Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Equality



Until I figure out how to expand comments on the same page, I'm going to write longer responses to previous posts in a new entry. Jim, I think the type of equality you're wary of is not the same thing as guaranteeing equal opportunities for very different types of people.

The odious form of forced egalitarianism of which Kurt Vonnegut and the insufferable bore Ayn Rand wrote have nothing to do with the idea of equality of opportunity. Lessening civil rights restrictions actually encourages diversity and differences in society. For example, granting gays the civil right of marriage eliminates the social pressure for them to enter sham marriages or look for a "cure" in religious re-education camps. Diversity is furthered when minorities feel freer to live a life in pursuit of their happiness.

Also, while I consider it worthwhile to study and discuss gender differences, it seems to be rather short-sighted to use them to justify social policy. I think I speak for all of us who consistently read trashy celebrity blogs when I say: it would have been an absolute travesty if Britney Spears were awarded child custody over the much more responsible Kevin Federline just because she happened to be a woman.

Lastly, abandoning the term "marriage" and replacing it with the totally bland, emotionless, newspeak-y term "civil union" just because gay people want to be included in the fun smacks of the argument ender, "I'm taking my ball and going home!"

3 comments:

James R Harvey said...

Umm....click "comments"?

If I can translate the wonderfully entertaining post:

1, Having equal opportunity to education that is blind to poverty; or court room justice that is blind to social and financial status; or custody rights that is blind to gender are different from marriage unions being blind to gender.
2. It would be short sided if we don't establish social legislation for women based on Britney Spears' behavior.
3. Lastly, 'marriage' is a wonderful word, 'civil union' is bland. This indicates, as mentioned in the video, that the public wishes to feel that mixed (gender) marriage is superior.

(Perhaps we should use 'marriage' and 'matrimony'. That would help the crab mentality if not the 'separate but equal problem.)

Did I get it right?

Big Myk said...

To me maybe it's too simple. A couple of weeks ago, Sue and I had lunch with our colleague who not too long ago travelled to Massachusetts to marry her gay partner. She told us that, since then, a lot of people have asked her, why bother going all the way to MA to get married when it's not recognized and gives you no rights here in Pennsylvania. She didn't really have a very convincing answer, but I suspect that I know why.

Like us heteros, gay people find that discovering that you want to make a home with someone for the rest of your life, and that that person wants the same thing with you is rather miraculous and downright unfathomable. Calling that kind of commitment anything other than marriage misses the sacred quality of the relationship and seems inadequate.

james said...

Jim- you read me loud and clear.