Friday, October 24, 2008

The Difficulty of "Rights" Based Arguments

I am a firm believer in protecting human rights. I imagine that most human beings would agree that basic human rights are not to be compromised or denied to anyone. However, in Proposition 8 we have a proposition which pits rights against rights. Opponents of prop 8 claim that gay and lesbian rights are being violated by upholding traditional marriage. This message is resonating with many Californians as is seen in the latest polling data which shows support for "NO on Prop 8" at 52% and "YES on Prop 8" at 44%. What people are failing to recognize is that voting "No on Prop 8" is also violating peoples' rights. Let me share with you a few examples:
1. Voting against traditional marriage will lead to teaching same-sex marriage in public schools and will deny parents of their rights to determine what is appropriate to teach their children. This is proven by the one model we have in the United States: Massachusetts. The courts in MA have ruled that parents have no right to pull students from schools when teaching same-sex marriage. Parental rights are being denied as a result, as also is the right for children to grow up in a state of innocence.
2. Voting against traditional marriage will lead to religious rights being denied. Once again, in MA, Catholic Charities was denied their rights as a religious organization to act upon their religious principles of helping the less fortunate. By MA law, Catholic Charities was forced to offer equal adoption of children for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Placing children in a home with a mother and a father is their religious right, yet the courts said it was discriminatory. Not willing to compromise on its religious teaching, Catholic Charities was forced to close its adoption agencies in MA. This is stripping people of their rights to practice their religion and is also stripping children of their rights to be reared in a home with a mother and a father.
3. Voting against traditional marriage will lead to a loss of freedom of speech. People who fundamentally oppose the practice of homosexuality will be deemed discriminatory. Teaching our own children our own valued principles will be considered hate speech, and intolerant.
The opposition will state that I am being paranoid, but the reality is that these things have already begun to occur both in MA, CA, and elsewhere around the country. Please take a minute to read this article from NPR and learn for yourself.
Please consider the big picture. I truly want human beings who happen to be gays or lesbian to be happy, but not at the expense of traditional marriage which has been practiced for thousands of years, and not at the expense of others' rights. Read up on the issue and vote accordingly.

1 comment:

Merrie said...

A very interesting concept which gives rise to further discussion. Is Proposition 8 a human rights argument or a legal rights argument? Let's look at the differentiating characteristics between the two.
1)Human rights are considered to be of a purely moral or ethical character, which hold that we obtain certain rights from nature that cannot be legitimately modified by any legislative authority.
2)Legal rights are considered to be of an artificial, man-made character, which are arbitrary human constructs, created by legislative authority and always subject to change.
Proponents of Proposition 8 assert that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and therefore is a divine or natural right. Opponents of Proposition 8 assert that marriage is a man-made concept and therefore subject to legislative change.
This leads us to essence of the argument: should human/natural rights take precedence over legal rights? In the case of Proposition 8 the answer is an unequivocal yes! We have been warned by supernal law that the disintegration of the family will bring calamities upon individuals, communities, and nations. Furthermore, as responsible citizens and/or officers of government we are called upon to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. Hence, voting No on Proposition 8 negates the divine nature and destiny we as individuals have.