Now A Few Words From the Defenders of Liberty at Reason

Some brave words:

The verdict will go far to energize and expand opposition to gay rights, at a time when they were on the rise.

The decision may very well lead the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage. If so, it would be the most polarizing decision since Roe v. Wade in 1973, which we are still fighting about.

It would spark a furious backlash from Americans who, whatever their views about homosexuality, think such decisions belong with them and their elected representatives. It could even lead to a constitutional amendment overturning the decision.

When in the history of libertarianism has anyone ever worried about a “furious backlash” over one of their radical ideas? Yet here we have a writer at Reason, when faced with a victory for the liberty of an oppressed minority, curling up in a fetal position and wetting himself because of the remote possibility of a constitutional amendment.

(via Michael in the comments)






70 replies
  1. 1
    taterstick says:

    It would be really nice to be able to actually read wht is posted on the site. Everything is running off to the right.

    If it were center right, I could tolerate it. However, it is FAR right.

  2. 2
    Bob says:

    Steve Chapman, the author of the Reason article, favors gay rights, he is only pointing out that if SCOTUS upholds the lower court it will throw gasoline on the culture war fires. That seems obvious.

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    It would spark a furious backlash from Americans who, whatever their views about homosexuality, think such decisions belong with them and their elected representatives.

    what a strange thing to say.

    if someone becomes upset about courts “legislating from the bench”, they don’t automatically become opposed to that which was legislated.

    someone who already opposed gay rights might become more vocal, or angry, or whatever. but someone who favored gay rights wouldn’t abandon that position because a court overstepped its authority.

    (no, i’m not saying that’s what the court did. but that’s the premise here)

  4. 4
    mistermix says:

    @Bob: Yeah, I read the piece. He supports gay rights except when they get those rights in what he considers “the wrong way”, and when the argument used doesn’t also support poly marriage, and so on. I get it.

    Here’s the thing – if you’re a libertarian, you’re going to be for rights that are often unpopular, and your ability to exercise those rights may need to be protected by court decisions that show that the constitution protects those rights. Which is exactly what happened in this case. If Chapman doesn’t get that, I don’t understand how he can call himself a libertarian.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    @cleek: Did Chapman say something like this when the SCOTUS struck down a popular gun ban in Washington DC? Or is “legislating from the bench” only bad when it produces results that conservatives don’t like? Regardless of what one think of the underlying issues, Chapman sounds like a hypocrite here.

  6. 6

    @Bob:

    it will throw gasoline on the culture war fires

    Yes, but so what? What’s the alternative? For gay people to spend another ten or twenty or fifty years sitting in the back of the matrimonial bus, waiting to be magnanimously granted access to their human rights? Fuck that shit.

    Besides, it’s not even all that analagous to the abortion wars. If the Supremes should rule that marriage is a fundamental right regardless of gender, there’s nothing the states can do parallel to what they’ve done to restrict abortion. What are they going to do? Waiting periods for gay marriages? Forcing the engaged couple to view sonograms of Ikea furniture? Firebombing churches that perform gay weddings? (OK, that one I completely expect to happen.)

  7. 7
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    This part is funny:

    U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8 because it “fails to advance any rational basis for singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” But it’s silly to believe only nut jobs and bigots could rationally oppose same-sex marriage, or that millions of Californians who accept other laws protecting gays were acting irrationally.
    __
    They might reasonably fear that in some subtle way, the legalization of gay marriage may gradually weaken the appeal of marriage among heterosexuals. They might think it will modestly increase out-of-wedlock childbearing. They might believe our understanding of the possible repercussions is so limited that we shouldn’t tinker with an age-old institution in this way.
    __
    Are those concerns persuasive? Not to me. But they are plausible enough to contradict Walker’s assertion that the only real justification for the ban is “the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

    Dude, you forgot about the totally serious concern that gay marriage might bring the wrath of Gawd upon our lands, blighting the crops and killing our firstborn. Can we really call such concerns silly, unfounded, ridiculous, pathetic, and stupid? (Yes.)

  8. 8
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    So basically, since it might confirm the fears of extreme right wing bigots if we do otherwise, we should let states just pass any bigoted laws they want?

