Thursday, 30 April 2015

08:06 – The morning paper presents a false dichotomy, a poll asking if religious rights should trump gay rights or vice versa. In doing so, they’re making the false assumption that rights can ever be in conflict. As libertarians have been saying ever since there have been libertarians, your right to swing your fist ends at the other guy’s nose. Gay rights and religious rights are not and never have been in conflict.

Do gays have the right to marry and to enjoy all the benefits of that state? Absolutely, and religious people have no right to stop them from doing so. Do religious people have the right to refuse to do business with gay people, or do churches have the right to refuse to marry gay couples? Absolutely, and gays have no right to force them to do so. It’s government that’s at fault here, stirring the pot by refusing to grant rights to gays that it freely grants to non-gays, and by forcing religious people to act against their own deeply-held beliefs by providing products and services to gays. Both of those are utterly wrong, and both cause needless conflict between gays and religious people. The obvious solution is for government to treat gays and straights even-handedly and to stop forcing anyone to do business with people they don’t want to do business with.