Thursday, August 19, 2010

Attitude towards gay rights shifting worldwide


In signing Argentina's same-sex marriage law, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said debate over the issue would be "absolutely anachronistic" -- archaic, out of date -- within a few years.

Striking down California's Proposition 8 two weeks later, Judge Vaughn Walker was more specific, saying there was no evidence for old-fashioned stereotypes that painted gays "as disease vectors or as child molesters who recruit young children into homosexuality."

Banning people from marrying based on sexual orientation, the President Reagan appointee explained, is "irrational."[...]


  1. "Banning people from marrying based on sexual orientation is irrational."

    I say the challenge for our gedolim, across the Orthodox spectrum, is to give a rationale for banning gay marriage that the stand in the court of public opinion. Otherwise:
    1) We take a laissez-faire political stand (which certainly has merit in the US, though not in Israel)
    2) We say that all of modern culture is shtus, and Torah im Derech Eretz is completely dead (I acknowledge that many already think that).

  2. @Hesh:

    1) The last thing we need is for the "Gedolim" in America to start saying things and doing things noticeably in public so that the public begins to conflate them with Fred Phelps and the Westboro kooks. I'm not saying I know the alternative, though.
    2) As I understand the concept, Torah im Derech Eretz never stood for a wholesale embrace of the surrounding culture. Sensitivity and intelligence are key here, rather than reflexive closed-mindedness.
    3) Until someone can present ironclad and indisputable sociological and psychological evidence that same-sex "marriage" is a bad policy choice and harmful to its practitioners, their children, and society as a whole, all arguments against it will inevitably be on either religious or traditional grounds. That ain't gonna fly here no more. I think, in our hearts, we know this.
    4) IMHO, marriage itself is a religious institution, enshrined within the legal and regulatory realm as a vast array of rights (e.g., insurance coverage, hospital visitation rights, automatic pension and insurance beneficiaries, etc.), tax consequences (e.g., "married filing jointly"), and procedural shortcuts (e.g., tenancy by the entirety as a way to avoid probate). This legal bundle can exist independently of the religous institution of marriages, via civil unions, and given current First Amendment doctrine should be independet. Ergo, the state should get out of the business of marriages entirely and require all "spounses" to get united civilly. How they then marry ceremoniously is their business.

  3. Jon,
    1) By gedolim, I was not being pejorative, but I meant the true leaders of Klal Yisrael. I agree, unfortunately, that many self-appointed "gedolim" would probably mimic Fred Phelps.
    2) I agree whole-heartedly that TIDE is discriminating in its embrace of the surrounding culture. The problem is that almost 100% of Western culture has embraced homosexuality as a fully legitimate lifestyle. Of course, classical Greek culture also had strong homosexual tendencies, and Hazal still found the positive in the yefet that was in Yafet.

  4. The sodomists are very smart in the way they are campaigning. They know that the American public will never accept sodomy. So what do they do instead? They make it all about marriage.

    They argue by syllogism:

    Marriages are good for society.
    Sodomists want to marry.
    Therefore, sodomists should have the right to marry.

    The state of Israel should hire these people for their public relations.

  5. It is extremely difficult to give a logical reason. It may be something more than a chok - we have an intuitive feeling that it is wrong - but it is certainly not a mishpat.

  6. Nicely said, Jon.

    Since when do we expect a State to "marry" anybody? Properly understood, the American governmental bodies do no more than civilly unite people.

    Culturally speaking, Best to let go of America, which surrendered itself to nihilism long ago, and to bolster the legal system that has so prosperously harbored enclaves of Yiddischkeit for so long.


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