I keep hearing this talking point that Mitt Romney, conservatives et al. are against “civil rights for gays.” I am willing to grant that the ability to marry is a civil right. I’m also perfectly happy to concede that it’s a legitimate debate whether same-sex marriage is a civil right (and longtime readers know I’ve always been more sympathetic to the case for gay marriage and civil unions than many of my colleagues). But this idea that opposition to same-sex marriage is synonymous with opposition to civil rights for gays is ludicrous. For instance, a CNN host said over the weekend that Mitt Romney was like George Wallace because of his stance on gay marriage. This is not simply outrageous, it’s outrageously stupid.
Last I checked, no one outside of those Westboro Church jackasses is saying that homosexuals have no civil rights at all. Indeed, it is remarkable how uncontroversial gay civil rights are. Is there a right referred to in the Bill of Rights that gays are denied? Freedom of speech? check. Freedom of assembly? Check. Freedom to worship? Check. Right to bear arms? Check. And so on.