Hear me out.
Earlier this morning, I was very happy to hear that Germany had legalized same-sex marriage. I was less happy—disappointed, actually—to hear that Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure. Her reasoning mirrors that of many GOP congresspersons and presidential candidates like Rubio—she believes marriage is the union between a man and a woman.
If I were in a room with any one of the politicians who’ve said that, I’d ask them a simple question: “so what?”
Allow me to elaborate. My question for anyone, especially any politician, who opposes gay marriage because they have a fixed, medieval (and often religious) idea of marriage, is this: why does it matter that you don’t believe LGBTQ people should have the right to marry?
Social conservatives should and do have the right to stand by their opinions and beliefs, no matter how idiotic and baseless they are, and perhaps to voice them as well. That’s freedom of speech. But, while the First Amendment gives Americans the right to practice the religion of their choice, it does not give cult members the right to perform human sacrifices in the name of Zorp the Lizard God. Our constitutional freedoms are limited, and those limits should be expanded to say that an individual’s religious beliefs cannot limit the fundamental rights of any other human being.
It is despicable, in my opinion, for Rubio or Merkel or any other politician to wield their immense power as a weapon to limit their people’s rights. You are free to have whichever beliefs you choose in life. You are not free to impose those beliefs upon others, and certainly not upon those you lead in government.