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Civil rights just took a step forward, the slow hard way. The right way.

9 November 2012

Summary: Yesterday the progress of civil rights in America took another step forward with the election of Tammy Baldwin as Senator of WI, and the approval of same-sex ballot initiatives in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Here’s a quick note about this historic development.

To repeat what I said then August 2010 in The quest for Black’s civil rights was not like the quest for same sex marriages

Same sex marriages have gone from illegal to accepted, and I support this evolution. But let’s not lie to ourselves, claiming that our wisdom makes evident what previous generations should have seen. Instead we have changed our society’s rules. It’s evolution — also called progress.

Much of the commentary about this ruling {Judge Walker’s decision overturning California’s Proposition 8} assumes that rights are Platonic objects, pre-existing in some real but intangible sense. And Judge Walker discovered this right to same-sex marriage — proving his predecessors (those who ruled otherwise) to be wrong. As scientists, like Einstein, do. The psychological mechanisms for this conceit are fascinating, but largely an unwillingness to see that our society evolves — and our interpretation of the Constitution evolves along with it. That’s disturbing to those who see the Constitution as an unchanging foundation — like God, King and currency were for earlier societies.

But the reality is that societies evolve. In America the mechanism for political change is and should be elections, not rulings from unelected judges. I believe instituting widespread abortion through the Courts made it a poisonous political issue far longer than would have been the case if normal channels had been used. On the other hand, this delay — like any delay in granting new rights — comes at a serious human cost.

Today civil rights advanced by vote of the people. The hard slow way. The right way.

About the political significance of this

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Ruling elites in history seldom care about who and how the peons screw. Whatever keeps them happy and quiet. To them the important thing about marriage laws concern the title to and transfer of property, which now are done mostly through Trust and Corporate structures (buttressed by prenuptial agreements. So these laws are trivia.

But for most Americans the rules of marriage — enforcement of mutual obligations, including children — getting these laws properly configured are vital to prosperity and happiness.

The posts in this series about the results of Campaign 2012

  1. Conservatives, celebrate the historic victory you won today!
  2. The votes were counted and one wing of our one ruling party won. Rejoice!
  3. How Obama AND conservatives both won on Tuesday
  4. Civil rights just took a step forward, the slow hard way. The right way.
  5. The hidden major party, the key to political control of America

For More Information about the future of marriage in America

Here are some articles about the current state of marriage, 33 years after Reagan signed the CA Family Law. Marriage is evolving into something unrecognizable to the Americans of 1969. The slippery slope in action. Where we’ll end up can only be guessed at.

  1. I (Robot) Thee Wed“, Daniel H. Wilson, Slate, 4 May 2012 — “Researchers claim robot-human marriage is in our future. But is our society really headed in that direction?”
  2. The End of ‘Marriage’“, Laurie Shrage, New York Times, 4 November 2012
  3. Marriage is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.“, Amanda Hess, Slate, 6 November 2012

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One Comment leave one →
  1. gaiasrequite permalink
    10 November 2012 9:11 pm

    I must chuckle that a blog site, which seems to me, to have primarily male commenter’s, posts on gay marriage; and remains comment less.

    But, because I feel the post is lonely without a single comment, and because I do not fear the loss of my own sexual identity by commenting, I will say this.

    I agree with the entirety of this post. In addition I would also like to say to those who oppose gay marital rights this. We live in a nation that allows for freedom of thought and expression. You do not need to understand another’s life choices to approve. I my self am not gay and do not understand the perks they seem to receive from such relations. But similarly, the Christian does not understand the Buddhist, or country folk the city slickers.

    We should be happy for such developments simply because it shows we as a people have not declined to the mindless levels which our leaders seem to have. And that you and I can still enjoy the freedom of individuality; and as such extend those freedoms to others weather we agree or disagree or understand; I love my freedom by denying those same freedoms to others, we open the door for our more conventional freedoms to be removed.

    If it is a choice made between consenting adults, that does not cause pain to others, then why not? Heterosexuals have not had the best luck with marriage, perhaps the gay’s can teach us something. (or learn the hard way, its not all its cracked up to be)

    Like

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