    If I were a libertarian I’d be far more concerned about anyone espousing that absurd viewpoint than a same-sex partner.

    It’s always the same with this Glibberish, like McCardle with her “I don’t mind where Michelle Obama vacations of course, but they’re going to find fault with it, so…”

    Funny how the philosophy of personal responsibility never seems to take any for their own views, and constantly just steamrollers over them for the sake of “what Wingnuts might think”.

    Their own supposed views, that is.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    The decision may very well lead the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

    Uh….when you’re already easily starting 0-4 on this issue (before it’s even litigated), you’d gotta run the table to get your 5. And one guy is pretty tough to bribe. Not. gonna. happen.

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    @cleek:

    What an odd thing for them to say. As far as I know, Marbury v. Madison is still good law. And somehow, I would have thought that a true libertarian would find the notion of an independent judiciary protecting individual freedoms from the tyranny of the majority to be a feature, rather than a bug.

  11. 11
    Lolis says:

    @mistermix:

    Many libertarians are really just young Republicans who are embarrassed to admit they are Republican.

  12. 12
    Keith G says:

    @Bob:

    I am not sure how much gas or how big a fire.

    Nonetheless, Chapman is not being all that credible. A Constitutional amendment is not a remote possibility. His reasoning is remarkable in its lack of sophistication.

    Steve Chapman, the author of the Reason article, favors gay rights….

    With friends like this….

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Libertarians are consistently in favor of rights that benefit the individual Libertarian in question, and that is all. It is not a political philosophy so much as it is an extreme form of subjectivity. Libertarians agree with the three following laws: me, my, and mine.

  14. 14
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    They might reasonably fear that in some subtle way, the legalization of gay marriage may gradually weaken the appeal of marriage among heterosexuals.

    Hahahahahahahaha! That’s the funniest shit I’ve read in a looooooong time. Yes, because Steve and Mike live together, there’s no way I’m going to marry this hottie, have some great kids, and have sex with her on a daily basis. No way.

    Yup.

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    They might reasonably fear…

    No, they might not reasonably fear, unless they are closeted homosexuals who harbor a secret distaste for straight marriage.

  16. 16
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Honey, about this marriage thing, can’t we just live together?

    Oh Buster! What is it, are you afraid of commitment?

    No no it’s not that. Marriage just seems so gay.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    This kind of thinking is a loser from the getgo, anyway.

    It is impossible to craft any behavior that will not set off a wingnut, because they specialize in finding the stupidest reasons to get upset anyway.

    It is an impossible goal to set here, and they shouldn’t call themselves “Reason” any more.

  18. 18
    4tehlulz says:

    Rights only are good when they are part of magical consensus without any intervention from any branch of government. Also. Because. Too.

  19. 19
    Dork says:

    They might think it will modestly increase out-of-wedlock childbearing.

    If “they” means anti-gay bigots, and most of them are South of the M-D line, then someone needs to buy them a f#cking mirror, b/c last I checked they (MS, AL, TN, etc) lead the f’in nation in unmarried motherhood.

  20. 20
    shortstop says:

    “Most people and judges agree that the Constitution doesn’t allow the government to outlaw interracial marriage.”

    And snap! The big fight for rights that ended with Loving never happened. And then, having dispatched of that, Chapman breezes on to say that same-sex marriage is like polygamy, not interracial marriage, as though some version of every single argument he uses in this piece wasn’t specifically used leading up to and in the argument of Loving.

    “Are those concerns persuasive? Not to me. But they are plausible enough to contradict Walker’s assertion that the only real justification for the ban is “the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

    This is classic Steve Chapman. Watch me as I hold myself intellectually above the crude concerns of my less enlightened Republican brothers and sisters while still managing to push their narrative.

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    Ah well, so surprising! The flagship libertarian site is just doing what all libertarians do, act like unpopular and unlikeable 12 year old boys who are deathly afraid of the popular jocks who kick their asses in the hallways and give them wedgies in the locker room.

    I, personally, love me some wingnut and Christianist howls of outrage. The more they howl, the less anyone gives a shit. Except for the Village, that is. Because in the Village, only the wingnuts and Christianists have outrage credibility.

  22. 22
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    These are the same libertarians who thought Gates deserved to be arrested for ‘talking back to the police’ inside his own home.

