On 27 November 2007, the legal hammer fell on Massachusetts’ resident David Parker as he lost his court battle to determine what moral teaching his child would receive at school. It was the culmination of a legal case that began in April 2006 after Parker discovered (in early 2005), that the school was teaching his son about homosexual relationships and transgenderism.
In one of the most lawless legal rulings you’ll ever read, Parker and by extension every parent in Massachusetts, was plunged into the Orwellian nightmare that comes when gay marriage has the backing of legal force from the state. After running around looking for any possible justification for his views, Judge Mark Wolf ruled that:
- Now that gay marriage is legal the state had a duty to normalise homosexual relationships.
- The school could use teaching materials and methods to that end.
- The school had no obligation to notify parents when this was happening.
- You cannot ‘opt-out’ your children from such teachings.
In dismissing Parker’s rights, the Judge actually asserted (wrongly) the states’ rights.
Move across to London 2017:
Inspectors visiting Vishnitz Girls School in north London last month said the Orthodox school does not give pupils “a full understanding of fundamental British values”, The Telegraph reported. Pupils were not taught about LGBT issues such as “sexual orientation”, which are in breach of equality laws.
This restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles,” inspectors reported.
The list goes on and I think you get the picture. The common thread in all the issues around gay marriage and the promotion of gay issues is the same. They want access to your children and they don’t want you to have any say in the matter. Moreover, they want your taxes to pay for their moral views to be ascendant.
An attack on a school’s right to teach the parents beliefs to the children is actually an attack on the parents themselves. The Vishnitz school teaches a moral world view because it’s what the parents want and is a large part of the reason for the school’s existence in the first place. This is beyond restricting your ability to teach your children your moral views. It is the insistence of the states’ morals being taught.
David Parker and the parents of the Vishnitz school awoke one day and discovered that the state had become their enemy and that by keeping to their beliefs, they had become an enemy of the state. Herein lies the crux of the matter. The power of legal force is a deadly foe to liberty when it is not exercised for its legitimate purpose, which is to protect persons and property. Once something receives legal backing, it is civil disobedience to oppose it and it is the antithesis of liberty.
The institution of marriage is the oldest institution on earth. It predates religion and government and is the primary bedrock of civilisation. The coming together of men and women to form a union and from that a family is the most natural process to humans and we’ve been engaging in it with gusto forever. Our most ancient and sacred writings have extensive exploration and instruction regarding marriage. It is as natural to the human mind and disposition as rainfall is to the natural world. To believe otherwise is to be on the wrong side of history. The state’s role is merely one of reinforcement of the natural order we adopt. Under the rules of natural law, we delegate to the state certain personal rights and entrust them to our governments such as general law and order. For example, we ‘give up’ our right to defend ourselves with the understanding that the government will do it on our behalf. Nowhere have we ever given up society’s right to define the institution of marriage to the state. As Jennifer Morse wrote in 2012:
Marriage equality” is a completely artificial creation of the state, which cannot sustain itself. And precisely because it is an unnatural idea that does not spring unbidden to the human mind, the state will end up intervening in every aspect of society that touches upon marriage or gender or parenthood. This is far too much power to grant to the state, far too much social engineering, far too much thought control.
It is a usurped ‘right’, as is the state’s foray into the moral teaching of children. One of the strongest libertarian arguments against gay marriage is the resistance to the extension of state power. It is literally taking upon itself the power to redefine reality and impose a penalty upon those who resist. This in no mere theoretical exercise in what may or may not happen. The evidence from other parts of the world that have given this type of power to their governments is now legion and unequivocal. Without fail, there is always an imposition of state morals into the lives of citizens, an erosion of parental rights and legal penalties for those who will not comply. It is not an argument about what may happen; it is now a catalogue of concrete facts about what will happen. The legal hammer will fall and fall hard on those who dissent.
A much discussed aspect of this debate is the issuing of exemptions for religious freedoms. The state has no power to issue exemptions for religious freedoms because we already have them and they exist before and beyond the state. In offering protection the state is assuming for itself a role and powers that do not exist. Remember, what the state giveth, the state taketh away. The concept that the exercise of a natural law freedom can rest with legislators should scare the hell out of anyone.
Furthermore, by promising to give these protections the state is admitting that religious freedoms will be under threat and offering society a calming pill in the hope they’ll go to sleep and forget about it. This is akin to telling you to let a tiger live in your backyard, promising you that it’s harmless and then installing an electric fence to keep it at bay. If it’s harmless, Why?
Beyond these fundamental issues, no government can guarantee the actions of future governments or legal challenges through the courts. No sooner had the ink dried on the disastrous gay marriage laws in the UK than the legal challenges started. Similar protections were removed in Ireland after the definition of marriage was changed. If you want a real heart attack, take a look at what’s happened in Canada.
Furthermore, the protection offered to religious institutions only scratch the surface of any protections that would be needed. Protection of speech is essential to a free and open society. Every individual who believes same sex marriage is wrong will continue to do so and should be free from intrusion to that end.
Often this is branded by its proponents as a human rights issue but it is not. Some rights are universally instinctive to humans. Chief among these are self-preservation and protection, property, the pursuit of happiness, instruction of one’s own children and freedom of religious expression. Human rights come from a basic understanding and agreement of the fundamentals of existence. The common theme among this is their universal organic genesis within all societies. There has always been a constant struggle for these freedoms against encroaching government overreach.
With gay marriage, it’s common denominator amongst almost all peoples on earth is that virtually no one ever thought of it before. It is a contrived ‘right’ that is being forced onto society and is alien to the general population. It is an activist cause that has gained ground because our culture has stopped believing in itself and its values. A culture, like an individual, that believes in nothing will fall for anything.
The issue of gay marriage is running hot in Australia at the moment with the supporters of it now being forced to justify their case through open discussion. This is something they have diligently avoided for years relying instead on slogans rather than factual analysis. In an involuntary act of self-harm to his cause, Dean Smith has actually provided the catalyst for the very thing he hoped to avoid, namely public awareness. The State already intervenes in aspects of society that we never handed to them, let’s not give them one more.
This article is an opinion piece by Stephen Cable, and does not necessarily represent the views of the editors and LibertyWorks.