Canada, Belgium and Holland: What do they have in common?

Well, as of Tuesday night Canada time (Wednesday here in The Far East), CANADA HAS FULL-ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE. Whoo-hoo. There is now absolutely no difference at all between gay and straight marriages in any part of Canada, and that includes adoption, immigration rights, the whole kit and kaboodle.

I have something to celebrate on Canada Day:D

Fantastic News! :bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

Well yay Canada.
The new…

I thought some of the comments from Canadian MPs were quite eloquent:

[quote=“Liberal MP Michael Savage”]I have not compromised my faith in supporting this legislation. I have embraced it,

Every now and then my country does something right. Way to go.

[quote=“Maoman”]I thought some of the comments from Canadian MPs were quite eloquent:

I suspect Maoman and I are in general agreement on this issue, but the highlighted portion of the quote, above, is absolutely ridiculous.

We each have our own ideas about what rights are, or what rights should be. Ultimately, a right is whatever it is defined as being, by whatever law or speaker or society is making the judgment.

[color=black]How about someone’s right to marry two spouses? [/color][color=blue]“No, sorry, the right is only to marry one person.”[/color] [color=black]“Why?”[/color] [color=blue]“Because we define the right as only applying to people who want to marry one person.”[/color] [color=black]“Why? We’re not hurting anyone.”[/color] [color=blue]“Well, it’s just because many in society think it’s wrong – so we define the right so as not to include that.”[/color] [color=black]“Well that’s discrimination!”[/color] [color=blue]“No, it’s just how society chooses to define marriage. Anyone who wishes to enter into a marriage that fits society’s subjective judgment about what a marriage should be, may do so – no discrimination.”[/color]

[color=black]How about the right to marry your sister? [/color] “No, sorry, we define the right as being only the right to marry someone who is not a blood relation.” [color=black]“Even if my sister is infertile and so none of the arguments about having genetically unhealthy babies exists?” [/color] “Yes, even then.” [color=black]“Why?” [/color] [color=blue]“Well, it’s just because many in society think it’s wrong – so we define the right so as not to include that.”[/color] [color=black]“Well that’s discrimination!”[/color] [color=blue]“No, it’s just how society chooses to define marriage. Anyone who wishes to enter into a marriage that fits society’s subjective judgment about what a marriage should be, may do so – no discrimination.”[/color]

Whether you approve of defining this particular right such that it includes a person’s right to marry someone of the same sex or not, it is either intellectual laziness or intellectual dishonesty to pretend that all that is being done is applying the same right to everyone. The real question is: What should the right be?

Glibly saying “a right is a right” implies that the definition of the right is settled, and it’s just a question of applying that right equally to everyone. That may sound cute, or clever. That may make a good sound bite. But it’s lazy, and dishonest, and – in my opinion – a bad way of dealing with controversial issues. :idunno:

Ah, the slippery slope argument. I was wondering when that would appear.

That’s wonderful news, although I can just see it now–Boycott Canada campaigns from whatever silly Family Whatever Council in the U.S.

Perhaps we need to define a “right” as something that the majority
of a given community agree on at this particular moment in time.

Actually, the slippery slope argument refers to a situations in which the speaker argues against X by saying that X is likely to lead to Y, and that Y is bad. (Or, as Wikipedia puts it: “Invoking the “slippery slope” means predicting that one step in a process is likely to lead to a second (generally undesirable) step.”)

So, in the context of this topic, the slippery slope argument would go something like this: [color=green]“Same-sex marriage is bad because once you allow that, then the next thing you know we’ll be allowing things like bigamy.”[/color]

Contrast this with my post, which:

color=blue does not argue against same-sex marriage (I happen to support same-sex marriage);[/color]

and

color=blue does not argue that same-sex marriage will lead to bigamy or anything else (I simply don’t believe that will happen).[/color]

Now, I understand that there are opponents of same-sex marriage out there who actually do make the slippery slope argument – and I share your (apparent) view that this is an unpersuasive argument in this context. I can also certainly see how, if one is skimming quickly through a thread and sees the words “marry two spouses” and “marry your sister” it is tempting to just take the mental short-cut and say “Oh, that guy must be making that lame old slippery slope argument.” We’ve all read things in a hurry, and it’s a perfectly understandable mistake.

