Jon Huntsman writing an article about why conservatives should embrace gay embrace at the American Conservative, a magazine co-founded by Pat Buchanan, is already a strange marriage.
Huntsman is pushing the thoroughly unoriginal and discredited idea that the Republican Party has to stay competitive by becoming socially liberal and fiscally free market. That was the Romney campaign in a nutshell and it was not terribly appealing. The last election should have been a reminder that a socially liberal country of broken families is not going to vote for small government or the free market. Not when it depends on government aid.
But here Huntsman is trying to sell gay marriage or “marriage equality” as a conservative value. Even Justin Raimondo, Buchanan’s gay anti-war partner disavowed gay marriage. But Huntsman powers on.
The Huntsman solution is hard to tell apart from the Obama solution. He wants a new breed of Republicans like him who will be socially liberal and depicts that social liberalism as a conservative value using vague slogans about “Our Communities”. Specifically Huntsman insists that Republicans should embrace gay marriage. Why?
Like every liberal Republican, Jon Huntsman wraps his agenda in electability, but really is the Republican Party badly in need of the gay marriage vote? Can it even get it?
Huntsman says that every marriage should be treated equally under the law. Which it is. Gay marriage innovates a new entity using a name that does not apply to it. It’s the usual leftist tactic of broadening a definition until it no longer means anything. But if Huntsman really means that every marriage should be treated equally, why not recognize polygamy? There is no answer, because there is no logical argument. And 10 years from now, he will be arguing that to win Muslim votes, the Republican Party should recognize Polygamy.
“This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience,” Huntsman says, but that’s a lie and he knows it.
If all forms and concepts of marriage are treated equally by the law, then states will begin investigating and penalizing businesses that fail to accommodate it. That is already the case in much of the country. Even if religious organizations are exempt, as with the ObamaCare abortion mandate, religious people won’t be.
Everyone is already free to marry anyone or anything they like in the religion or non-religion of their choice. What Huntsman is really talking about is government recognition of one form of alternative marriage and not others. That is both contradictory and hypocritical. And it penalizes the values and economic interests of a majority of Americans.
There’s nothing free market about a government mandate for gay marriage.
From a practical standpoint, the Republican Party will not win by retreating on every social issue and then prattling on about the free market. The free market matters most to people who believe in individual liberty, not in the power of the government to enforce its values on others. And that is what gay marriage supporters are really after.