Ramblings From the Ragged Crumbling Edge Of The Reality-Based Community

Monday, September 03, 2007

Oh, Goody!! Another Oregon Gay Rights Battle! 

...selective morality is an interesting concept to observe when it is out of its cage and running around loose. Selective morality can most often be seen when the subject at hand is that of civil rights for the gay community, and we have another sighting of that particular critter in Oregon with an attempt by anti-gay activists to gain sufficient petition signatures to overturn state laws passed earlier this year granting a portion of the legal rights and responsibilities of civil unions to gay and lesbian couples. For whatever reason, Oregon has been a heated battleground over gay rights for a number of years, so it was a pretty safe bet going in that this sort of response would occur. There is a certain segment of the population that won’t ever stand right up and say so out loud but whose actions seem to suggest that they wouldn’t have all that far to travel to be in concordance with the punishment spelled out in Leviticus 20:13 for ‘laying with a man as one lies with a woman’. From a biblical perspective, there are a whole host of actions that God considers to be sins and a good many of them are as detestable as sexual activities by two people of the same gender. There are, in fact, far more passages relating to the sinful nature of lying than there are about gay sex; for that matter, as far off to the horizon as you can see you will not detect a single initiative petition drive attempting to deny rights to or recriminalize the actions of those who engage in a whole host of sexual activities that are far more damaging to the sanctity and strength of the family than gay sex...

...the perfect example of this selective application of morality is the consideration of the continued service in the U.S. Senate by Louisiana’s David Vitter and Idaho’s Larry Craig, respectively...

The interesting little twist in this current Oregon morality play is the response by supporters of gay rights, who are planning on
firing up a web site that will list just exactly who has been signing the petitions. The response of the petition-backers to this bit of “back atcha” made me stop for just a second when I first heard it: how is it intimidation to reveal the names of people who support a petition overturning the state's establishment of certain rights to gay couples? Are they afraid that petition-signers will wake up to find a gay pride parade in their driveways? Do they fear heavily-armed lesbians in pink outfits taking hostages?

And then, of course,
there is this:
Oregon House Majority Leader David Hunt, who supports the new gay rights laws, said that during the legislative session opponents circulated home and cell phone numbers for lawmakers, resulting in hundreds of nuisance calls and thousands of junk e-mails, many from out of state.
I confess I am at a loss to figure out the intimidation angle in this proposed web site, given the fact that most people are smarter than so-called "social" conservatives. Simple-minded soul that I am, I would think that even the most ardent gay rights activists would have enough sense to understand that tangible acts of intimidation against petition-signers - either to punish them or scare off potential signers - would, upon discovery, be self-defeating at best and more probably threatening to their hopes of equality, as demonstrated by the failed efforts of the anti-gay rights folks noted above. On the other hand, if a person is going to feel some vague sense of unease at the mere idea of being revealed as a petition signer, that person needs to more carefully evaluate his or her motives and convictions. In a war of selective morality, there shouldn’t be any way to avoid the draft to stay out of the combat. If you want to overturn government’s efforts to grant rights to a certain segment of the population while ignoring a host of God's other prohibitions recorded in Levitical law, you should be willing to do so in public. You need to be all in or all the way out...

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