Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Victory For Fairness


The votes have been counted and the winner of the Gay Marriage debate is the 21st Century who defeated the 19th Century view by 400 to 175.
It does seem incredible that in 2013 there are still those who consider it a God given right to treat less fairly one set of people over others and once again it is the religious leading the bigotry.   
A victory for commonsense, fairness and equality and marriage is now between two people who love each other which is as it should be.

20 comments:

Anne said...

Pretty amazing, it taking this long to do the right thing.

As Michael Stipe once said, "It's nobody's business who sits on my dick." Please pardon my crass language!

Anonymous said...

of course, i'm going to oppose. I don't see it as a victory for fairness. i see it as victory for a minority of people that want to impose on the majority - how is that fair? after 50 years of constant pressure by a group with one agenda the majority has given in due to fatigue.

everything created by humans was intended to solve a problem - including marriage, and divorce. after reading several sources it seems that marriage solved problems related to property rights, violent conflict (at least between men fighting over women), and for many religions created a stanard for societal acceptance.

instead of changing marriage i would have greatly preferred that someone invent a new method specifically designed to meet the needs of the same sex couples. that would have been fair.

q

Cheezy said...

It's a rights issue.

The rights of the minority group should never be subject to the whim of the majority group.

Lucy said...

The majority of Brits we in favour of gay marriage, the minority was the Church who were against it so it was a victory for the majority over the minority.

Cheezy said...

"The majority of Brits we in favour of gay marriage"

That's true, Lucy, but I'd maintain that this point is rather incidental when it's a rights issue.

Let's hypothesize that a bunch of people change their mind and suddenly there's a majority that thinks gay people shouldn't have the same rights as heterosexuals. Should we then change the law back again?

Of course not. It's about fundamental equal rights, so it rightly transcends the thoughts that the population as a whole might have about it.

Anonymous said...

the freedom to pick who you love and who you live with are rights.

marriage isn't a right. it was a ritual, and is now also a legal recognition of status that grants certain ownership, taxes, information, and decisions.

there should not be a penalty or negative consequence for homosexual relationships in my thinking. just make a homosexual version of marriage.

q

lucy, 10% of the population changing something for 90% of the population is the minority imposing on the majority. it is like making a law that requires every home to be built with wheel chair access.

Lucy said...

I agree Cheezy, i was answering q's point about the minority imposing their will on the majority by pointing out that in this case it was the majority view that won out.

Cheezy said...

"marriage isn't a right."

A right is exactly what it is. It's a right enjoyed even by heterosexuals who are in jail for heinous crimes and who have forfeited pretty much every other right that they previously had. Marriage is one of the rights which they retain. Now we're just extending this right to homosexuals.

If using the word 'marriage' for these relationships offends some heterosexuals and persuades them that their own relationship has somehow become degraded as a result... well... I don't think that any advance in civil rights or equality has happened without a big bunch of people saying that it was all scandalous and that the sky was about to fall in as a result.

For a year or two. And then life goes on.

Cheezy said...

"it is like making a law that requires every home to be built with wheel chair access"

I'd suggest it's more like allowing every home that wants wheelchair access to have wheelchair access. Because what extra 'work', comparable to building ramps up to every door, is gay marriage making for everybody else?

Anne said...

I find it completely illogical that some see gay love as something different than straight love. Love is love!

Q said...
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Cheezy said...

"Rights are inherent with no regard to culture or government."

I disagree. I think that what we call 'rights' are hugely influenced by culture, government, the judiciary, and are apt to change both through time, and depending on where you live.

In continental Europe for example, economic rights are a big thing. They’re the sort of rights that impose positive obligations on other parties. This indicates quite a collegiate, societal conception of rights that is quite different from the one that we may recognise. An example of an economic right is the 'right' to welfare for those who cannot find work. For a non-economic example, in France it is possible to be prosecuted for failing to save the life of another in peril. In other words, if you are a drowning baby in a lake, you have the right to expect someone (who has to power to do so) to intercede and save you. This is a man-made right, 'inherent' nowhere – and not existing at all in the UK.

Over here, and also in the USA, there is a more individualistic conception of rights, where they are frequently synonymous with 'freedom' and being sovereign of oneself – entailing the ability to act on your desires unencumbered by the arbitrary and capricious whim of others, in particular the state. When the 'things' that you do start to intrude on others, that’s when government & law correctly enters the fray and engages in the act of 'balancing' your rights with the rights of others. There are lots of judgment calls here, indicating again that culture, history, tradition, ethics, politics (all man-made) will impact upon the decision of how to 'balance' these competing rights.

