Gay Rights Poll/Debate

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Tinuviel, Dec 4, 2003.

?

Are you for gay rights?

  1. yes

    232 vote(s)
    68.4%
  2. no

    68 vote(s)
    20.1%
  3. yes and no

    39 vote(s)
    11.5%
  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    This has absolutely nothing to do with "Thought Police", or even Political Correctness. The laws that are enacted in America are done so by elected officials and carried out by a judicial system that we the people oversee.
    And the difference between America and China/Iran/Russia is quite plain in this regard... in China, Iran, and Russia you can be jailed and imprisoned for being openly gay and/or protesting those beliefs publicly. In America, in the eyes of the law, a gay person is equal to a straight person. Unfortunately in most States gay folks can't be legally married. In time that too will change. And yes, those who don't like it will be forced to accept it.
     
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  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    It's a complicated issue;

    On one side you've a private service provider who wants to have the authority to run their business their way. To choose their own customers/clients.

    On the other you've an individual who wishes to have the services of the private sector market without social discrimination reducing their choices.

    It's a complex issue that extends beyond sexuality and is really big enough to warrant its own discussion. If you feel like debating it - start up a thread on teh subject :)
     
  3. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    No, this is not a complex issue.
    He owns his own business which means he is subject to local/state/federal laws, period. Apart from the topic at hand and debating being able to deny gay folks service; he must follow loads of other laws concerning business ownership. He must follow food safety laws, laws concerning employees, hazardous waste removal, tax laws, etc.
    What if this guy who owns a bakery decides food safety laws aren't something he needs to follow, or he doesn't agree with minimum wage standards or overtime pay?.. is it so complex now? He's obliged to obey the law, if not, he shouldn't have started a business.
     
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  4. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it is complex, I think it may be best if we either dropped it or opened another thread.

    There are laws in Russia against gay advertising and public display. The great majority of people agree with this law.
    If the people decided it's alright to murder gays, do you think this would be alright? Because it was implemented in a democratic way? Just cause it's a law doesn't make it just.
    Hitler had overwhelming support by the people too.
     
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Well it appears then that you're in support of unjust laws.

    Laws that require people to treat other people equally and without prejudice are just laws; such are the laws requiring a bakery to serve gay people.
    If you don't agree with those laws then perhaps you should band together with your friends at Fox Cable News, the Tea Party, and the other rightwing fanatics and move to have those laws overturned. It would be so much better if we returned America to the 1950s.
     
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  6. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I'm fine with transgenders being able to have their birth certificate match their sexual orientation... a person shouldn't have to change all the plumbing just so they physically qualify as male or female. I mean really, our sexual orientation has far more to do with what's between our ears, than what's between our legs. Though I'll have to confess... I'm not comfortable letting 12 year olds make those decisions.
     
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  8. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    That's what I would feel as well, until someone is around 18-25 or so years old the body goes through huge changes. Major choices like this could be affected by those changes.

    The subject of gender identity and classification though is very confusing now with both biological and sexual. I'm surprised as well, I would think that the birth certificate, being a medical document, would relate to the biological make-up.

    I suspect that many of these classifications and documents might well change in nature as we leave behind a more rigid definition of the world and use a more fluid and open system.
     
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  9. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    It surprises me too that they would allow a minor to change their birth certificate that way, regardless of what gender he/she actually is. I don't really know enough about when transgendered people become aware of their true gender to decide whether a 12 year-old might change his/her mind during or after puberty. Regardless, I don't see the harm in waiting a few years to change a legal document.

    Hopefully you're right OR and in time, these documents will change to reflect people more accurately. If anything, I think it would make more sense to put something like genetic sex: XX or XY and leave the idea of gender out of it. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if future birth certificates had a child's entire genome encoded on it. You can't get any more accurately identified than that I suppose.
     
  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I guess in the future they could go by percentage... like me; I'm about 75%-Male, and 25%-Female and my birth certificate should reflect some ambiguity. For instance, I can work on cars and build stuff and I know how to use a street map... but I also have an innate talent for choosing just the perfect fabric for drapes... and also, I've a gift for picking out great throw pillows. Most women go way overboard with throw pillows, but not me. And I make a very tasty enchilada casserole! I think the next pic I post of myself will be of me taking a casserole out of the oven.

