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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Maryland's gay marriage vote

And now, on this Friday, the Maryland House of Delegates (the lower house of the State legislature) voted to permit gay marriage. Last time, it passed the Senate but failed in the House, so (since no Senator has voiced any intention to change his vote) it will pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley, who this year has gotten behind the bill as he did not last time. The forces of bigotry will try to put it up for a referendum, and I don't know how successful they will be, but since they will at least try, it will probably hold up the effective date of the law. But there is a good chance Maryland will be the next state to permit it.

This time, what got the bill through the House was two Republican Delegates' changing their votes — a good thing, because it means that what I consider my party is moving toward the right side of this question. The Democrats have far more delegates than they need to pass any legislation, but in this case there are a substantial number of African-American members who seem to believe, as I mentioned recently, that discrimination is only discrimination if it's directed against African-Americans. They should be ashamed about themselves, but until they understand that anti-gay discrimination is as bad as anti-black discrimination, it is necessary to make progress within the Republicans who are not Religious Right fanatics. And some progress has been made, as shown by this vote.

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