The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I don't understand why they fight it

Why do the homophobes fight gay marriage? That is one point I can't figure out.

The only argument they can raise is that it's against God's will. Some readings of the Bible certainly make that case. However, the laws of the U. S. are not supposed to discriminate between different religions, and it is clear that other readings of the Bible disagree, as there are churches that are willing to perform gay marriages. So that argument loses.

Another argument is that "marriage always has been between a man and a woman." That one has even less chance of being upheld in a court of law. The fact is that "just because it's always been that way" has never been a valid argument in court. Traditionally, women could not vote, own property, etc. Unlil Loving v. Virginia, miscegenation laws upheld the "traditional" view that marriage has always been between two white people. And there are many other "traditions" that restricted people's rights that have been thrown out in court.

Really, the only argument there is against gay marriage is in fact, "I don't like it." And the last time that won a court case was ... never? Actually, the more they fight the concept of gay marriage, the more they advance it. If the homophobes had not bothered to fight it, the gay rights advocates would have to fight in fifty State legislatures, and it would take many years to happen — in some states the gay rights advocates would never get a legislative majority. But because they pushed Proposition 8 in California, there was Perry v. Schwarzenegger (which, ironically, put Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the position of nominally being the one being sued, even though he did not agree with the referendum result!). (See my August 7 post.) The result of this may end up requiring States to implement gay marriage! The case will go to the Supreme Court, since the homophobes will not take this judge's opinion lying down, and the Court will find for the gay couples. (There are 4 liberals and 4 conservatives. Justice Kennedy, the ninth, has in recent years been sympathetic to gay rights. Even if all the conservatives side with the homophobes, which is not guaranteed — after all, one of the lawyers for the gay couples is a prominent conservative, so "conservatives" are not always anti-gay — there are probably five votes to extend Loving v. Virginia to gay marriage.)

I have not, in the past, supported gay marriage in those places where I felt that the gay couples were more likely to succeed by taking the "half a loaf" of civil unions. I have always felt that it was more important to have the rights of a married couple, regardless of what the law called it. But I have also seen no "other side of the coin" — there is really no reason to avoid gay marriage except that using the word "marriage" angers some people — so wherever (whether by legislative or judicial action) gay people get the right to marry, I will view it with favor. It is basically a case of freedom, and I agree with the position (expressed by the Modern Whig Party, which I recently mentioned in this blog) that the government should not be in the business of legislating morality.

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