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24 February 2004 @ 04:15 pm
The Current Political Hot Button  
This is set to "no comments" because I already know all the smug self-righteous arguments on either side of the issue.

I really just want to point out a few things:

1) You cannot force social change down people's throats. Law can only enforce the actions of society, not its attitudes. As long as a large minority of the population is opposed to an action by the government, members of that minority will find ways to resist that action - often causing society to effectively operate in a manner opposite to the intent of those who forced the action. There are so many examples of this, from race issues to prohibition to trade issues, that I don't think I need to list them. Call them stupid or run roughshod over their fundamental beliefs and they will fight you in every way possible. Convince them that the change is right and they move along with you.

2) The "no separate but equal" argument is pure and total bullshit. It is a hell of a reach from calling things two different names to the claim that this enforces separate facilities, laws, and treatments. The fact of the matter is that if a "civil union" enjoys the same rights as "marriage", from registration to insurance to tax penalties, then it is the same thing under the eyes of the government. Separate names does not imply separate but equal doctrine. To simplify it beyond recognition, that would be like saying religious freedom is a "separate but equal" doctrine because we have Jews and Christians and Muslims and Wiccans and whatevers.

3) If the argument is that "marriage" is a religious institution that can't be associated with certain pairings, then the word "marriage" doesn't belong in government. Let churches or religious organizations define "marriage" - let governments define only civil unions and the making and breaking thereof. Quit trying to force everyone to accept a definition of the word "marriage" that some simply refuse to accept under their own religious beliefs. That seems to me to be an abuse of the separation between church and state as well.

There seems to be far too much emphasis on the naming of something rather than its underlying rights and responsibilities. Let's get the rights acknowledged first and worry about the freaking name when a couple of generations of kids have grown up in a world where "getting married" (in the slang sense) means registering your partnership with the government and applying for your benefits. We all know that it will be called "marriage" no matter what the jurisdictional laws call it.

Damn, society as a whole has lost all concept of a process of change. Unfortunately, demanding everything change at once means there is no opportunity for opponents to change their minds slowly - all or nothing often meets with much more resistance than small steps would meet with. It's like everyone has to jump over the 15 foot wall - the idea of building a stairway to get over it is offensive somehow.

Do ya want to prove your point or get the job done?


Rant over.
 
 
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