One of the primary objections to gay marriage from social conservatives has long been that, once established as a “right,” institutions and individuals, both religious and secular, will essentially be forced by the government to serve gay couples and be generally accepting of gay lifestyles. The advocates of gay marriage have loudly and vehemently denied this is the case. They have personally declared to me, over and over again, that there is absolutely no intention by anyone to have the government force people to associate with homosexuals against their will.
Not only is it false to claim that this won’t happen eventually, it’s false to claim that it isn’t already happening. The state of Washington has currently filed a lawsuit against a flower shop for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. Putting aside the question of why a gay couple would possibly want to patronize a business that does not approve of their lifestyle, the proponents of gay marriage are now forced to admit – the exact thing that social conservatives said would happen, is in fact happening. And what has been the reaction of the gay community to this story? Outrage that their wishes weren’t followed and that the religious freedom of this flower shop wasn’t respected? Hardly. This coercive action of the state is being celebrated as both necessary and proper.
While I personally do not approve of discrimination (both on moral terms and as an effective business practice), the simple fact of the matter is that every human enjoys the natural right of freedom of association. Compelling someone to associate or not associate with someone else, against their will, is immoral. Regardless of the good intentions behind “anti-discrimination” laws, in reality they do nothing but restrict our natural rights, and produce a ridiculous sort of society where entrepreneurship is heavily discouraged due to the fear of running afoul of various laws designed to segregate humans into groups. Whether you think it’s for the best or not, we all have to admit – the social conservatives got this one exactly correct.