    The same ones who supported Bush’s spying program.

    The same ones who don’t think a black militia should have guns (yeah, that’s what the New Black Panther Party is)

    The same ones who think we need an Ayn Randian in charge of the economy even though the head of the FED for the last twenty years WAS one.

    Faux Libertarians.

    Kill them all and let their God sort it out.

  23. 23
    shortstop says:

    @Lolis: I know you were speaking generally, but Chapman’s in his late 50s or early 60s. He’s been doing the Republican-pretending-to-be-a-libertarian shtick for decades now.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    Thanks “Reason” for once again proving…

    Libertarian = Republican who smokes pot

  25. 25
    soonergrunt says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    …Forcing the engaged couple to view sonograms of Ikea furniture?

    You don’t win all the internets today for that one, but you do win a decent slice. I had to change my shirt from the coffee dribble.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    Talk about capture:

    According to new research from Moody’s Analytics, the top 5% of Americans by income account for 37% of all consumer outlays

    By contrast, the bottom 80% by income account for 39.5% of all consumer outlays.

    The eat what they kill

  27. 27
    Face says:

    I’m going to marry this hottie…….and have sex with her on a daily basis

    You’re, uh, like, not married, are you? And if you are….I want your wife.

  28. 28
    Hugin & Munin says:

    Faux Libertarians B.O.B. Begone, foul apparition.

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    @Lolis: As used to be said back in the day, “Spot on.”

  30. 30
    MikeJ says:

    @Hugin & Munin: He’s better than the real BoB.

  31. 31
    dhd says:

    Ugh. These people don’t deserve the term “libertarian”. Much like today’s right-wingers don’t deserve the term “conservative”, come to think of it.

  32. 32
    soonergrunt says:

    @beltane: this.
    Shorter Libertarianism:

    I got mine. Go fuck yourself.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: He keeps trying to bait us with the black militia and guns thing, but otherwise a not very credible replication of the BoB.

  34. 34

    I’d think the true libertarian position would be that government needs to be out of the business of defining marriage in any form. It certainly doesn’t need to be in the business of upholding traditional marriage, or for that matter in upholding non-traditional marriage. It should just bow out and leave it to individuals, along with their freely-chosen religious or other institutions, to define what’s a marriage or a civil union or whatever.

    I’m actually fairly conservative from a religious point of view, but I don’t figure it’s the government’s business to go promoting my beliefs.

    That’s my position, and I’ve always figured consistent libertarians either share it or ought to.

  35. 35
    Michael says:

    It would spark a furious backlash from Americans who, whatever their views about homosexuality, think such decisions belong with them and their elected representatives. It could even lead to a constitutional amendment overturning the decision.

    The neo-Confederates love to talk about the tyranny of the use of the combination of legislation and judicial action to make them quit acting like assholes toward other Americans. As I recall from my readings over the years, the excuse over time was that given enough time, Southerners would have eventually gotten around to doing the right thing on race.

    Hah.

  36. 36
    R-Jud says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Forcing the engaged couple to view sonograms of Ikea furniture?

    I, for one, have no problem with abortion of gay Ikea furniture– unless it’s been assembled already. Then it’s murder.

  37. 37
    Axel Edgren says:

    LIBERTARIANS…

    A good definition: A libertarian is someone whose concept of fighting for freedom amounts to drawing Hitler mustaches on and stink lines over every left-wing idea, concept and person in the vicinity.

  38. 38
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @R-Jud: Funny.

    Actually it’s murder to assemble also.

  39. 39
    soonergrunt says:

    @geg6:
    About Libertarians and 12-year-olds and such, I always remember that Ayn Rand was the queen of libertarianism, and remember this quote from the great John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey:

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    Also, too: Tbogg’s tag regarding libertarians:
    Libertarian is poly-sci for asshole
    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/t.....r-asshole/

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    Everything you need to know about Reason magazine is that their editor, Nick Gillespie, is a frequent front page poster at Breitbart’s Big Government.

    The end.

  41. 41
    shortstop says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: The third baseman and I almost contacted separate lawyers after an armoire situation went horribly wrong in the mid-1990s.

  42. 42
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @soonergrunt: I love that quote.

