By now you’ve obviously heard, not only has the SCOTUS upheld the Obamacare subsidies, but they’ve now declared marriage to be a fundamental human right. Everyone’s tweeting and facebooking, because that’s how things get done now. Nearly all of it is ugly.
But there is an interesting question to be asked from the ruling. What constitutes a ‘human right’? It’s a term we use a lot. A term that was used several times in Hillary’s ‘recent Equal’ ad campaign as well. See, Hillary and her fellow leftists’ definition of a ‘human right’ is predicated on the idea that because people want something, it’s a human right. I’m not even arguing against gay marriage here, just that our current perception of ‘human rights’ is legally inaccurate.
It’s also important to note that ‘civil rights’ are different from ‘human rights’ even though we often use them interchangeably. Allow me to try and clarify the difference. Some of you may find this to be a bit reductive, but remember, many people have never even considered that the two are anything other than synonymous. Baby steps.
Human Rights: Human rights are afforded to anyone simply by being a human being. In the United States, we recognize these as “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” Basically, in America, if you’re born a human, you’re entitled to basic human rights. Why? Because God gave them to you. Not man.
Civil Rights: Barron’s law dictionary describes them as “Rights given, defined, and circumscribed by laws enacted by civilized communities… Also, defined as rights of a citizen or citizens, and laws relating to the private rights of individuals and to legal actions involving these.” Basically, a recognized right as the result of a legal process involving the consent of ‘the people’.
See, both are legally recognized, but separate terms.
So where does ‘marriage’ fall? I’m not even talking about same-sex marriage, just plain old marriage. I’m born with the human birthright to be free from torture, abuse, to enjoy freedom of speech etc… but am I born with a human birth-right, a claim, to marriage?
Seeing as it’s not something that occurs at birth, but a legally binding contract into which two consenting adults must enter, I’d argue no. What if I want to marry a woman but she doesn’t want to marry me back? What if I want to marry more than one woman at a time? What if, quite simply, nobody wants to marry me because I’m kind of unattractive? How do I exercise my god-given ‘human right’ to marriage?
So then where does ‘marriage’ fall? Well, because it’s a legally recognized contract between two consenting individuals, It would have to be a ‘civil right.’ Now, since marriage is legislated differently on a state-by-state basis (see divorce laws, taxes etc.), why wouldn’t the same apply to same-sex marriage? Why oh why, would we give states their own authority to legislate custody, property and legal fault as it relates to marriage, but not what constitutes a ‘marriage’ in the first place?
It’s important for leftists to see that the Conservatives I know, don’t have a problem with a couple of dudes putting themselves on a cake-topper. The problem lies with the deliberate conflation of human rights vs civil rights, and it’s one that leftists have been making for a long time.
Just because someone wants something—doesn’t make it a ‘human right.’ There are valid arguments to be made on both sides… but this isn’t one of them.