Let me say from the onset of this commentary that I am not for gay rights. I'm not for minority rights, and I'm not for women's rights. In fact I'm not for any group's rights at all. I'm for individual rights. Gay’s, women, and minorities, are first and foremost individuals. All that group rights do is to create class warfare where one group attempts to gain some special privilege at the expense of others. At best it is a redundant concept. In a free society the act of gaining rights at the expense of someone else’s rights is a contradiction in terms and is not permitted.


In a free society, all individuals are seen as equal under the law. There would be no special rights or special privileges to any one or any group. Politicians under a truly free society would have little to do since they would have no favors to grant. All special interests would disappear along with the huge amount of money being funneled toward them since politicians would have no power. Without the power to grant special favors to businesses, groups, or to states, or to pet projects, there would be no reason for special interests to try to gain their favor. Politicians would become impotent and special interests would disappear.


So, it is in this context that I say I am not for "gay rights". Gays are individuals and are granted by constitutional law the same rights applicable to all individuals. Today they are simply regaining the rights that have been taken away from them by government. It has been a long time coming.


And let me say that I am firmly not in favor of government approval of the right of gays to marry. The reason why should be obvious. By what "right" does the government have to determine who should get married and who should not? The mere idea that people including gays have to get a license, which amounts to permission from the state to gain the right of free association is repugnant!


In a free society, rights reside with the individual, and not with government. They are considered inalienable under this country’s constitution, which means "non-transferable". You can not give rights to someone. If rights are inherent to the individual and not a permission, why must any consenting adult seek permission from the government to get married?


Marriage is a contract between adults. People many times stand openly in front of their friends and families declaring what that contract consists of. They profess their love, devotion, and commitment to one another and they many times exchange rings or vows to signify their commitment to each another. Many choose to have religious ceremonies to show their unity of beliefs – and many do not. Government should have nothing to say about such decisions and certainly have no power to intervene into private relationships and forbid such actions? Marriage by government permission is an obnoxious concept.


So, once again...I do not acknowledge the so-called “right” of any government to prevent the free and non-violent actions of any adult individual to take any action including getting married or not getting married. I equally do not recognize the right of any government to grant special favors to groups, no matter who they are. The job – the only job – of government, should be to protect individuals from those who would use force, fraud or coercion to do harm against them. The government's primary job is to establish courts of law to resolve disputes and prosecute and punish crimes. And they are charged with providing armies to defend this nation. That's what is meant by a limited government.


To the great credit of this country, the vast majority of its citizens favor what they call "gay rights". But let's be clear about this: it is not an endorsement of lifestyle, sexual behavior, or even moral approval. And it is not a granting of special rights. It is an affirmation of freedom. It is affirming the right of free people to make free and peaceful decisions. Most Americans have learned that we don't have to approve of each other, agree with each other, or even like each other. But we all agree to disagree and leave it at that. More and more in the realm of social behavior we as a nation are taking on a “live and let live” philosophy.


That's why I constantly reinforce the principle of condemning all uses of force by government except to defend life, liberty, and property. I titled this commentary "Gay's and Liberty", because it has become the subject of great debate, and is just another example of those on both the left and right confusing the issue of what liberty means. Remember it was not more than a few years ago that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were against gay marriage. How things have changed. We are learning that liberty means freedom for all.


Today the Republican Party is being assailed on the "religious freedom" issue as their way of discriminating against gays. The confusion is warranted since the issue has been muddied by the Republicans’ own doing (again) bringing in religion as a defense. Does anyone really believe that we as a nation should not have freedom of religion? Of course not! Religious liberty is not the issue.


The issue was based on a cake maker that refused to make a cake for a gay couple for their wedding. That created a firestorm within the gay community, who immediately yelled "discrimination"! They tweeted and “face-booked” this decision across the country. The press picked it up and augmented it. Then major companies condemned the state of Indiana threatening to withdraw business from a state that supposedly supported discrimination. The proposed bill was revised and every Republican I can think of came out with statements that no one should be allowed to discriminate; that no business, for example, should be allowed not to serve a gay person lunch at a restaurant or refuse anyone service on the basis of discrimination. 


Why not? Isn’t forcing a person to take an action against his will a violation of individual rights? Isn’t it just the same as forcing a person to not get married? The gay community is now joining other group-right-militants, to force others to take actions or abstain from actions they don't like. Force is what the gay militants and those that want to prevent gay marriages, now have in common.


What happened to the signs we all grew up with, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"? If rights reside with the individual and not with government, by what right does government have to compel a cake maker to provide a service he doesn't want to provide? The muddling of the issue was caused by bringing religious freedom into the battle instead of fighting it on constitutional grounds.


Whether a cake maker refuses service to anyone on religious grounds, or because he just doesn't want to, or because he is a racist, a bigot, is homophobic, or any other totally obnoxious reason should be his right as an American citizen. In this country we should have the right to be wrong -- as long as we do not initiate force to accomplish our goals. Refusing to serve someone when you own the business is as American as free speech -- regardless of how stupid and wrong that speech may be. It is inalienable. 


While it is proper to boycott companies or even companies boycott states over discrimination, organize demonstrations in the streets over racism and bigotry, and bring all the public pressure you can to change someone's mind...you have no right to force a person by law to make a cake for a gay couple...or to prevent that gay couple from getting married.


That's called freedom. 


Paul Nathan