    It makes me glad I read “Dune” instead at that age, which only led to the belief that any teenager could become the messiah.

  43. 43
    R-Jud says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Tell me about it: I nearly murdered Mr. Jud while we were putting together the crib.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    It could even lead to a constitutional amendment overturning the decision.

    Uh, no it couldn’t.

    What is it with wingers and their obsession to amend the Constitution of the United States to fit their batshit insane pet causes? As Joe Biden would say, “The Constitution is a big fucking deal!”

    The Constitution isn’t something Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin and the teabaggers get to sit down and edit with a red pencil. A bunch of us even took an oath to preserve and defend it from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Lately there are a lot more of the latter than the former.

    Newsflash: there isn’t going to be a repeal of the 14th amendment, nor new amendments to ban abortion, hang nonexistent flag burners, send gays to re-education camps, gas illegal aliens, or do anything else about crap that gets their undies in a twist.

  45. 45
    Michael says:

    @4tehlulz:

    Rights only are good when they are part of magical consensus without any intervention from any branch of government. Also. Because. Too.

    So awesomely full of win. A constitution full of unenforceable but pretty-sounding rights presents the most liberty that anybody could ever imagine.

  46. 46
    Redshift says:

    @Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army: I’m almost impressed with the Humpty-Dumpty “words mean what I say they mean, no more, no less” approach to the concept of “rational basis.” Walker laid out very clearly that it means “supported by facts,” but Chapman elides that into “might reasonably believe” and then posits a wingnut list that substitutes “sincerely” for “reasonably” even in that low standard, in an attempt to resurrect arguments which the trial explicitly showed have no rational basis.

  47. 47
    Michael says:

    @Dork:

    …last I checked they (MS, AL, TN, etc) lead the f’in nation in unmarried motherhood.

    After listening to Reverend Preacher Brother Doctor Billybob, I blame contraception and abortion and the ease of access to those services.

  48. 48
    Michael says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    These are the same libertarians who thought Gates deserved to be arrested for ‘talking back to the police’ inside his own home.

    The same ones who supported Bush’s spying program.

    The same ones who don’t think a black militia should have guns (yeah, that’s what the New Black Panther Party is)

    The same ones who think we need an Ayn Randian in charge of the economy even though the head of the FED for the last twenty years WAS one.

    Faux Libertarians.

    Kill them all and let their God sort it out.

    What did you do with BOB’s body, since you’re posting from his computer and he’s obviously nowhere in sight? Tell us and your sentence will be lightened, we promise….

  49. 49
    Keith G says:

    I went to Crooks and Liars so I could download the Olsen segment on Fox and the Boies segment on CBS. I want those with me on my computers forever. Both are striking and concise examples of two things: 1) How to advocate for civil liberties; 2) How to confront entrenched evil.

  50. 50
    Michael says:

    @Mike in NC:

    What is it with wingers and their obsession to amend the Constitution of the United States to fit their batshit insane pet causes?

    So they can lock in a specific social order that would require a super-majority to undo. It would make obtaining legislative majorities for specific actions irrelevant.

  51. 51
    Paris says:

    such decisions belong with them and their elected representatives

    If you are opposed to abortion, don’t get one.

    If you are opposed to gay marriage, don’t get gay married.

  52. 52
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Corner Stone: Nice. Several comments on the story use this to justify lower taxes on the wealthy so that they’ll have the money to continue spending.

  53. 53
    DPirate says:

    You know, if the government would just change the wording of it’s marriage law to something like civil union law, and let religion have the word marriage, we could diffuse some of the opposition.

    I still want to marry my dog for the tax break. He certainly finds valuable all the stink he rolls in, so I’m not sure if I’d need to claim that as income, but I’m willing to take that chance.

  54. 54
    beltane says:

    @Chad N Freude: It doesn’t occur to them that raising the incomes of the bottom 80% would have a much larger, more beneficial effect? There are only so may yachts a plutocrat can buy.

  55. 55
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    @DPirate:

    You know, if the government would just change the wording of it’s marriage law to something like civil union law, and let religion have the word marriage, we could diffuse some of the opposition.