Torture is a good example of how rights can be malleable and can change over time. We used to have the right to not be tortured. Simple as that. International laws and treaties included anti-torture clauses and nobody in the west seriously challenged the desirability of a ban on torture. Now though, things have changed, or at least they have for many. Now it’s kinda OK... for some... if certain people torture certain other people at certain times. What was previously a right is now something less than a right.

Even what most people regard as the most fundamental of rights, the right to life, is hugely influenced by culture and politics etc. The state puts people to death in certain circumstances (dependant on where you live), and there’s also tremendous disagreement between different jurisdictions regarding when life actually begins i.e. do rights begin at conception, birth, or somewhere inbetween? And if the latter, exactly where inbetween? Exactly what about these matters are absolute or inherent?

Same with marriage then. It's man-made. Like all rights and laws, it is what we say it is. And if we say that any two humans who want to do so can get now married, then they'll then have that right… exactly as, 40-something years ago, society decided that they had no business preventing two consenting humans from having sex with each other. Where there was no right, there was suddenly right.

The move towards granting gay people the right to marry may be mainly symbolic for many, but I think it's important. There are still far too many teenagers killing themselves because of fears and guilt about their sexual identity... People can talk all they like about homosexuality not being the mortal damnable sin that it used be considered as, but until full legal and societal equality is achieved, then they’ll still feel like Rosa Parks having to sit at the back of the bus...

"But hey", some will continue to say, "the seats on the back of the bus are just as comfy... for your sort"... (meaning that civil partnerships are effectively the same thing as marriage... which misses the point entirely).

Lucy said...

I'm with you Annie, love is love regardless.

Q said...
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Cheezy said...

But when the issue is one of fundamental equality, shouldn't people be forming their opinion based on this, rather than in reference to any stance that they perceive is being taken by others?

Q said...
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Cheezy said...

”in the USA last year over half of newborns were born out of wedlock.”

I’m not sure what point you’re trying to prove here, but this sounds like another powerful argument in favour of gay marriage. This is because there is absolutely no danger of a gay couple (married or otherwise) having an ‘accident’ and spawning an unwanted baby that a poverty-stricken welfare mother either has to give up for adoption or make the rest of society pay for... There is, however, every chance of a gay couple within the bounds of a solid and stable relationship offering this same child a loving home… and thus relieving us all of one financial burden.

”I'm not ever going to concede it is a right because it isn't”

Not yet. But it’s going to be. As I said before, there’s a lot of variety in what society considers to be rights over space and time e..g. Once, women didn’t have property rights. And then they did. Once, blacks didn’t have voting rights (among many other rights). And then they did. Currently, it’s not (quite) possible for a teenager who is growing up knowing they are gay to think to themselves: “One day I want to fall in love and get married”. But that’s coming very shortly. And when it does, 99% of us will wonder what all the fuss was about – just as every other move towards equality has very swiftly become accepted by the rest of society. This is because, while some people may not consider ‘marriage’ (per se) as a right, what unquestionably IS a right – increasingly – is the one to be treated equally in the eyes of the law regardless of sexual orientation. For a state to effectively pick favourites in terms of which relationships it deigns to grant legal ‘marriage-hood’ to, and which ones it will not, is actually a warrantless intrusion into peoples’ lives, and one that all true conservatives should rightly abhor. This was partly what our PM was meaning when he said he supported gay marriage not despite being a conservative, but because he was a conservative. True conservatism shouldn’t just entail reflexively defending the status quo and wanting things to remain as they’ve always been, but should rather hark back to the founding principles of the ethos; that being individual rights, equality under law, and the liberty to pursue happiness free from unjustified interference by the state or anyone else.

Q said...
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Cheezy said...

I understand that. Still, my opinion has got nothing to do with popularity either. That's why I said the fact that the UK now has a majority in favour of gay marriage may be interesting, but is actually completely irrelevant to the philosophical basis of the argument.

Anyway, much as I disagree with your view on this matter, I do respect it. It's all a part of life's rich pageant.

Anonymous said...

cheezy,

i'll post more complete thoughts on my blog this weekend. probably should have done that several messages earlier.

q