29 October 2008

some men (and women) and NOT more equal than others...

In the Constitution of the United States, as in the Declaration of Independence, there are references to equality.

the U.S. Constitution:
Amendment XIV

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

[note: the words all in bold are my highlighting for emphasis.]

sadly, there has been a struggle in this country to secure the equality of all men - the Civil War, Women's right to vote, the ERA to name those that have been the biggest struggles (still the ERA has yet to be passed. you just have to note the inequity of pay between men and women for the same jobs.)

one of the most vocal fights of inequality for the last couple of decades has been against the LGBT community, most notably through the anti-marriage amendments that keep sprouting up in various states. right now the fights are focused in Arizona, in Florida, and, most viciously, in California.

Arizona seems to be a given, even though the state legislature and courts are in favor of equal rights but without the word marriage. Florida looks as if the Amendment 2 is not going to pass, but probably the biggest reason for that, rather than being LGBT focused, is that it would forbid rights for straight people who live together, usually the elderly in Florida, who could lose benefits they already have.

Proposition 8 in California is the most contentious. The state Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a denial of rights provided for in the California Constitution. of course, the wingers and christianists in the state know that the only way to overthrow the court's ruling is to change the state Constitution. Proposition 8 is meant to do just that.

there have been many reports of vitriolic speech and physical altercations being used by those who like to deny rights to others in the state; of the Mormon church funding a major push for the proposition's adoption; and with the fear that is being used to spread the lies and innuendo. the rhetoric is monumental.

again, throughout our history, there have been those, and they are the ones usually in political power, who think that some people are more equal than others. they believe that if the definition of marriage is open to all, their own marriages will be diminished. yet, in those states and countries that allow same-sex marriage, research has shown that it has had no effect whatsoever on the institution of marriage as it has existed for centuries. no straight couple has become less committed because of same-sex marriage; no relationship between a man and a woman has been diminished; and, maybe most important, the divorce rate in opposite sex marriages has still maintained its 50%+ level.

the fight against Proposition 8 in California is being monitored closely. other states are looking to see that, if it is passed, it can give them the nod to spread the inequality to their own states. the conservative base of the fundamentalists in the Republican party are in the last throws of maintaining the influence and political clout they've had for the last several years. their agenda has fallen apart in almost all areas. they are being turned back by the U.S. electorate. the emphasis on Proposition 8 almost seems like a last ditch effort to keep a hold on something. there is one problem with their logic.

the most used argument by the christianists and wingers is Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

however, they forget what is 26 lines following it in Leviticus 19:18
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

yes, most christianists believe that Jesus said this. they fail to understand that he quoted from the Torah, being the devout Rabbi that he was. his use of the message of Leviticus 19:18 cannot be denied nor ignored.

and, by it's words, it conveys that all men are created equal. no one is more equal than anyone else.

if i was a California resident, i would vote NO on Proposition 8. if you live in California, please prove to the rest of the country that all men are created equal by voting NO on Proposition 8...



Jeff said...

While there are strong similarities between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement, believing that gay unions are equal to heterosexual unions and that opposition to gay marriage is equal to the discrimination of race is a misconception.

If the state legalizes gay marriage, then suddenly marriage changes from a protected belief of a small minority, to the false impression that the state (which is an extension of the people) believes that it is morally acceptable to practice homosexuality.

As individuals, law abiding homosexuals should be entitled to every inalienable right held by any heterosexual; but as couples, gay relationships no longer hold an equal stance to the synergy of a heterosexual relationship. The answer lies in procreation—the primary responsibility of a family.

The gay agenda wants to redefine marriage as simply commitment, honesty, affection, and warmth between two loving individuals. If so then it simply becomes an equal protection issue and the gay couple argues they are being discriminated against for a relationship they claim holds equal commitment and value to the heterosexual relationship. This argument breaks down because it ignores posterity and procreation. Children are what differentiate the marriage contract from all other consensual adult arrangements. The state has always had a keen interest in the bearing and rearing of children. Indeed that is why the state got in the business of registering and recognizing marriage in the first place.

The point, both legally and historically, the gay family can ONLY exist as a product of government policy and modern science, and a dependence on the natural family. It is very clear that there is no natural procreative ability between gay partners. The procreative ability between heterosexual couples is, by contrast, perfectly natural, and dates back to the start of recorded history. The natural family would continue whether the government or science became involved or not. Thus, we see that a homosexual relationship is not naturally equal to a heterosexual relationship.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that we are endowed with unalienable rights, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". John Locke, called this "natural law". Natural law is not a creation or product of the state, but was to be protected by the state as these are the natural rights of all men inseparably connected to being human. Gays may argue that they are in the pursuit of liberty and happiness, yet there is no logical means by which they are naturally in the pursuit of life. Indeed we may argue that the gay movement, by its very nature, is a movement in pursuit of death, its own extinction, for without the intervention of the state and modern science, homosexuality results in the termination of posterity. Thus, from the perspective of both science and state we can see that the union of man and women, with their resulting children compared to the gay union are polar opposites both in origin and fruit.

What about couples who are infertile? Many married heterosexuals choose not to have children, and others cannot because of medical problems or physical handicaps. But gays fought furiously to convince the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from their books as a "disorder", or medical problem. The majority of the United States will now agree that homosexuality is not a medical problem or disorder. Even in perfect medical condition, a gay couple cannot procreate without the help of a third party. Therefore homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships are inherently, and naturally, unequal. Gays should NOT shunned because of their beliefs and tendencies. Nor does this fact infringe on their God given rights. The argument is that the two relationships are very different from one another and for that reason they should be defined differently.

More here

mike/ said...

if marriage is solely for procreation, then the infertile couples, opt-out couples, medical and physical handicapped couples should not be allowed to marry and if they discover they cannot have children after they marry, then their marriages should be voided or at the least all the benefits the laws give them should be taken away. that is the logical conclusion to your argument.

you connect equality solely with sex in your argument. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (initially changed from pursuit of property by the authors of the documents) has much more to it than procreation. if the couple you mention in your argument can't or won't have children, you're saying, by logic, that they can't be happy.

a little history also. marriage, as we now know it, is actually a 20th century construct that came about because of the romantic ex-pats after WWI. prior to that, marriage was simply a matter of contract and had been since ancient times. the state protected contracts. the state today views marriage as a contract. marriages for nobility and upper classes in the Middle Ages were either approved or disallowed by the church depending on balance of power reasons. kings married their daughters and sons for alliance reasons; senators in ancient Rome married to solidify their positions (on the same token, they divorced for the same reason with only giving their wives a written or verbal statement); and for the lower classes marriage was to procreate but in order to have bodies to work the land and serve the lord of the manor.

i personally want people to have the same benefits and rights as everyone else. it is, as you say, to be protected by the state. the state is not protecting a lot of people then but discriminating legally.

as far as civil rights, all rights are civil. they are not relegated to specific minorities, ethnicities, groups, etc., as you implicate, that's discrimination also.