“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.’’ – Thomas Jefferson
That Jefferson quote is among his best-known statements in favor of privacy and personal liberty. It’s unclear that our third president would have extended this logic to approving marriage for homosexual couples. But I would like to think he would.
As a straight, married man, gay marriage “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg,” and that leaves me no reason to oppose it. In fact, when one considers the range of personal, financial, and societal benefits offered by marriage, I think it should be available to as many people as possible.
The main reason for opposing gay marriage comes down to religion and, honestly, not much else. One does not have to dig very far into the websites of anti-gay marriage organizations to find passages that cite Bible verses or rely on a quasi-religious defense of “traditional values” to make their case.