Could it be that in order for equality to exist, rights must be taken from others in order to be given to others? It has often seemed to me that in our press for rights and in our world in which our status and identity are tied to government, legal, and social recognition, it often seems like rights are in limited quantity and so in order to give some rights to others, rights must be taken away from others. Maybe I am wrong but it sure seems that way.
So when it comes to religion and the public square, rights once generally accorded to religious speech are being trimmed back either by government edict or by the pressure of marketplace and culture to protect or expand the rights of others. So you are free to criticize religion in the public square but not free to preach the faith in the public square or you are free to worship in private as you choose but not free to evangelize or promote that faith in public. . . The whole genus of this idea is that to give rights to some is automatically to take rights away from others.
In the same way, parenthood was once not a status or even a right conferred but the ordinary fruit of marriage, of husband and wife and their life together. But now it seems to become more and more a right or a status conferred. So the government may, for example, end the parental rights if it deems the parents rights to infringe upon the rights of the child (such as the fairly recent termination of parental rights to a couple who refused to pay for and go along with their child's desire to express him/herself transgendered). Rights in conflict. The granting of rights to one will by extension take away the rights of another.
So again the push to same sex marriage and other incarnations already at work in the oft changing boundaries of what marriage is or might be is, by nature, the reduction of rights from the man and woman who desire to marry (traditional) but who must do so under laws that have pretty much defined away the status of man and woman, bride and groom, and replaced them with party one and party two. The government has decided what marriage is and stripped away all of its common law, religious, and cultural standing in order to make it into something that has no history or definition -- apart from what the couple want to give it. So rights are taken from some in order to give to others. The same is surely true of pastors who marry. The marriage they preside at has been taken from them and redefined by the state and given a different understanding and status -- no matter what their religious beliefs. Some pastors wonder if they should even sign a marriage certificate issued by the state since the implication may very well be that they have accepted the SCOTUS definition of marriage and ceded their own religious or natural law identity of the relationship of husband to wife and wife to husband.
Birth certificates no longer are required to list father and mother (biological) but may list simply those who have claimed parenthood (one or the other of the same sex couples who is not biologically related to the child). If this is the case, then the whole function of the birth certificate in confirming paternity and connecting the child to their family and legacy is replaced with a new identity or status now conferred not by the parents whose DNA are in the child but by the status or identity conferred by the state. In such a situation in which you may check a box (parent one or parent two, parent A or parent B, father or mother, etc.,) the rights of the few are abridging the rights of the many.
In a sense, all the normal things that once defined such things as marriage, family, children, etc., have been transformed by the push for same sex marriage and the desire of those same sex couples for children (or singles for children without dads). It is not simply that marriage has been opened to others but marriage has been replaced by the move to same sex marriage. It is not what it was and never will be. It is not simply that laws are being widened to allow these new definitions of parenthood defined by status and not lineage but that parenthood is being redefined for all.
Once it was said that separate but equal would suffice and then we decided, with respect to race, that separate was not equal. But now that same logic and law is being applied far beyond race. Marriage cannot mean one thing for heterosexuals and another for homosexuals or others. So something must go. What is going is the common law, historical, cultural, and religious formations of marriage and family that have existed since time began and we are uncharted ground as we keep the terms be change their meanings and so steal from some the rights we give to others. . . yet without fully comprehending all that is going on in this. . . Am I wrong?