Robert Knight, one of the more important Christian right leaders you’ve probably never heard of, thinks that there is a real thing called “moral capital” that clings to straight marriages. And by pretending that gay couples are human beings and such, they’re “stealing” that “moral capital.”
Knight was particularly annoyed by Justice Kennedy’s comments about marriage conferring “dignity” and “ennoblement” to gay couples. “I was thinking about that,” he told Huntington-based talk radio host Tom Roten, “and I thought, the way you’re doing that is by stealing the moral capital of marriage and conveying it to other relationships that aren’t anything like it. That is not ennobling them, that is transferring moral capital.”
“It’s like taking a losing team, and they feel bad about their losing record,” he explained, “so they say, okay, now they’re going to have the same record as this winning team over here so everybody feels better.”
What a bizarre abstraction that is. In the real world, there are tangible and very important benefits that go along with getting married, like inheritance rights and the right to hospital visitation (and hundreds more). This isn’t about stealing “moral capital” (whatever the fuck that is), it’s about improving the lives of real people. But that’s exactly the problem: Knight simply cannot see gay people as real. Gay people are just abstractions to him, sinners that his god really dislikes.
Knight was also upset that the only children discussed during the Supreme Court arguments were children being raised by gay parents. “What about the vast impact on children across America if gay marriage is legalized?” he asked. “Think of the textbook changes. Think of what schools will be teaching directly against the beliefs of millions of American parents. I mean, we’re putting a counterfeit in the law, we’re going to use the law to impose it on the country.”
I know, right? Just like we teach about racial equality in schools, which is “teaching directly against the beliefs of millions of American parents.” And we teach that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, directly against the beliefs of tens of millions of American parents. The horror — the horror — that kids might learn that gay people are human beings with equal rights. But I’ve got news for you, Robert — the kids are way ahead of you already. They aren’t nearly as bigoted as you and your ilk, and society will be vastly better as a result.