Post-Gazette Columnist Dailey Wants To Have Her (Gay Wedding) Cake and Eat It, Too

The fundamental problem with Ruth Ann Dailey is that she wants to support marriage equality AND support using tax payer dollars to fund religious programs.

And her own political beliefs don’t bend that way, no matter how much history she cites.

Here’s the basic argument

Ruth Ann agrees that same sex couples should have access to the civil institution of marriage, recognized by all levels of government. That’s consistent with her interpretation of fairness and small government.

Ruth Ann believes that faith based organizations should not be forced to recognize those marriages.

Ruth Ann honors the centuries old traditions of faith based organizations providing social and health care services (hospitals, schools, work with immigrants, etc) and believes the government should continue to fund them with public monies.

Ruth Ann believes that these faith based organizations should not have to comply with federal laws around the use of these tax payers dollars if those laws conflict with their faith. So they should get a waiver. I think.

Ruth Ann also believes that the government should change the name of marriage to “civil union” to help clear up the issue.

So, its fair to say that Ruth Ann is trying to reconcile her beliefs about civil marriage with her beliefs about religious freedom. And the problem is she wants to fit a square peg into a round hole. If she simply set aside the public dollars, the peg would fit.

It is also fair to say that while Ruth Ann is struggling to reconcile this, she is being very disengenuous by putting forth ridiculous ideas like the US government and 50 state goverments (plus Puerto Rico) stop using the word marriage.  She’s smarter than that. Its a way to appear reasonable without actually using reason.

Look, everyone I know who supports marriage equality is fine with the idea that religious marriage does not have to include same sex marriage. Fine. No problem. We aren’t insisting that anyone’s religious freedom be abridged. I’ve never seen that.

The issue is that the word marriage means two different things. And that’s an issue with English as a language, not gay advocates.

Ruth Ann’s worldview is that the First Amendment should have two different meanings, too. First, it should protect faith communities from extending religious practices to include something they oppose. But, second, it should also allow faith communities to be paid with public dollars to practice their religious beliefs.

Whoa. That doesn’t work.

I have faith Ruth Ann’s innate intelligence will one day triumph over her irrational attempts to redefine the First Amendment.  In the meantime, let’s simply set aside her incoherent ramblings that emanate from this core illogical base.  She’s really an outlier as a political analyst because of this irrational thinking. I’m hoping she comes round to a logical conclusion. Because she is smart and engaging and has a lot to offer.