Since President Donald Trump’s election, it’s been popular for liberal pundits and intellectuals to declare the United States’ global hegemony dead and crown Angela Merkel’s Germany as the new leader of the free world. The central European nation’s dedication to human rights, open borders for refugees, and the European Union in the face of Brexit and skepticism from nationalists presents a stark contrast, the critics argue, to the president’s America First policy.
But there’s a little problem with that analysis: Gay marriage hasn’t even been legalized in Germany.
You read that right, same-sex marriage remains forbidden in Germany. The country is just now holding a vote Friday to legalize it.
According to The Guardian, the bill is widely expected to pass in the Bundestag. After a debate on Monday hosted by the German women’s magazine Brigitte, Merkel signaled a softening on her opposition to the practice. As of right now, only civil partnerships are available to gays and lesbians.
The domestic debate in the U.S. seemed to change over night (remember the controversy in 2012 after former Vice President Joe Biden candidly told a reporter that Obama really did support gay marriage, despite only supporting civil unions on the campaign trail?). The issue was hardly mentioned in our last election. Still, it strikes me as amazing that Merkel was able to get away with her opposition for so long. After all, if a Republican politician said gay marriages ought to be outlawed because of his religious objections, he’d be labeled a yokel and a bigot.
In fact, expressing any sort of reservations about the practice will disqualify any other opinions you might have—or worse. Last year, Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents not to go to fast food restaurant Chic-Fil-A for their tasty chicken sandwiches because of the owner’s history of lobbying against same-sex marriage. In 2014, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had to resign because of public pressure after activists uncovered the fact that he had donated $1,000 to supporting California’s Proposition 8, a ballot proposition that would have outlawed gay marriage statewide.
If liberals take the non-negotiable position that those who oppose same-sex marriage because of their faith can’t run software companies or even serve fried chicken, how can Merkel take the lead in global climate treaties, trade deals, or the fight against Islamic extremism?
Merkel didn’t even seem fully comfortable with the idea of allowing gay couples to adopt children, saying her main “sticking point” against gay marriage was the “welfare of [adopted] children.” Could you imagine the outrage if Trump said something even remotely similar? Liberals are already contriving nightmare scenarios about the welfare of the gay community if Vice President Mike Pence takes power.
Liberals worship Merkel not because of Europe’s supposed tolerance, but because she comes from a country that’s not the U.S. Their deep distaste for Trump will lead them to blindly accept all kinds of alternatives, even if it makes them hypocrites.
Lesson: Next time you’re around a bunch of liberals at a cocktail party and you find yourself disagreeing with the group’s consensus on some hot new social topic, voice your opinion in German.