    I think you can be 25% female and not be transgender or gay.
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Yup... the definitions of "male" and "female" are meaningless unless society sticks with the genetic definitions of the words.
    I think gender and sexual orientation are entirely separate parts of people's identities. I know a few heterosexual, non-transgendered males who have been mistaken for homosexuals because they had so called "female" interests/hobbies. One of them told me he's had to struggle with other people's perception of him being "gay" all of his life, even though he isn't. Now he just laughs about it. He knows who he is and he just doesn't care. :)
     
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  12. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    True the concept of what a woman and what a man should do both in employment and leisure is changing. We are shaking off generations of enforced "because its right" thinking and allowing people to be significantly more free in what they choose to do and in what they are allowed to do (socially speaking and legally speaking in the past there were huge barriers - often against women seeking to do "men's things" but also men could not do "women's things").

    I think that gender identity will still be a thing, it just won't be defined in quite the same way.
     
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  13. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    Look, how do you even define "just" by now? How do you even define "right" and "wrong"? Just because YOU think it's "just" doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the world thinks it's "just", and having a policy wherein you force your views on others is no different than the methods you claim your opponents use.

    Also? Great job resorting to ad hominem attacks once you couldn't think of ways to counter an argument, Sparrow. "Right wing fanatics" indeed. I guess your tree-hugging hippie Marxist communist friends all agree with you, eh? See, it's not that hard to use that line of fallacious argument, but it just turns this into a mud-slinging insult-fest rather than a civilized debate. Can we refrain from the name-calling and all the reducio's, please? You know the ones. Reducio ad absurdium, reducio ad misericordiam, the like. Putting up a strawman and then burning it doesn't lend credence to your side of the argument, and neither does anecdotal evidence. For every "but I have a gay friend who said this" the other side can counter with "but I have a straight friend who said this".

    Let's go to the root of the issue: how, exactly, do you define "just", "ethical", "unethical" and "human right"? Because, clearly, we have different definitions and opinions on what exactly those words mean and refer to.

    Historically, all of these have been defined by the dictates of religion, whether that be Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or whatever dominant religion was around at the time. Nowadays it seems to be defined by group consensus. So, like Blackness pointed out, in Hitler's Germany killing Jews would have been "just" and "ethical" simply because the "majority" of "Germans" agreed that was the way things were.

    For about a thousand years, a person of noble blood had the "human right" to strike down any peasant who looked at him funny. It was "just" and "ethical", in fact it was a knight's DUTY to do so, in order to preserve their honor.

    For a few centuries, it was simply "just" and "ethical" to have negros and injuns be killed or enslaved. The large majority of the "civilized" peoples of Western Europe and the United States of America believed this.

    So let me ask you again, what constitutes "just", "ethical" and a "human right"?
     
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  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” ― Leo Tolstoy, A Confession

    Wrong has always been wrong, unjust has always been unjust, human rights are the same now has they were 10,000 years ago. It's been a long road for humanity and some cultures have come closer than others to seeing that those human rights are realized. As yet, no culture or government has succeeded.

    “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
    Martin Niemöller

    Does this ring a bell, Wanderingmagus?
    What you are is a fence-sitter, a procrastinator, a champion of the status quo. I don't decide what human rights are, what is just or unjust; those things are like the earth and sky, undeniable.
     
  15. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    This kind of authoritarian thinking is the source of almost all human conflicts and wars. Everybody thinks they're the one who's right, because it's either simply that way for ever and ever, or because God says so. But both boil down to the same.
    Rights aren't transhistoric. They are created by man, for man. Freedom is in a process of progression. The more human society evolves, the clearer this idea of freedom becomes. Slavery wasn't wrong in Ancient Greece, but it is wrong now. And you can't claim to have access to something humanity hasn't reached yet, and if you do claim it, you better have very good, rational, arguments for it. "It's that way because it's that way" isn't good enough, Sparrow.
     
  16. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    It is not from an authoritarian position that I hold my views.
    My position is that all human beings, past-present-future, had and have inalienable rights. This is hardly a ground breaking view. I am in pretty good company...
    "In the 5th Century BCE, Greek philosophers of the Sophist School argued that all human beings are equal by nature. Laws and institutions that failed to respect this basic equality, e.g. slavery, were thus branded as being contrary to nature.
    Both Plato and his disciple Aristotle, each in his own way, argued for a common nature of being human, which is realized in a legally instituted community, i.e. the “polis”. Aristotle goes so far as to define human being as a “social animal”, more specifically as a “political animal” (zoon politikon). The foundations for living together as human beings are liberty, equality and justice. The civil society is a community of free human beings."

