Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Civil Rights?

The election is over, but this issue is far from dead.

I just found this video put together to combat the comparison of same-sex marriage to civil rights.

I think Obama made a good (even though it's blatantly obvious) point when he said "there are a whole host of things that are civil rights, and then there are other things such as traditional marriage that express a communities concern and regard to a particular institution."


Sean and Sierra said...

haha...i posted this video on my blog a few days ago....isn't it great? Man, it gives me chills every time i watch it.

Aaron said...

yeah I found it on your blog :-)

Grabloid said...

You get chills because that video and its dramatic music cheaply appeals to emotions like a bad action film, i.e. Armegeddon. What a horrible argument it takes up too. The least you could do is make a good argument. Here is a good debate...I suggest reading it.

Is gay rights a civil rights issue? A symposium of leaders debate same-sex marriages and gay and lesbian rights
Ebony, July, 2004

Julian Bond Civil Rights Leader, Board Chairman, NAACP -- YES (there are several on...)

ARE gay rights civil rights? Of course they are. "Civil rights" are positive legal prerogatives--the right to equal treatment before the law. These are rights shared by all--there is no one in the United States who does not--or should not--share in these rights.

Gay and lesbian rights are not "special rights" in any way. It isn't "special" to be free from discrimination--it is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship. The right not to be discriminated against is a commonplace claim we all expect to enjoy under our laws and our founding document, the Constitution. That many had to struggle to gain these rights makes them precious--it does not make them special, and it does not reserve them only for me or restrict them from others.

No analogy between movements for rights is exact. African-Americans are the only Americans who were enslaved for more than two centuries, and people of color carry the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination--sadly, so do many others. They deserve the law's protections and civil rights, too.

Some who object to gay rights see homosexuality as a choice, but science has demonstrated conclusively that sexual disposition is inherent in some, not an option or alternative they've selected. In that regard, it exactly parallels race--I was born Black and had no choice. I couldn't and wouldn't change it. Like race, our sexuality isn't a preference--it is immutable, unchangeable, and the Constitution protects us all against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.

Some who believe in Biblical literalism find sanction for their anti-homosexuality there, but selectively ignore Biblical injunctions to execute people who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2) and to crack down on those who get haircuts (Leviticus 19:27) or who wear clothes with more than one kind of thread (19:19). There's no Biblical mention of lesbianism--are we to think that male homosexuality is wrong but female homosexuality is not?

Many gays and lesbians worked side by side with me in the '60s Civil Rights Movement. Am I to now tell them "thanks" for risking life and limb helping me win my rights--but they are excluded because of a condition of their birth? They cannot share now in the victories they helped to win?

Not a chance.

The Rev. Dr. Fred L. Shuttlesworth Interim President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Pastor, Greater New Light Baptist Church, Cincinnati --- NO

FROM this country's earliest history, its citizens have struggled to make I America fulfill its promise to offer protection for all human beings under the law. I personally have fought many battles and continue to fight today to challenge the system to protect the legal rights of its citizens. In this tight, I have had the pleasure of working side by side with the "Best of the Best"--Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, C. K. Steele, Joseph Lowery, C. T. Vivian, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and so many precious others who worked and suffered themselves into immortality. I was among the original five who started the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and our primary focus back then was to put an end to racial segregation under the Jim Crow system. As SCLC's first secretary, I never took down anything in our minutes that addressed the issue of gay rights. The issue of gay rights was not our focus, and should not be confused with the Civil Rights Movement. The big question being asked today is whether or not gay rights and civil rights are one and the same. I'm not getting caught up in arguing over "this" versus "that." I will simply state that I believe all human beings should have their basic rights protected under the law. As for the question of whether or not same-sex marriages should be banned in this country, neither law nor politics provides a readily accessible and acceptable answer. However, the Bible does; and unlike the Constitution, there are no loopholes in the interpretation of its guiding principles.

Read the rest of the article/debate here:

Aaron said...

Good debate, thanks for sharing.

I think it's a no-brainer that homosexual rights are civil rights. Where you and I part in our thinking is whether or not marriage is a right. Marriage is an institution set up to facilitate children's upbringing. Anthropologist Helen Fisher put it simply: "People wed primarily to reproduce." Homosexual couples are incapable of having children by natural means which means that the real issue is whether or not to allow homosexuals to adopt children thereby qualifying for a marital union.

It's a fact that government depends on the upbringing of outstanding citizens (who don't act out of fear of punishment, but for the greater good). Many studies support the traditional family in raising such children (David Popenoe and Barbara Defoe Whitehead, The State of Our Unions 2007: The Social Health of Marriage in America (Piscataway, NJ (Rutgers University): The National Marriage Project, July 2007 ) pp. 21-25).

Men and women's sexual dimorphisms contribute to these observations, the different sexes each contributing critical elements to the children's needs (David Popenoe, Life Without Father (New York: The Free Press, 1996) p. 146).

Many people, myself included, don't agree with children being put into homosexual families. Now having children would be a civil right if gay couples could have kids by natural means. They cannot so it is not.

Civil rights exist in California, where I grew up, homosexual couples being granted equal rights. Now if there are inequalities or infringements of rights I am unaware of (those not involving children) then I am all for promoting these civil rights. Marriage is not a civil right granted to anyone. The state doesn’t endorse marriage because people have feelings for one another. The state endorses marriage primarily because of what marriage does for children and in turn society.

The video I posted here is meant to dispel the unfair comparison many gay-marriage activists make in regard to the civil rights movement. That is a valid argument despite your opinion.

Aaron said...

My wife pointed out to me that the end of my last post may seem harsh. I recognize we have differences of opinion, I recognize that your opinions are reasonable, we just have a difference of opinion on this matter.