Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Friday, November 14, 2008
Life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
Current mood: inspired
Category: News and Politics

"Ask just about anyone. They'll all tell you they're in favor of equal rights for homosexuals. Just name the situation, and ask. They'll all say, yes, gays should have the same rights in housing, jobs, public accomodations, and should have equal access to government benefits, equal protection of the law, etcetera, etcetera.

Then you get to gay marriage.

And that's when all this talk of equality stops dead cold." (from hypertext by Scott Bidstrup )

In California, 10 days ago, it was put before the population whether or not gays and lesbians should have the right to marry, and the measure, Proposition 8 had passed 52-48 percent for 'no'.

Everyone will recognize Thomas Jefferson's preamble to the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What people may NOT realize is two fold—first, that the term "liberty" covers a broad spectrum of rights, possibly including the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, the first of which is

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

--The government defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a direct violation of that—not only because it's a measure pushed BY conservative religions, but because there are several OTHER religions, such as Buddhism, that welcome and embrace homosexual unions, and this is a prohibition of their religious rights as well.

The second thing they may not realize is that the phrase "pursuit of happiness" appeared in the 1967 Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), which focused on an anti-miscengenation (the mixing of different racial groups, that is, marrying, cohabiting, having sexual relations and having children with a partner from outside one's racially or ethnically defined group) statute. Chief Justice Warrent wrote:

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Watch this clip from Keith Olbermann:



Image by Patrick Thomassie

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear your thoughts!