If We’re Going To Respect Gay Rights, Can We Start Respecting All Rights?

michael-bloomberg

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:


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?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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