What’s conspicuously missing from this whole debate has been any sense of the right to be wrong. For most commenters on the left, it is enough for them merely to declare the Hitching Post’s proprietors to be ignorant, backward, and prejudiced, and this automatically justifies the mailed fist of the state coming in to set those bigots straight. They remind me of the old Tom Lehrer joke: “I know there are people out there who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that.”
The left’s operational concept of freedom is that you are allowed to do and say what you like—so long as you stay within a certain proscribed window of socially acceptable deviation. The purpose of the gay marriage campaign is simply to change the parameters of that window, extending it to include the gay, the queer, the transgendered—and to exclude anyone who thinks that homosexuality is a sin or who wants to preserve the traditional concept of marriage. Those people are declared outside the protection of the law and in fact will have the full weight of the law bear down upon them until they recant their socially unacceptable views.
The point is not whether you agree about which views are or should be socially acceptable. The point is that this is not a concept of freedom. It’s a regime of state-controlled ideas, softened by an amorphous zone of official tolerance.