Posted on 17-11-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

With the Supreme Court outlawing criminalization of homosexual conduct, the debate in recent years has spread to gays seeking some of the rights and privileges of civil society particularly relating to marriage.  Even though legalizing civil marriage would not require churches to permit gays to marry under their roof the push for gay marriage has been portrayed as an assault on traditional marriage.  Of course a 50% divorce rate would seem a bigger threat to traditional marriage and other than a tongue in cheek referendum in California, there has been no serious push to ban no fault divorce (which somehow exists in the civil context without affecting churches like the Catholic Church that prohibit or strongly discourage divorce).  It is also striking how much the rhetoric against gay marriage seems to parallel the rhetoric against miscegenation 50 years ago, which was also going to destroy the institution of marriage.  Also if you really want to protect “traditional marriage” you should push for the way the institution existed in the western world for most of the past two millenniums – as was generally Chattel marriage, where the wife was the property of the husband (for the humor impaired, I am joking).

The issue was in the spotlight earlier this month when Maine voters reversed the legislature’s recognition of gay marriage.  It came up in the last week when the Catholic Church threatened Washington D.C. that it would shut down its charity programs in the city for the homeless if a law recognizing same sex marriages was passed.  The rationale was that this would cause the Church to recognize same-sex marriages.  This was followed by Rhode Island governor Don Carcieri’s veto of a bill that would allow domestic partners the right to claim the bodies and plan the funerals of their partners.  The justification again was the protection of the institution of marriage.

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert has a great satirical piece mocking both these arguments.

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Posted on 17-11-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

First Honduras and now Iraq, expressing optimism about people coming to their senses can be a perilous exercise.  After an previous optimistic post from me, the deal is now starting to unravel.  Unhappy with their seat allocation the Kurds are threatening a boycott and the Sunnis are expressing their displeasure as well.  It seems that the Kurds have not learned from the Sunni boycott of the previous elections that such a step is ultimately self defeating.  The elections will happen, the Kurds will be locked out of the corridors of power and ticked off groups will resort to the gun.  The mess in Iraq also shows just how hard it is to conduct a multi-ethnic state when there is no trust among the various ethnic groups.

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Posted on 17-11-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut
  • Josh Marshall wonders what people are afraid of.
  • Andrew Sullivan applauds the President for not being governed by fear.
  • Republican Congressman John Shadegg engages in some crude fearmongering.
  • The irrepressible Jon Stewart identifies the real risk…the media…plus pokes some fun at Rudy Giuliani.  Best line at the end of the clip “Geraldo Rivera is now the voice of reason”

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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