Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Marriage "Under Siege": Violating Natural Law?

It wasn't just Presidential hopefuls who took to the podium at the Faith and Freedom Coalition convention in Washington, DC. It was also individuals like House of Represenatives member Michelle Bachmann.

Bachmann took to the FCC stage to declare that marriage is "under siege". Explaining the story of her opposition to court-mandated legislation that would allow same-sex marriage in the state of Minnesota. Bachmann's objection was a simple one: that citizens of Minnesota should have the opportunity to vote on whether or not the traditional definition of marriage -- one man and one woman -- will be enshrined in the state Constitution.

Bachmann notes the rising levels of divorce and family breakup. The key question social conservatives such as Bachmann need to answer is thus: how will excluding same-sex couples from marriage improve this?

Bachmann, and those who share her line of thinking on this matter, should understand that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is at odds with their notions of natural law -- the idea that rights, such as the right to equality before the law, and the right to pursue happiness -- are not granted by individuals or by governments; they are inalienable.

If same-sex couples have a natural law right to equality before the law, then the citizens of Minnesota technically do not actually have the right to vote to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. (Nor could court justices claim the fight to order churches to perform same-sex marriages, something that courts have never considered anyway.) This would represent a tyranny of the majority in violation of the principles of natural law the United States constitution is based on.

Tyranny of a majority is no more permissable than tyranny of a minority. Michelle Bachmann and the FFC have a great deal more thinking to do on these issues; hopefully, they will do it.

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