Freedom for everyone, even bigots

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I support the right of various religious associations to discriminate against homosexuals in employment. I support the right of the most fanatical Christianist to spread the most defamatory stuff about me and the right of the most persuasive Christianist to teach me the error of my ways. I support the right of the St Patrick’s Day Parade to exclude gay people – because that’s what freedom of association requires. In my ideal libertarian world, I would even support the right of employers to fire gay people at will (although I am in a tiny minority of gays and straights who would tolerate such a thing). All I ask in return is a reciprocal respect: the right to express myself freely and to be treated by the government exactly as any heterosexual in my position would be treated.

I deliberately framed my own case for gay rights away from forcing or even pressuring any other citizen to accept me – because that impedes their freedom and, in my view, the gay movement should always, always be about expanding freedom for everyone, even bigots.

-Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish

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