    I don’t think it would. As it sits right now, marriage is one of the few ways that religion dictates the way our government deals with the people. It’s not much, but dammit, it’s all they got. Theocrats don’t care how their deranged whims are enforced, so having control over the legal definition of marriage suits them fine.

  56. 56
    Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army says:

    @beltane: But just imagine how awesome those yachts will be! All diamond studs in platinum rails, yardarms made from ancient redwoods and lacquered with a blend of jade and immigrant tears, oh man it’s orgasmic!

    Give that money to the rabble and they’ll waste it on boring shit like food and rent.

  57. 57
    Xenos says:

    @John Cole: It also helps to know that the Reason Foundation largely funded by the Koch Brothers, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and 30 or so large multinational corporations.

    It is wingnut welfare. And they know who their masters are. We should not mistake them for an intellectually honest outfit, even if we agree with some of what they say at times.

  58. 58

    The one important thing to keep in mind is that there wasn’t wild opposition to Roe vs Wade when it was announced. There was *anger*, and opposition, but the craziness started when it was announced that (IIRC) Bob Jones University wouldn’t be eligible for federal funding unless it stopped its racially discriminatory policies. *Then*, once religion no longer was a free pass, that’s when the Religious Right started getting powerful, and Christianity was under attack, and so forth.

  59. 59
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    After I killed BOB, I ate him.

    He won’t be bothering you gentlemen any longer.

  60. 60
    zoe kentucky says:

    For some reason, perhaps because it’s an inconvenient truth, the anti-equality folks always seem to omit the fact that ELECTED legislators in CA passed a law permitting same-sex marriage and it would have become law but the governor vetoed it. (Unfortunately it didn’t have a veto-proof majority, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about any of this right now.)

    So much for the idea that the courts are ramming gay marriage down everyone’s throats– blame the CA legislature.

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @Equal Opportunity Cynic: “That’s my position, and I’ve always figured consistent libertarians either share it or ought to.”

    And you would be wrong.

    The error comes in with the term ‘consistent libertarians’.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gen. Jrod and his Howling Army:

    But just imagine how awesome those yachts will be! All diamond studs in platinum rails, yardarms made from ancient redwoods and lacquered with a blend of jade and immigrant tears, oh man it’s orgasmic!

    You joke but I think that’s actually close. I read somewhere recently that while consumer spending overall is down, spending on items that cater to the fabulous is doing well. High end hotel rooms, other services that the fancy indulge in. Might’ve been the NYT.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane: That was my actual point about mentioning “capture”.
    We have a captured economy.

  64. 64
    Nimm says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    Except I’ve heard that once you eat your vanquished enemy, you become him. Through the transitive power of eating.

    SO…you know, watch out for that.

  65. 65
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    @Corner Stone:

    At some point we will all be required to orally service the rich. That’s the legacy the older generation is leaving us with their ‘protect the rich’ idiocy.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Well in that case I guess I should ask Stuck if I can borrow a pair of his worn out knee pads until I find some that fit right.

  67. 67
    Bob says:

    @Keith G: “…or how big a fire.”

    Well, if Maggie G. has her way it would be a damn big fire. Here is Gallagher, “Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.”

    Here’s the entire rant

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....z0w6PB4Ovw

    Don’t misunderstand me. I’m more than willing to see religious nuts go nuts if SCOTUS upholds the lower court. I just don’t see the Reason article as opposing that outcome.

  68. 68
    Batocchio says:

    That’s one of the dumber Reason articles I’ve read in a while – well, since the last one. At best, it stinks of concern trolling, and falls laughably short of the caliber of reasoning provided by Boies and Olson in the clips linked here.

  69. 69
    MKS says:

    Why should a committed gay COUPLE be considered morally superior to, or legally more entitled, than a committed TRIPLE of random gender?

  70. 70

    Prop 8, James Madison and Majority Rule…

    The most compelling arguments against Judge Walker’s ruling are premised on the notion that it violated majority rule. The argument takes a variety of forms: that a court overreaches when it substitutes its judgment for the clearly expressed judgment …

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  1. Prop 8, James Madison and Majority Rule…

    The most compelling arguments against Judge Walker’s ruling are premised on the notion that it violated majority rule. The argument takes a variety of forms: that a court overreaches when it substitutes its judgment for the clearly expressed judgment …

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