    I'm sorry you don't see things this way. Though it's rather sad that there were some ancient Greek philosophers who were more forward thinking than you appear to be.
     
  17. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    You've obviously never read Aristotle, and know very little of philosophy as it is. You're only helping my argument this way. Yes, he supported liberty, liberty for adult Greek males, everybody else was either a non-citizen with no political rights or a slave. The idea of liberty was quite different than, so that quote is quite out of context.

    1. Aristotle supported slavery, and held the belief that some men were slaves by nature, while others weren't. He also believed slavery was necessary for a good state. Plato didn't say anything about slavery explicitly, and in fact his utopia state was something most people today would consider to be a eugenicist totalitarian state. Sophists had nothing to do with this either, I have no idea where you're getting your information, or you're simply making things up. There were very few people who were against slavery in those days, but yeah, they did exist. Also the Sophist "school" wasn't a school, but a common name used for a trend in philosophy in those days, many of them had very differing opinions. A quote from one of these sophists "Man is the measure of all things; of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not."

    2. Rights are inalienable? Go visit any war zone and you'll see just how alienable human rights are. The modern idea of inalienable human rights was actually thought of by Locke, who did it basically to allow people to sell themselves for money, after mass expropriations of land owned by small land owners, so it could fuel England's economic revolution and a partial switch to capitalism from feudalism. Also, while not really relevant for the discussion, the founder of these "human rights" and liberalism in general, was also an administrator of slave colonies in America.

    You believe yourself to be forward thinking, but what you're doing is forcing your opinion on others. Even if it were the case you are "forward thinking", it would still be authoritarian.
    What you need to understand, is that every epoch of human civilization believed its own values to be applicable to all times and all places. It has been shown every single time that this belief was wrong. What makes you so sure that our epoch is the one getting it right? A very arrogant stand, to be honest.
     
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  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    You're either willfully missing my point, or just wish to argue. You contend that Human Rights are a works in progress, and by means and practice throughout history that is certainly the case; I am saying that Human Rights are inalienable and constant, for all times in history. That human rights have not been extended to one and all, that they are subject to the vagaries of interpretation and shortsighted perspective, or far more often a lapse in conscience, is beside the point. It is from human weakness, economic convenience, and prejudice that these inalienable rights have not been, and are still not extended to one and all. Here is a very brief summary of the history of Human Rights...

    "In 539 B.C., the armies of Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon. But it was his next actions that marked a major advance for Man. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality. These and other decrees were recorded on a baked-clay cylinder in the Akkadian language with cuneiform script.

    Known today as the Cyrus Cylinder, this ancient record has now been recognized as the world’s first charter of human rights. It is translated into all six official languages of the United Nations and its provisions parallel the first four Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Spread of Human Rights
    From Babylon, the idea of human rights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually Rome. There the concept of “natural law” arose, in observation of the fact that people tended to follow certain unwritten laws in the course of life, and Roman law was based on rational ideas derived from the nature of things.

    Documents asserting individual rights, such as the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Right (1628), the US Constitution (1787), the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), and the US Bill of Rights (1791) are the written precursors to many of today’s human rights documents."



    Did any of these documents extend to all the people?.. of course not. Should they have?.. yes, they should have. When Thomas Jefferson is writing the preamble to the US Constitution does he really mean "we the people"? Again, of course not. He owned slaves. From Aristotle to Jefferson, and everyone in between they were all hypocrites.

    This was written by Thomas Paine in 1774, it appears in his opening remarks for an essay entitled, African Slavery in America... it points out the very nature of human rights, and questions those who would deny liberty to another. These would be the same questions I'd have for you or any fair-weather moralist.

    To Americans:

    That some desperate wretches should be willing to steal and enslave men by violence and murder for gain, is rather lamentable than strange. But that many civilized, nay, Christianized people should approve, and be concerned in the savage practice, is surprising; and still persist, though it has been so often proved contrary to the light of nature, to every principle of Justice and Humanity, and even good policy, by a succession of eminent men, and several late publications.

    Our Traders in MEN (an unnatural commodity!) must know the wickedness of the SLAVE-TRADE, if they attend to reasoning, or the dictates of their own hearts: and such as shun and stiffle all these, wilfully sacrifice Conscience, and the character of integrity to that golden idol.
     
  19. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

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    I think that as long as I don't get pressed towards anything (be it Sexuality or religion), a person is entitled to live their life how they want to live it. By all means be gay, by all means be Hindi, I'm more than happy for you, just don't try to push anything onto me.
     
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