4.28.2005

bravo

I forgot to congratulate the Spanish people on their excellent move. Spain is poised to become the third European country to legalize gay marriage, and the first to do in defiance of its traditional Catholic roots. It's thrilling to see freedom growing before our eyes.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Morning L-Girl
ALPF

http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/04/042705canada.htm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050428/RUSSIA28/TPInternational/Europe

G said...

Great links, especially the story at 365. Often lost in the joke that is Parliament these days is the potential fate of the gay marriage legislation, which could stand to fall along with the Liberals as early as June. While the Liberal fall would hardly been seen as a tragedy, the fall of this legislation would be by much of the country, as well as much of the world.

RobfromAlberta said...

It's only a matter of time. The posturing of Stephen Harper is pure optics to shore up support from the religious right. The Supreme Court has spoken, gay marriage is a done deal. If the current legislation fails to get passed because of a conservative win this year, wait a year until the next election.

David Cho said...

Laura,

As liberal Democrats are undergoing soul searching after the 2004 election, some are talking about reframing the debate to inject morals into their positions in order to fight the perception that liberals are "anti-morals."

For example, they think they should say it is "immoral" to deny access to health care or equal marriage rights in this case. What do you think?

As you know, I do not believe that conservatives have cornered the market on morals. But I am not so sure if I have the stomach for the war of synamtics.

Anonymous said...

David,

You don't get it. It's not about semantics. Laura will never agree with you on all the issues you seem to care about as a Christian. If you think Laura is going to accept your positions on gay marriage and the like, you're wrong. Sorry, it's just two different worldviews.

L-girl said...

Hey G, no fair checking out ALPF's links before I get a chance to post them. :)

I also have the impression that gay marriage is a done deal in Canada.

L-girl said...

David, I think you mean semantics? (I don't mean to be picky, I'm just checking that we're talking about the same thing.)

I know a lot of liberals who are really behind the "we have morals too" strategy. Certainly it's ridiculous (and sickening to many of us, including me!) that the Republicans should "own" morality, as they do patriotism.

It's unbelievably hypocritical, plus just plain wrong. For example, to me, supporting abortion rights is a moral and ethical choice. It's not anti-abortion = moral and pro-choice = immoral. But different people believe in different things - we don't all share the same morality.

Now, having said all that... I personally don't like the debate being framed in terms of morality. I don't think the government and state should be in the morality business.

I'd like to see the whole debate framed differently. What brings the greatest good to the greatest number of people? How can people comply with their own private morality and allow others to do the same? What kind of society do we want to live in, what is the role of government in our lives, etc. etc. And leave morality for our own hearts, minds, souls to grapple with.

David Cho said...

Laura,
Sorry, what I said about semantics was very poorly worded.

But I guess we are in disagreement on the scope of morality. To me, morality compasses over not just issues related to our private lives, but our public lives as well. The Iraq war is a very public thing (as public as it can get) and I opposed it on moral grounds. I want Tom Delay ousted on moral grounds. We are on the same page on those two issues and my positions trace back to morals.

See now, you and I are wrangling about semantics here :). Imagine the same going on at the national level.

Anon
I am not sure where you got the idea that I am trying to get Laura to agree on issues I care about as a Christian. I happen to find her blog very thought provoking and enjoy reading her postings.

L-girl said...

David, truly, I agree with you. I don't think it's semantics. I think you're on the right track, and it's just hard for me to express what bothers me about it.

War is absolutely a moral issue. Capital punishment is a moral issue. Abortion is a moral issue. I do agree. Gay rights/marriage is a moral issue. To me, being for gay rights is the moral stance. For someone else, the opposite is true.

(Not everyone takes a moral position - plenty of pro-war or pro-capital-punishment people don't give a shit about morality, they only care about power or revenge. But there definitely are deeply held moral beliefs on opposite sides of each issue.)

I guess the reason I don't want the debate framed in moral terms is because our society inevitably equates morality with a certain set of religious beliefs. When secular humanists such as myself say "we are moral too" (which we are!), it usually goes badly for us.

I'm afraid of the morality debate can only come out badly for my beliefs.

Like Rob said elsewhere, we end up with Dukakis riding around in a tank. Democrats professing their love for God, rather than saying, religion is a personal thing, why should my religion be an issue.

I don't know if I'm expressing this correctly.

