The Corner

Grover & Gay Marriage

This may be kind of an intramural thing, but it’s relevant to the distinctions between conservatives and libertarians. At a recent debate I did with Grover Norquist, he took umbrage at my characterization of him as supporting gay marriage. Well, this is from the cover story of the October 11, 2003, issue of National Journal:

Norquist, who says he personally doesn’t take a position on abortion rights or gay rights, says that same-sex marriage may cross the line into an area where conservatives feel “they are being messed with… If people can be convinced that gay marriage doesn’t challenge them, then the sale can be made. But if it is seen as dissing the Roman Catholic Church, then it won’t.” Norquist said he is optimistic that Republicans can even attract substantial numbers of gay and lesbian voters who feel that government is messing with them. “We get a third [of the gay vote] in House races, and 25 percent voted for Bush. That’s guys who want to be left alone.”

I don’t see how this can be interpreted any other way than Grover’s seeking a way to finesse conservative opposition to gay marriage. Now, if you’re a libertarian, that can make sense, but Grover implausibly denies that he is, despite his “leave us alone” mantra being the most simplistic form of libertarianism. And I’m not saying anything novel in pointing out that fusionism on the Right is only possible if libertarians accept that moral traditionalism is a necessary (though obviously not sufficient) condition for liberty.

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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