Michael Smerconish: A conservative's case for same-sex marriage
In fact, far from abandoning the principles he has spent his life advancing, Olson recently sounded to me like a man reaffirming a central pillar of that outlook. "I think one of the great principles of conservatism is individual liberty and freedom of thought and freedom of association," he told me.
"I think it's important in this country that we give people liberty of behaving in ways in compliance with the law, but to have the relationships that the rest of us have," he continued. "And to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation makes no sense with respect to marriage and their desire to live with one another in a peaceful, stable relationship. And it's good for our society to stop discriminating on that basis."
- Principles of conservatism include individual liberty, freedom of thought and freedom of association.
- America generally affords people the liberty of behaving in ways (implied: that are not fully socially acceptable yet) in compliance with the law, and to have the relationships that the rest of us have.
- It is discrimination to distinguish people on the basis of their sexual orientation with respect to marriage and their desire to live with one another in a peaceful, stable relationship.
- Finally it's good for our society to stop discriminating on that basis therefore conservatism supports what is good for our society and should support same sex marriage.
- Conservatism supports what is good for our society and conservatism opposes same sex marriage because it is not discrimination to make distinctions in people based on lifestyle choices.
- Homosexuality is a lifestyle (even if some make a case for a homosexual gene) because their is no innate physical traits to distinguish, and the choice of living with one another or a stable relationship is not akin to marriage which is historically and socially defined as between one man and one woman.
- Because of an existing definition of marriage all other relationships while socially acceptable are not to be equated with marriage. At that point I could be discriminated against because I am a African-american female.
- Therefore this is not a matter where liberty is at issue but order. We must have a just and ordered society and the conservative principles guide our country on that path.
Olson rightly pointed out during our conversation that "society suffers no benefit" from outlawing same-sex marriage. There isn't any "real basis," he said, for the belief that legalizing such relationships would invite the deterioration of heterosexual marriage or encourage polygamy. Nor does his case compel Christianity - or any other religion with conflicting tenets - to recognize gay marriage.