Why Tea Party hypocrites should fully support marriage equality

teapartyOver and over again, parsed with the “Obama’s a fascist Kenyan Muslim” mantra, you’ll hear Tea Party folks say how they want government out of their lives. I agree, not on the Obama part of course, but on limiting government interference in people’s lives. I’ve often said that the role of government is to protect people from each other, not from themselves.

Sadly, the majority of the people complaining about “Big Government” are hypocrites. There are some who actually do stay ideologically consistent–they tend to be reasonable members of the Libertarian mindset–but they’re about as hard to find as Michele Bachmann riding a unicorn in the ever-shrinking pseudo-grassroots movement known as the Tea Party.



No matter what your feelings are on gay marriage or what your religious convictions are, there’s still the 1st Amendment which separates the state from the church, and the 14th Amendment which states all individuals are equal under the law. You cannot call yourself a strict Constitutionalist, yet cherrypick which parts of it you want to follow in the same way you do your religious texts. You cannot rail about the importance of your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment (which seems to be the only one conservatives talk about) but then talk about repealing other amendments in the Constitution.

Here’s the deal…you don’t have to support marriage equality, just as I don’t think you need to have an arsenal rivaled only by the local National Guard armory. Yet, you cannot demand rights for yourself under the Constitution while actively working to deny other people’s rights under the law. That’s not how the Constitution was intended, and you know it.

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  • Annie

    NOWHERE in the 1st amendment, is there a call for separation of church and state. “”Separation of church and state” (Thomas Jefferson and several others spoke of a WALL between the church and state and they wrote of it, but it wasn’t part of the first amendment.”

    The first amendment does state that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”a far cry from calling for the Seperation of Church and State. Thomas Jefferson did write, “”I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”[1]

    The Supreme Court, in one ruling by Justice Black in 1879 used Jefferson’s words in his decision, but there have been other times in the hx of the SCOTUS that they’ve not upheld the separation.

    So, I don’t see why Tea Party members are called hippocrates. “Yet, you cannot demand rights for yourself under the Constitution while actively working to deny other people’s rights under the law” Tea Party members work to deny rights? They do under the Constitution.

    “That’s not how the Constitution was intended, and you know it.” Was the writer there at the writing of the Constitution to know the spirit of what was within those 4 walls, knew what was on everyone’s mind, the thinking that went into writing the docutment’? NO. How can he know with such certainty that “YOU cannot demand rights for yourself under the Constitution while actively working to deny other people’s rights under the law”

    The 14th amendment makes no claims to gay marriage, only that all citizens are guaranteed equal protection under the law. But since Federal law doesn’t address gay marriage yet, do we give rights?

    • paulsimon

      Rights are not given by one group or another, they are rights. It’s not the whim of the majority that defines equality.

    • I am assuming what the author was talking about in reference to the 14th ammendment was the fact that there are numerous benefits that are given to heterosexual married couples simply because they are married. The fact tjat those same benefits are denied homosexual couples means that equality is not being enforced.

      Also, as to intent, while it is true that the author wasn’t there to hear the founders interpretation of the 1st ammendment, neither was any Tea Party member there to hear their interpretation of the 2nd. That doesn’t stop them from screaming at the top of their lungs that they know what the founders intent was in regard to their precious guns.

      • Annie

        The author was crystal clear in stating that ” there’s still the 1st Amendment which separates the state from the church,” So, the first amendment calls for the seperation of church and state.., he said clearly and succinctly..

        It does not. It establishes the freedom to chose a religion . It was in private letters that Thomas Jefferson used the phrase ‘WALL between the church and the state,; but the phrase was not written in the Constitution.

        So, why are the Tea Party members considered hypocrites? Precisely why? And “That doesn’t stop them from screaming at the top of their lungs that they know what the founders intent was in regard to their precious guns.” How did ‘guns’ creep into a discussion of marriage equality?

        Strict interpretation of the Constitution on guns, to me, means an interpretation of the words, nothing more. Right to bear arms, means no more and no less than ‘I have a right to bear arms’. Nothing more, nothing less.

        If people want to change that language, because they feel that gun violence is getting out of hand like I do, there is an amendment process to out Constitution. Follow it and nothing more. the Constitution is our charter, our governing document, not up for debate. Only open to interpretation by the SCOTUS.

      • In 1947, the U.S. Supreme Court decision Everson v. Board of Education incorporated the Establishment Clause (i.e., made it apply against the states). In the majority decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote,

        The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another … in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State’ … That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”[9]

      • jabberwocky

        Smart guy.

    • federal law does address gay marriage. it denies equal rights in the defense of marriage act. hopefully that law will be declared unconstitutional soon.

      • jabberwocky

        I feel very certain it will be declared unconstitutional.

    • Mojo314

      Federal Law does address marriage in Loving v. Virginia. Because of this case, marriage is a Right and to deny it to a group of people would violate the 14th Amendment

    • Annie- Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States as precedent in various court cases to support the idea of separation of church and state. And if they say it, then you had best believe that it IS the original meaning of the Constitution

  • Grady

    1) look up the treaty with triopli article 11
    2) look up the full faith and credit act and compare that with the 14th amendment
    3) stop using all caps to help “accent” a point, you just look stupid…

  • jabberwocky

    There are no rational arguments for not supporting gay rights/marriage.

  • This TPH (Tea Party Hypocrite) DOES support marriage equality. It’s a social rather than a political issue.