Thursday, January 13, 2005

RI Civil Rights Roundtable Discussion

The RI Civil Rights Roundtable met this week to discuss 'civil rights' issues they hope will be addressed in the coming year. They will be seeking to enact legislation that Allows immigrants to obtain driver's licenses Does not compel local police to act as federal immigration officers. Because of homeland security, police departments have been pressured by immigration officials to add immigration responsibilities. It opposes a proposal that would allow drug offenders who commit crimes near or in public housing to receive sentences that are twice as long if they committed the crime elsewhere.. The legalization of gay marriage and the mandatory recording of police interrogations are two other issues that coalition members will work to achieve with new laws. One question has been ringing in my head in this neo-civil rights era and that is, just what are civil rights? If you have the time and academic stamina to read the likes of Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, etc. one thing becomes clearly evident: each defines inalienable rights as differently as the colors of a rainbow. I find it curious that proponents of gay marriage consider it a right granted them by the constitution to marry. Curious in that marriage is a religious act which many of these same proponents would ardently fight to keep out of children's books, schools, and city Christmas lightings. Instead, they would have our children taught to believe that a union between a man and another man is perfectly fine-not only fine, it is the right of man to have the ability to marry another man. With the passage of gay marriage legislation would then come common-day examples in textbooks vis a vis its acceptance within the legal system. In other words, if we decide that it is the right of a man to marry another man, then it is therefore their right to be exemplified in textbooks that teach our children. It's much like the argument that if black people are x number of the population, we should see them in x number of shows and so on. Don't think this is reaching either. Consider the first court case where two married gay parents' children ask them why they aren't learning about gay parents in school and only hetero ones. You won't be able to say ACLU fast enough before they've filed the lawsuit. As I get off my soapbox, I just am saddened to see the commingling of what I consider true civil rights with ideologies of the left.

4 Comments:

Blogger matthewRI said...

The right to love and marry who you want is a civil right. It is a human right.

I am from Kentucky where it was illegal - and in some places it is still illegal - for whites and non-whites to date and/or marry.

You probably think this is a civil rights issue. But I could point out Bible passages where God "authorized" the subjugation of the African people just as the hate-filled Christians call up God's name when "authorizing" the subjugation of gay and lesbian people.

It's a human rights issue. In fifty years, you will see the light.

1/20/2005 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Matt,

your own words speak against you. You say in Kent. it is illegal for whites to marry non-whites. Then you say gay marriage is a human rights issues.

There's a contradiction. If something is a right, it is a right. Rights can come by contracts or by birth.
Example, if we became business partners we would spell out the rights of each partner therein.

The so called 'right to marry' is not a right gained by being a human. Marriage is a religious construct and one that this government has honored. (What would be more interesting would be the call to abolish marriage b/c of its religious roots. You know that whole separation of church and state thing *wink*.) That is close to saying, because I am a human I have the right to do whatever I please. That's walking the dangerous line to anarchy.

Instead, debate has been ongoing since the inception of the Constitution over who has rights and what those are. For instance, there were thousands of Jim Crow laws effectively running the country, AFTER the passage of the 14th amendment. If the question of 'rights' was/is so clear-how did a century go by until the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Easy answer. This country is continually redefining what rights are as we mold and change our views. Perhaps 50 years from now someone will be calling for the 'right' to marry as many men, women, and children as they well please using the same argument you are using.

Heck, you may be an old-timer then thinking, 'how could these crazy people think it's a right to marry a horse'
But until gay marriage activist stop saying that it is their 'right' to marry and start recognizing that they need to sway a poplulace to grant them the privilege of marriage...it's not going to happen.
11 states...11 said no to gay marriage. They don't believe it is a right moreso than I do.

1/21/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger matthewRI said...

I stand by my position. When you deny human beings basic human rights, you are wrong. Eventually, you or your own children will see this.

Marriage a religious construct! The last time I checked, marriage - in most human societies - was a construct of the STATE as a tool to bring children LEGALLY into this world and to pass on PROPERTY.

If you are SUCH a concerned Christian about homosexuality, I would dare say that I haven't seen you write, protest or march against the evil child molestation done by hundreds of sacred priests to our youngest children.

Further, as someone pointed out to me, the 150+ people that came to the State House to protest abortion all left as we started our rally for child care. It seems that these anti-abortion activists are concerned more about the unborn then the 2 billion children in our world that are poor, starving and lacking in opportunities.

I know where Jesus would stand. And he certainly wouldn't stand for such hippocracy!

1/23/2005 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger matthewRI said...

don -

i think you are right about changing minds though. the war to change minds and persuade people about gay marriage is not strong. you are right about that.

right-wingers control the debate on this and have used churches as their propaganda centers for this "public education."

i would love to see churches more devoted to peace, fighting poverty and ending wars.

that would be holy.

1/25/2005 01:53:00 PM  

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