Truth be told, I feel it's more important to be ethical than be moral - but now we're really into semantics!! :)

I would have deleted Anon's stupid comment, but then your retort wouldn't make any sense. I think I know who it is. I can't understand why he's still at it. I'm just one little blogger in a big blogosphere. Why is he so threatened by me?

Anon: consider this your yellow card.

David, thanks for your continued interest in my blog and for your continued postings. You're a very welcome addition to the wmtc crew.

G said...

If the whole political sphere becomes solely about morals, we are all doomed because at the end of the day, morals are entirely subjective. Morals are society's accepted behaviours, really ... ie people who believe homosexuality is immoral see it as wrong for two of the same gender to live together, etc.

The law, on the other hand, is objective and is in place to essentially uphold a society's morality.

It's easy when there is an overwhelming majority in favor of one side. Where this becomes sticky is the situation in which certain moral viewpoints are split across a society, and there is no overwhelming majority for any side of the issue. Few will argue that murder is moral, hence the laws against it are not overly contested; however, viewpoints on issues such as gay marriage are pretty evenly split. Which moral view is then upheld in law? In a democratic society, that becomes a tough issue to handle. Can a large enough majority be won over on the issue? Can it be determined that a part of society is wrong on the issue, hence drafting it into law without an overwhelming majority supporting it? If so, how?

Where this becomes dangerous is when leaders invoke their own personal morality into law without consideration for one or either side(s) of the debate - cardinal sin #1 in a democracy. Now you might say "so what is the solution?" and in all honesty I have to say I don't know. It's difficult at best ... while I see nothing wrong with gay marriage, others disagree and have a right to their views. But I'll give it a shot. Note the following is just how I see it ... feel free to disagree (anon, I'm thinking of you for some reason)... it's a free country.

The sticky part: I guess this is where the courts come in, and why we have the Supreme Court in power, to make these decisions for us. And they do. Setting such legal (and hence moral) precedent for their society is their job.

The dangerous part: these days the supreme court decisions are almost always followed by corrupt leaders calling these judges 'activists' because the new rules clash with the leaders' personal morality. Sorry, Tom, but your morality may not be what those specializing in legal precedent, history, philosophy, sociology, and civil discourse feel is best for the country and the rights of those living within it. Given their specialty, these judges are the ones who we should trust with these decisions. They are the ones who weigh the debate, look at both sides under a mandate of neutrality and objectivity. Are there corrupt judges? Sure, history has shown that. But history has also shown that to be rare - unlike political leaders.

So I say, let's be a democracy once again. Let both sides be raised. Let all opinions be heard. Then let the judges, those in society we appoint to make the final decision, and hence the law, on such matters, do their job and set the acceptable standard. People will disagree, sure, but at least in stone the rights of society will be set. The best we can do is hope that down the line the decisions made prove to be in the best interests of the nation's society.

David Cho said...

Laura, I meant to say that I admired your consitency in your response to my question posed about Clinton's action in Kosovo (I attempted to write that, but the site kept crashing).

I know a lot of liberals who supported Clinton's action in Kosovo, but they couldn't really articulate the reasons. Even though they wouldn't admit it, I think it really came down to the fact that their man was in charge. I see this kind of hypocricy on "my side" as well. While my conservatives would have killed to have Kerry's war credentials, but they really did a hatchet job on him. Why? Only because Kerry was not their guy.

I guess I am echoing what you said below:

"Not everyone takes a moral position - plenty of pro-war or pro-capital-punishment people don't give a shit about morality, they only care about power or revenge."

My fellow conservatives who took Clinton to task on his past experiments with drugs while giving Bush a pass are among many examples of those who don't give a rip about morality.

L-girl said...

Thanks, G. You articulated that beautifully, and more fully than I have mental time and space for right now.

And thanks, David. I had a feeling that's why you were asking me about Kosovo. I generally oppose war. I don't claim to be an absolutist on it, but I do think we have to evolve past bombing innocent people to make a point. And Clinton was never "my guy", I doubt any politician ever could be to the point where I would defend actions that I feel are wrong.

"My fellow conservatives who took Clinton to task on his past experiments with drugs while giving Bush a pass are among many examples of those who don't give a rip about morality."

That's an excellent example. However, it's this kind of moralizing that I feel is polluting the political sphere. I don't care what people do in the personal lives as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process. Recreational drug use, consensual sex, relationships other than monogamous and heterosexual - these to me are personal choices and should never enter the public shpere or political debates.