was protected under the Constitution, it would simply prevent government, government officials, and government services from discriminating against or refusing to recognize gay marriage and couples.  It would not prevent a church pastor, a private party, from refusing to marry them.  It would not prevent a bakery, a private business, from refusing to make their wedding cake.  The inclusion of gay marriage into the Constitution would not prevent any of these things unless government were to also limit the individual’s Constitutional rights…

…Maybe by claiming that gay marriage is a “Civil Right?”


It is now clear why militant homosexuals are so bent on co-opting the “civil right” label for their own cause.  They understand that the inclusion of gay marriage into the Constitution is socially meaningless without also having a form of legal protection against discrimination.  They place so much emphasis on government involvement in the redefinition of marriage because they want government intervention on their behalf, uncaring as to the rights of others that may be infringed upon in the process.  It is a wonder why conservatives in favor of “gay marriage” cannot grasp this.

To make the “inclusion” of gay marriage more palatable to Americans, what is better than to liken homosexuality to the minority group at the center of the Civil Rights movement: blacks?  This comparison also fails on closer inspection.

The fundamental reason for discrimination against blacks did not involve who they were having sex with or any other behavior; it was the color of their skin.  To compare one’s sexual orientation — a preference — to  the motive behind the persecution blacks faced up until the 1960’s — immutable physical characteristics — is to undermine the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.  Blacks were enslaved, lynched, whipped, and hunted down by vicious dogs, to list just a few of their past adversities.  What adversities that are even remotely comparable to the struggles of blacks do homosexuals as individuals or couples face today that would require them to acquire a protected status?

Yes, it is true that individual homosexuals might experience persecution for their sexuality, but homosexuals did not experience government-sanctioned persecution as a whole. There is a great difference between government-sanctioned persecution and a heinous act a private citizen commits against another. The civil rights act was reactionary to an entire culture of racism that often resulted in violence and dehumanization of blacks as well as denying them Constitutional rights. The persecution of homosexuals every now and then and over the course of several decades by specific individuals is absolutely incomparable, because they are isolated cases.

There are still black men who are beaten to a bloody pulp for being black. In an incident two years ago, a man was deliberately killed. Likewise, there are white men who are beaten for being white; and after the Trayvon Martin case, which drew national attention, we saw a lot of cases where whites were targeted by blacks out of vengeance for the death of Trayvon.  There are and might always be individuals who hate and abuse homosexuals just as there are people who hate and abuse blacks or whites.

A few months ago, our TCC colleague composed an article titled “Exclusion Does Not Equal Discrimination.”  That title is applicable here aswell.  Single individuals are not entitled to marital benefits because they are not married.  Polyamorous individuals are not entitled to marital benefits because marriage is between two parties.  Likewise, homosexual individuals are not entitled to marriage because marriage is between a man and a woman.  In each scenario the party is excluded, and neither party is licensed to change the definition of marriage simply because they don’t like being excluded.  The definitions of those words exclude by nature.

Gay marriage would not only dilute our language, but dilute conservative history and most importantly, dilute American freedoms. The attempt by some conservatives and notable Republicans to adopt gay marriage as a conservative cause is entirely self-defeating.  Conservatism is about protecting freedoms and limiting government, but legally enforcing “gay rights” will require an increase of government control in our private lives.

This article was originally published on

About the authors:  Avey Owyns and Atarah Golden co-authored this article together.  Atarah Golden is the co-founder of The Last Civil Right and a contributor for TheCollegeConservative.  Avey Owyns is also a TheCollegeConservative contributor.  Owyns is Canadian and is a philosophy major at the University of Windsor.

Atarah Golden | Cecil College | @AtarahGolden

Avey Owyns | University of Windsor (Ontario) | @AveyOwyns


20 thoughts on “Gay Marriage is NOT a Conservative Cause

  1. Pingback: Best Arguments Against Gay Marriage | Confessions of a Jesus Freak

  2. Polygamy is hardly a strawman argument; it measures the bounds of any legal decision (and the Supreme Court let stand laws banning polygamy in 2007: Again, kindly give me one logical argument for gay marriage not equally applicable to polygamy.
    EVERY ONE of your citations had NOTHING to do with gay marriage, did they? The last one dealt with homosexual PRIVATE CONDUCT. the rest dealt with heterosexual marriage.

