by Daren Bakst
Senior Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy, Heritage Foundation
Without getting into the pros and cons of a marriage amendment, the political debate surrounding the proposed marriage amendment is certainly interesting.
Having said that, it also has gotten extreme. House Democratic Leader, Rep. Joe Hackney recently argued, “This proposed constitutional amendment runs against the tide of history, and has become a form of hate speech.”
Really? Are we really going there? Is the new tactic when you can’t form an argument to simply call support for a law a form of hate speech? If so, I better apologize to people that love more regulation and higher taxes.
The term “hate speech” already is a vague and malleable term used primarily by those on the left to chill speech they disagree with. Hackney appears to be taking the application of the term to a new level by applying it to supporters of laws that liberals oppose.
Ironically, using the “hate-speech” accusation is itself a form of name calling Aren’t those who use the “hate speech” term against those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman engaged in a form of “hate speech?”
We all can use vague terms to chill speech. For opponents of the marriage amendment, it probably would be wise to focus not on name-calling but on substantive arguments (the same goes for proponents too).