Did Glenn Beck Just Endorse Gay Marriage?


In a discussion with libertarian/magician Penn Jillette, Westlake resident Glenn Beck said:

“Let me take the pro-gay marriage people and the religious people – I believe that there is a connecting dot there that nobody is looking at, and that’s the Constitution…The question is not whether gay people should be married or not. The question is ‘Why is the government involved in our marriage?’”

From an accompanying note on his website:

Glenn agreed with Penn, noting that gay marriage does not “pick my pocket nor break my leg” and he doesn’t feel like the government needed to be involved. He said that as long as the government doesn’t come into his church and say he or his church (or any church) need to change their belief system and their practices, he doesn’t care. But right now, people of faith who may not want gay marriage in their church are being shut out of the conversation by activists and progressives.

The difference between endorsing same-sex marriage from a libertarian sense and endorsing it from a religious sense could take up more bandwidth than we have. And the Venn diagram of fiscal conservatives and social conservatives overlaps enough that the point may be moot. Still, it’s heartening to see a prominent conservative take such a public approach to a typically liberal stance. An Yglesias Award for Beck.

But wait, says Rod Dreher for the American Conservative:

This idea that the government should not be involved in marriage is wholly unrealistic; our entire society, including much of our legal framework, is built around the concept of marriage. For example, if the government did not recognize marriage (in whatever form), the constitutional protection spouses have against being compelled to testify in court against their spouses would be meaningless.

Whatever the flaws in Beck’s argument and vision, I think it’s highly significant because it shows that this is the route through which the populist right will come to embrace same-sex marriage. If conservatives are going to accept SSM, they ought to at least understand the full meaning, and the implications, of what they are accepting. Beck either does not see it, or will not see it. Don’t know which. But he is useful to the pro-SSM cause.

So, yeah, still significant, but maybe for a different reason. (Disclaimer: Wick Allison, the owner of D, is also the president/CEO of the American Conservative.)


  • LIBIntOrg

    Thanks for the article.

    For info on people using voluntary and actual Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ http://www.Libertarian-International.org ….

  • Everlasting Phelps

    The spousal privilege isn’t a constitutional right, unless you are talking about the ninth amendment. Just like marriage. In fact, it’s not even a right — which is why it is called the spousal PRIVILEGE.

  • Stells

    “And the Venn diagram of fiscal conservatives and social conservatives overlaps enough that the point may be moot.”

    Depends on where you’re looking, and who you’re looking at. Granted, it may be my generation, but the majority of my conservative friends are fine with gay marriage, legalization of pot, and both evolution & sex ed being taught in public schools. We just want better fiscal policies and a decent economy.

  • BradfordPearson

    Good point.

  • mynameisbill

    Smart move, Glenn. With your new clothing line out, you don’t want to alienate any groups. Especially a group that loves to shop! Peace to the Beckeroni of New Beckerstan aka Westlake.

  • tested

    I think you all miss a key point that many pro-gay marriage folks dont want to admit: this isn’t about who we love, its about money and benefits. Gays can “marry” anywhere they want..get a preacher, some rings, friends and recite your vows and call yourself married. It’s just that there are only a few states that will let you do that and recognize it for various government and other legal benefits. My view: Beck is right, but you are misreading what he’s saying here.

  • Harvey Lacey

    I do find pleasure in disliking Rod Dreher. Yeah, I know, some our mutual friends don’t get it because they like Dreher, he’s he and I’m me, thank gawd.

    Rod’s assumption that the big loser in SSM is traditional religous faith in loss of religious liberty is bs in a cesspool. He needs to remember that the Southern Baptists only came about because southern Baptists found scriptural support for their racism that Baptists wouldn’t accept. When racists wanted divine design to support their ignorant hatred they not only found it in the their Bible, they used their freedom of religion to deny others their own liberties.

    When I hear persecuted Christians like Dreher screaming about threats to their liberties I can’t help but feel the pain of the Native Americans, north, central, and south, as their rights to life and liberty were lost to the reasoning of the righteous. The fight for women’s rights was with the same narrow minded conservatives that found their logic in faith based books.

    We can look at America today and see the big winners, women, children, and minorities of all stripes were the big losers when America was at her Dreher greatest, first half of last century. America was at her Christian best, white male Heaven on earth.

    Just today I was talking to a married couple about their fence I’m going to build, it’s a statement fence. A statement fence you ask and think of a spite fence like you see in Dallas? No a statement fence, the only thing better than first is only, that kind of statement fence. He kissed him and said, “I love you”. “Love you too” was his reply.

    “Don’t ever stop that.” Was my reaction. I’m a big fan of monogamy. I know my wife is the best thing about me. And unlike Dreher, I don’t believe in the fantasy of divine design, I’m just lucky.