Same-Sex Marriage: What happens when values and public opinion clash?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Same-Sex Marriage
New York Times story on politics of same sex marriage

Click on the image to read the entire New York Times story.

The surge of public support of same-sex marriage has created a dilemma for many conservative politicians who oppose gay marriage because it violates their values, but they want to get elected.

Our question today is: What happens when values and public opinion clash?

A clash of public opinion and values is a big problem for candidates who have to appeal to a broad base for support. And so we see a lot of verbal maneuvering on the issue, as The New York Times reported yesterday.

Here’s a recent quote from presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. At first it appears to be a straightforward position, but you have to read between the lines:

“There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. There isn’t such a right. You have to have a ridiculous, absurd reading of the U.S. constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex. There is no such constitutional right.”

Rubio is absolutely right. There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage. But there’s also no constitutional right to marriage between a man and a woman. The Constitution is silent on the issue of marriage.

The real question is whether same-sex marriage is a constitutionally protected right. For example, does the part of the Constitution that guarantees equal protection under the law extend to same-sex marriage? About half of all Americans say yes, as I’ve discussed before on About 41% say no. The remainder doesn’t have an opinion.

If your values lead you to see marriage as only between a man and a woman, then how should you behave in the public sphere?

What does one say?

Does the subject become a private matter now?

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  1. Jean says

    Yes, values may clash in society, but I don’t see as much clashing of values out there on the subject of same-sex marriage as I do “political correctness”.
    It seems that, if you are a right-wing conservative, you are expected to hold to biblical positions on social issues and otherwise follow your religious “values”.
    If you are a left-wing liberal, you are expected to follow the “party line”, which is well-known to be, among others, pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, anti-Christian, pro-Clintons (no matter how many women he has abused an no matter how much she has put up with it), and pro-Islam, etc., regardless of your own personal values.
    For example, Muslim-owned bakeries, which were filmed by a guy asking each one for a gay-themed cake, all turned the guy away, obviously for religious reasons. But no one is speaking a word about this “discrimination”, nor about any of the other atrocities they commit for religious reasons.
    The hypocrisy in the gay community in how they are handling this is discrediting them, in my opinion;
    they screamed bloody murder for their unfair treatment and the inconsideration of their needs (to be married, etc, etc.) by society;
    however, now they don’t have a problem being inconsiderate of the needs of Christians to not publicly “sanction” their choices, and are even militantly forcing them to do just that.
    They don’t have a problem deviously setting people up to lose their jobs, businesses, etc.
    It’s a lot like the story of the unjust judge in the bible, who was forgiven a huge debt by the king, but then turned around and threw his fellow citizen in jail for not paying his debt to him, and when the king found out, he got mad at the guy for so quickly forgetting the mercy he had received and threw him in jail!
    So, if I was a politician, I would be trying to make the point that we should not be forcing our values onto others, but rather we should be all trying to be considerate of the values of others.