  3. I’m completely saddened by how twisted, irrational, and downright incorrect your thinking is on this topic. I’ll address just a few of the idiotic things you wrote here. You write, “Yes, it is true that individual homosexuals might experience persecution for their sexuality, but homosexuals did not experience government-sanctioned persecution as a whole.” Homosexuals have absolutely experienced gov’t-sanctioned persecution, and it’s certainly not “every now and then” but continuous and systematic. Of course, we know some of the modern form this discrimination as DADT and DOMA. That’s not to mention the many states that prohibit gays from adopting children for no other reason than their sexuality and the fact that SCOTUS already had to prohibit anti-sodomy laws.

    Secondly, while it’s true that many homosexuals and their allies have said that their rights are, too, civil rights, but that’s really not a necessary part of the argument for marriage equality. SCOTUS has held multiple times that marriage is a fundamental right that can only be denied in very extreme circumstances, and even life imprisonment after a felony conviction isn’t enough to take away that right.

    It’s incredibly disturbing that you don’t see the clear parallel between the arguments you’re making against allowing homosexuals to marry and the arguments made against interracial marriages. Do you not realize that the definition of marriage has continued to evolve as bigots were finally overruled?

    I honestly think you people don’t understand the difference between being a conservative and being a Republican. You’re certainly a Republican, but a conservative you are not. I’m not sure if it’s your youth or your Christianity that gives you these views, but I certainly hope you overcome your folly soon.

    • Well, let me give you a MAJOR difference. Race is what you are born with coming out of the womb. Homosexuality is a BEHAVIOR VOLUNTARILY ADOPTED.
      And if marriage is a ‘right’ why were states left the responsibility of LICENSING it- just the same as they license the driving PRIVILEGE?

      • We obviously disagree about the basic assumptions here, but I’ll engage in this ridiculousness anyway.

        Homosexuality is not behavior voluntarily adopted, and it’s pretty well observed that only staunch bigots hold that belief. There are plenty of things that are rights that are subject to the bureaucracy of the government.

        Since you’re clearly not capable of actually doing any work to disprove what I wrote, which is that the Supreme Court said marriage was a fundamental right, I’ll do your work for you. Here are 14 cases in which the supreme court held that marriage is a fundamental right.

        So, try again.

      • Quick! Throw the word bigot out there! It’s a powerful mojo against a rational argument! Don’t actually REFUTE the point with any counter-argument!
        My gay half-brother does not find me bigoted; we disagree on some aspects of his behavior, but what he does in the bedroom is his business, not mine. He and his partner of 40 years have all the legal agreements necessary for proper management of this combined assets. As for the Supreme Court, the arguments currently underway show the majority of the Court DOES recognize the state issues involved. I would expect DOMA will be killed- and in my opinion, rightfully so as a transgression on state business.
        But since yo want to engage, maybe you can actually come up with something I have been asking about for four years:
        I am STILL looking for the valid argument for gay marriage that does NOT equally apply to polygamy, which has historical and religious precedences gay marriage does NOT. If you support gay marriage under the argument of ‘opposing discrimination by gender’, how can you oppose polygamy? How about marriage of step-siblings that were raised together? (‘discrimination by number’)? (Disclaimer; even though my great-great-grandparents were Mormon polygamists, I oppose ALL.)

      • I asked my brother to read your comments, and he says you’re a bigot. Irrelevant, right?! Oh, the opinions of our brothers don’t actually matter in this discussion, do they?!

        You said that marriage wasn’t a right. I showed you that SCOTUS clearly considers it to be. Acknowledge you were wrong. Rights are often regulated by the states. The right to intrastate travel, contraception, and procreation are all in some way regulated by the individual states, but they are all rights guaranteed under the 14th amendment, just like marriage. States can place reasonable regulations on these rights, but have to apply them in non-discriminatory ways.

        I never wrote that I do oppose polygamy, so, take your straw man arguments elsewhere.

