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Friday, March 2, 2012

On Gay Rights

I don't believe in "gay" rights.

I believe in "human" rights.

Some people would have you believe that allowing gay folks to get married is somehow a decree by the government that gays are getting special rights.  Tell me folks, what's so special about allowing two people to enjoy the legal and social protections associated with marriage?  Even more than that, what's so special  about allowing two people...two people who are not breaking any laws, not hurting others, minding their own simply enter into a legal contract that binds them together as partners in life?

I know, this god or that god may be against it.  Or so some say.  Fair enough.  Then I say that no church should ever be required to recognize the marriage of gay couples.  Not the Roman Catholic Church, not the Southern Baptists, not the Latter Day Saints.  Nope, for all these churches and more, "Barry and Steve" can just be two nicely dressed men who enjoy each other's company.  For purposes of owning property, being the beneficiary of various types of financial benefits, making end-of-life decisions they can be married.  Churches don't have to be involved in that sort of personal stuff. Hell, I don't think the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the marriages of anyone who isn't married in a Catholic Church anyway.

Now some would have you believe that allowing gays to get married is somehow a sign of the degradation of society.  I suspect that similar folks said similar things...

...about the notion that the world was round
...about allowing Jews to own property
...about integrated schools
...about fluoridated water
...about women wearing pants
...about Elvis Presley

...but yet society has managed to survive all of these threats, and more.  Heck, we are even more prosperous as a species now than we have ever been in the history of our planetary dominance.  So much for the end times.

No, somehow I think that gay bashing and blaming is just another in a long line of societal sports.  Think Jewish pogroms.  Think Jim Crow laws.  Same concept, different century.  Fortunately for us, I think this sport is slowly coming to an end.

One final thought:  some say that gay marriage should be put up to a popular vote.  As I noted in another blog entry, would voters in Alabama, circa 1960, have voted for integration?  Would voters in Georgia, circa 1860, have voted to end slavery?  Would voters in Arkansas, circa 1963, have voted to end Jim Crow laws?  The answers are no, no and no.  Entrusting the majority to grant rights to minorities is illogical at best.  Humans are simply wired for tribalism, and anyone outside of our tribe is viewed with suspicion.  Time to outgrow the tribes.

Let's allow people to live their own lives and pursue their own happiness.  Society will be just fine.

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