Thursday, December 01, 2005

America vs. South Africa in Steel Cage Match of Freedom

I was going to blog about this, but Andrew Sullivan beat me to it. I imagine that will happen a lot as I start turning to some political issues. So for now I'll let his post stand in for me. He's referring to this development, and his last sentence was the basic sentiment I wanted to get across:
NOW, SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa's post-apartheid Constitution explicitly granted gays and lesbians full rights as citizens. There is no valid citizenship without the right to marry the person you love; and so the global movement toward equality in marriage advances again. Who would have guessed twenty years ago that the land of apartheid would now be ahead of the United States in its support for civil rights and equal protection of laws?

3 Comments:

Blogger Dezmond said...

What if I really love my cat (alot)? What if I love the entire cadre of working girls down at the Men's Club? Could I marry all of them? (Please?) This is a complicated issue. Marriage has been an institution since the beginning. We don't need to fundamentally change its entire fabric on a whim because of some trend. It is perhaps reasonable to look at other ways to protect the nontraditional loved one (changing insurance laws, perhaps) and people can usually accomplish much of what they want by pursuing their own legal remedies (by making their wills reflect their wishes, etc.) But we should pause long and hard before fundamentally altering one of the most important institutions in our civilization. OK, libs, here is your oh so predictable cue to vent.

10:04 AM  
Blogger JMW said...

Dezmond, the only thing predictable is your tirade, so I won't give you the satisfaction of extreme liberal venting (mostly because I'm not an extreme liberal -- and this is more of a libertarian issue, in my mind. I mean, two people want to be married, in the civil sense; they have someone willing to marry them. You, Dezmond, Mr. Don't Tread On Me, want to stop them?)

The point is, you admit to the importance of other issues, like insurance law and wills, but those things aren't very...special to people. (And they're not very exclusive; you COULD leave your entire estate to a cat, if you were nutty enough to do it.)

I'm not saying it's not a complicated issue. But implying that homosexuality is a "trend" also seems kind of bizarre. At the end of the day, the fact remains that South Africa is recognizing the desires of this group of people more than America is. That doesn't strike you as odd at all?Really?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

I'm not saying that homosexuality is a trend, but it is a recent discussion (at least in the mainstream) to consider legalized homosexual marriage. I, like you, am agnostic. But like it or not, this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and morals. It is a our bedrock. And marriage between one man and one woman as a lynchpin to protecting the nuclear family and propetuating a civilized society (that starts in the nuclear family and then goes from there to extended family, to friends, to community, to country to mankind). Traditional marriage and family is one of the few things that transcends almost all religions, societies, and cultures. It may very well be THE common denominator of all societies.

A lot of groups of people have a lot of desires, it does not mean we must fulfill them. Like I said, there are other ways to give a minority group some rights (insurance, estates, as I said) without destroying the bedrock of civilization for the vast majority of humanity.

2:19 PM  

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