In a previous article for the International Political Forum, I praised the efforts of Jenna Talackova in fighting for equal rights for transgendered individuals. In this post, I am going to argue the case for same-sex marriage. I am, however, going to argue the case for same-sex marriage from the viewpoint of a small-state, traditional conservative. It may seem unusual to many to hear an individual to the right of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party and a supporter of the Romney/Ryan ticket support same-sex marriage, however, I believe that it is only right to do so, even from a conservative point of view.
Firstly, before going into the moral implications of preventing same-sex marriage from becoming legal and accessible, I will consider the idea of same-sex marriage from the viewpoint of one who favours a small state. Many who identify with conservative parties do favour small-state government and this is something that those on the religious right, who often wish to denounce same-sex marriage and, indeed, homosexuality, should consider when considering same-sex marriage proposals. A supporter of a right-wing conservative party would usually consider the division between the public and private spheres to be sacred and, through consideration of Mill’s ‘Harm Principle’, it can be argued that as there is, perhaps, no harm caused through two consenting adults being in a loving, committed and monogamous relationship, then the state has absolutely no right to legislate to prevent this relationship from progressing further into marriage, be this a homosexual relationship or a heterosexual relationship. Further, it is for similar reasons to this that progress has already been made in the United States with 2003 Supreme Court decision of Lawrence v. Texas which ‘struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in thirteen other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory’. It is notable that, in this defence of same-sex marriage, I have not opened the door for criticism that would suggest that any form of sexual activity is acceptable through my noting my belief that an appropriate relationship is one that is committed, loving and monogamous and between two consenting adults. Indeed, as a traditional conservative, many of the more promiscuous sexual activities are not considered to be appropriate for myself and, indeed, are not in line with Mill’s ‘Harm Principle’.
Moreover, I consider the most valuable thing in this life to be love and I am one-hundred percent sure that, if it was possible and appropriate to sell the emotion of love, it would undoubtedly be the planet’s most valuable commodity. It is because of this that I do not feel that it is appropriate for any government to intervene where there is mature and consenting love between two individual people, regardless of sex. Further, I consider marriage to be one of our most important institutions and the stability that it should provide to be essential to most families; it is ludicrous for anyone to claim that we should stop anyone from getting married due to the fact that they have fallen in love with somebody of the same sex for one is unable to decide who they are to fall in love with. It is for these reasons that we can see a moral argument to allow same-sex marriage.
The text of the Declaration of Independence also dictates that ‘all men are created equal’ and that ‘they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’; for conservatives in the United States, this would be something further to consider. If the United States is to truly respect the words of the Founding Fathers then it can no longer deny same-sex couples the right to enter into a marriage, and that is something that is applicable for both conservatives and liberals. With Conservative Party leader David Cameron having displayed support for the idea of same-sex marriage, I am rather happy and optimistic in terms of the United Kingdom, however, as a Romney supporter for the upcoming election, the Republican Party’s apparent refusal to accept the idea of same-sex marriage worries me greatly. A few Republicans, such as Jon Huntsman jr., a man I admire greatly, have displayed promising signs that in the future, the Republican Party may embrace same-sex marriage by accepting the idea of civil unions and equality, in my opinion, this cannot come soon enough.
Overall, I believe that those who support conservative parties should be open to the idea of same-sex marriage. As a conservative, I believe that you cannot help who you fall in love with and that no government or other body should be able to discriminate against you if you fall in love with someone of the same sex; further, I believe in stability within the family and I feel that this is something that could potentially be worked towards by allowing same-sex couples to marry. I believe in a division between the public and private spheres and I believe in Mill’s ‘Harm Principle’ and that this allows for same-sex marriage to exist very easily within a small-state structure. Perhaps most importantly, however, I believe in same-sex marriage because I am a conservative and, also, a human; I believe in freedom, equality and humanity, and I feel that all should have a right to love, be loved and to recognise that love formally.
I am proud to say that my party, the Conservative Party, are showing signs of progress towards making same-sex marriage within the United Kingdom a reality. In terms of other countries though, the United States in particular, same-sex marriage still appears to be a foreign concept to many and it is about time that conservatives in the United States lived up to the claim that their country is the home of ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’. Now is the time for the Republican Party to forget individuals such as Rick Santorum and embrace a new world in which there is freedom and equality amongst all citizens regardless of gender, race, sexuality or any other differences that there may be between people and embrace more progressive candidates such as Jon Huntsman jr.. Conservatives of the world, the time for freedom and equality is now; as the Brad Paisley song, although not about same-sex marriage, says ‘glory, glory, hallelujah, welcome to the future’. My name is Aidan Press, I am a conservative and I support same-sex marriage.