Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Gay rights

Dissecting Gay Marriage

It was drawn to my attention today that the gay marriage issue is not merely a controversy among American social conservatives, but that the debate rages in other countries too–namely France, in which recently there have been mass protests against Francois Hollande’s plan to legalise homosexual marriage and adoption led by the French political right and various catholic organisations in France. The French left was characteristically flamboyant in its counter-demonstrations, but the point still hits–there are large numbers of people in the stereotypically progressive European countries who take issue with left leaning social reforms. This does raise a question that I think is worth answering. What are the arguments for and against gay marriage? Is there anything to either set?

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Gays, Pot, and Puerto Rico

Well, with the help of Nate Silver, I called it. Obama wins with around 300 electoral votes. As we know, the republicans retained the house, and that means that nothing much will change. Today I’d like to look at some of the other results from the election–the referendums. What were the results of the individual state referendums, particularly on gay rights, drug legalisation, and, interestingly, the legal status of Puerto Rico? What impact will these things have on the USA going forward? Let’s have a look.

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Free Speech and Chicken Shops

Background: recently, chicken shop CEO Dan Cathy said the following:

we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about

The reaction to this has largely divided people into two camps. Opponents view Cathy’s comment as homophobic and bigoted; they’re staging boycotts and modified sit-ins popularly described as “kiss-ins”. Supporters agree with Cathy’s view. However, there has been an interesting backlash to opposition to Cathy’s comment. Some people are saying that, independent of whether or not Cathy is correct, he has the right to his opinion and we must respect it. These people have missed the point of the debate, and, on a more theoretical level, have missed the point of free speech. Here’s why.

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