Ironman: Out of time for the moment, so I’ll have to catch up with you on your suggestion for defining a right later.

Cheers,

[quote=“Ironman”]
Perhaps we need to define a “right” as something that the majority
of a given community agree on at this particular moment in time.[/quote]

There’s a bit of a problem with doing it this way though. What if the majority of a given community at this particular time agrees that all gays should be rounded up and shot. Does that make it a right? I may be mistaken but it seems that in Nazi Germany most of the community thought it was okay to round up the Jews. I don’t think that this makes it a “right”. To define a right you need to look beyond just what the majority of a community think.

[quote=“Gilgamesh”][quote=“Ironman”]
Perhaps we need to define a “right” as something that the majority
of a given community agree on at this particular moment in time.[/quote]

There’s a bit of a problem with doing it this way though. What if the majority of a given community at this particular time agrees that all gays should be rounded up and shot. Does that make it a right? I may be mistaken but it seems that in Nazi Germany most of the community thought it was okay to round up the Jews. I don’t think that this makes it a “right”. To define a right you need to look beyond just what the majority of a community think.[/quote]

There was no majority in Nazi Germany rounding up the Jews. It was a dictatorship in action, they had the black shirts to keep opinion on their side.

But, to clarify my statement and I nearly included it before, its got to be a democratic majority.

(Note to self. What am I doing in IP, got to escape back to Living in Taiwan or Learning Chinese)

Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that you were making that argument; it’s just that that kind of reasoning, along with “the majority do not support it”, could be deduced tangentially from your post, even though you weren’t arguing specifically against it. There are always going to be people to whom whatever you consider a basic human right will be blasphemy, no matter what the right is. You seemed to be implying that, since you can’t judge something to be a right if it’s not a right in everyone’s point of view, it shouldn’t be viewed as a right.

Maybe I am thinking too much about this, though.

Yeah, I hear you. I did not mean to suggest that a “right” necessarily needs to have popular support from everyone (or even a majority) in order to be legitimate. After all, that’s a central reason that we have the concept in the first place – in order to prevent majorities from (usually using the power of a representative government) taking unjustly from minorities. It’s tough though, because changing attitudes absolutely do inform how rights are interpreted, and how they are defined.

Interesting topic, but certainly not an easy one to get a handle on.

Cheers,

Just got back from the northland myself and would just like to add that there was a lot opposition to this legislation from the “average” citizenry nationwide and particularly in the conservative stronghold of Alberta. I am actually very surprised that the bill passed so quickly and without any filibustering on the part of the major conservative opposition. I think the legislators voted for this bill because they were swayed by the argument of equal rights for all. I also think this debate is far from over in Canada and it will be interesting to see if this issue surfaces during the next federal elections. I don’t think the cons. are stupid enough to use
the same sex marriage debate as a platform, but they might, they’re conservatives after all. :laughing:

Right you are.
Alberta may still fight gay marriage: minister

You can add Spain to the list now. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4636133.stm

Add Spain to this list. Those cheap holidays in Marbella will get quite a boost.

OOOps…sorry Slarti, didn’t mean to steal your thunder.

The vote passed by a sizeable margin in parliament. It wasn’t a hair-thin margin. We have spent the past year debating this issue in Canada and I believe the debate is over, now, and we have gay marriage and those who know the legal process by which The Charter of Rights and Freedoms can by repealed will know that Alberta hasn’t really got a hope of disregarding it. Done.

I liked Hobbes’ comment. That WAS a really stupid argument put forth by the MP, ‘a right is a right is a right’. Does someone need to go back and take the LSAT?

The law was passed because it is a minority right that the majority of Canadians believe in protecting. It reflects Canadian values at this time, generally speaking. Yay for Canadians.

I don’t think I have ever said ‘yay for Canadians’ before.

So anyway…last night I went to a Canada Day party here in Okinawa at the Canadian bar…and the mood was quite dour and there were hardly any Canadians there…and when I left the party, I said Happy Canada Day and one of the Brits shouted ‘Colony’. They’re just jealous. They have weird, conflicted jealous feelings over this gay marriage thing for starters.

That’s my suspicion.