  4. Well written and thought out. Keep up the good work.God be with you and keep you. A thousand angels watch over you.

  5. You cannot conflate “Republican” with “conservative” when talking about US history. Lincoln was a flaming liberal. People were so afraid that he would take their property (slaves) in a violation of States’ Rights that they seceded before he was inaugurated. I think that the parallels are pretty clear here between Lincoln/Obama, slavery/taxes, Democrats/Republicans. It is incredibly ironic that you think that Lincoln was a conservative.

    • The Republicans considered all people as equal. The Democrats have ALWAYS- and continue to treat blacks as ‘limited’. Before, the thought blacks to dumb to vote. Now they think blacks too dumb to make it on their own talents and need ‘special’ treatment. They essentially deny the ‘content of character’ argument, as they always have. Tell me what’s changed?

  6. The REPUBLICANS of Lincoln’s time and of 100 years or even 70 years ago were NOT CONSERVATIVES. That’s pretty much why your column is irrelevant. They were today’s progressives,while the Dems were too busy being corrupt. The Dems became progressives when FDR came in power and got rid of the remnants of the corruption that was rotting the party and managed to save the country through many a social law. Let me assure you that Lincoln would have hated Regan and Bush. So it is very dishonest to assimilate leaders such as Lincoln and Eisenhower to the contemporary conservative movement.

  7. “…To compare one’s sexual orientation — a preference —…”

    I was with you until the above.

    I am not saying or implying all gay individuals are the same or under the same motivation, but if sexual orientation is a preference, then you, Avey and Atarah, could choose to be attracted to another female (my assumption of heterosexuality in you both). And I, a male, could simply choose to be attracted to another male.

    I cannot get around this. The preference statement doesn’t ring true in my experience.

    I am a heterosexual male. I am attracted to females. When I hear high heels behind me, I turn to look. When I notice a female enter the room, I glance in her direction. If I smell perfume, my head raises up. If a female enters the elevator I am in, I stand a little straighter. These behaviors are part of who and what I am – they are not planned out. They are not chosen.

    I know how I feel and what I am attracted to. I cannot change this. I don’t even have to talk to a gay person to understand that one’s sexual preference is not like choosing strawberry or vanilla ice cream.

    Search your feelings and attractions. The last time you were in an elevator or small space with another person – think about how you felt, what your body felt, what went thru your mind. And see how dependent your reactions were on the sex of the other person.

    You don’t have a choice.

  8. Marriage was created to allow honor in the marriage bed and procreation. Where’s the procreation in the homosexual community? This emotional issue will only undermine the 1st amendment by adding new laws forcing Pastors and clergymen to have to suppress their biblical teaching that marriage should be between one woman and one man at one time.

    • Are infertile couples prevented from being married? Is there a fertility check that is done before a straight couple is presented a marriage license?

  9. so let me get this right, the push for gay marriage is about benefits really….suppose I am gay I cant get married,1)-I support my partner other for 30 years I die they cant claim social security benefits as a straight spouse can, 2)-I file my income tax, I cant use the married status and claim its benefits, and so on ..flip side- I’ve seen all these stories where one dies and the partner is left without those things they enjoyed together, property etc goes to family….that I say has nothing to do with marital status but merely poor planning on their own behalves…uh duh–write a will, set up a trust, there are numerous ways to solve those issues ahead of time. …then you have the case of medical insurance, several companies will allow you to add a partner to your plan as though you are married, yet then there is a disparity when you consider straight couples who live together and cant do the same because marriage is available to them, how many get married simply to enjoy social benefits? I then have to wonder how gays dont see the savings to themselves in the event things good bad…all those fees for divorce saved, they just get to walk away, no alimony and support to pay, oh thats right the injured party cant claim those either….or can they under Palimony….. seems to me some people just want what they cant have simply because the grass looks greener on the other side….

    • If this is purely about benefits, taxes, insurance, etc, this is easily resolved through repealing bad laws and untying these things from marriage itself. There should be no reason I can’t extend my benefits to my friend or any family member I want, regardless of sexual orientation.

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