If We're Going To Respect Gay Rights, Can We Start Respecting All Rights?
This tweet sent out by the office of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ironic given Mayor Bloomberg’s hositilty to the right of the people to buy large sodas and own guns:
In the history of the United States, no law limiting the rights of a particular class of people has ever stood the test of time. #SCOTUS
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) June 26, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg’s hypocrisy is by no means unusual. I’m sure that many of the same people who were elated by the victory scored for gay rights at the Supreme Court yesterday also believe it’s ok for the government to restrict soda sizes and gun ownership.
Mayor Bloomberg wants gays to be able to choose who to marry, even knowing that not all gays are going to make good choices in that regard. It’s their life, and their choice to make. We could argue that allowing gays to marry might be detrimental to society (I don’t see how gays are going to do anything to the “institution of marriage” that straights haven’t already), but even if we stipulate to that point, does that trump the right of the individual to choose?
The answer, for those who like freedom, is “no.”
But isn’t the same true of soda? You could argue that some people make bad choices with soda, and that the resulting obesity has a detrimental impact on society as a whole, but so what? The rights of the individual trump that.
The same goes with guns. In fact, the same goes with human activity in general. Do what you will, say I, as long as you’re not denying anyone else their rights.
Yet people like Bloomberg and so many others on the left and the right want to pick and choose which freedoms we have. They want the freedoms they like, but not the freedoms you like. And so much of politics is a war over what freedoms we’re going to allow one another to have.
Why not let ourselves have all the freedoms? How about we let one another make the lifestyle choices we want to make, whether it’s drinking large sodas or owning guns or marrying who we love?