Thursday, June 30, 2005
The end is near
At least that's what the Religious Right will tell you and I'm sure I'll be getting my next mailing from Focus on the Family very soon. First Massachusetts, then the end of the world (uh, one year later, I don't see the end of the world on the East Coast?!).
With Belgium, The Netherlands and now Canada and Spain, gay marriage is becoming the law in countries who get it... that all citizens deserve the same rights and that separate but equal didn't work for African-Americans and other minorities, and it won't work for gays and lesbians.
There's a difference between civil marriage (and the 1000+ rights that come with that) and what a religion is willing to call (or doesn't want to call) religious marriage. That's a decision for each religion to make -- and Canadian law will ensure that no religion is forced to conduct gay marriages -- but a country's civil laws must treat all citizens equally. According to this CNN story on the Spanish decision:
The measure passed the 350-seat Congress of Deputies by a vote of 187-147 with four abstentions. The bill, part of the ruling Socialists' aggressive agenda for social reform, also lets gay couples adopt children and inherit each others' property.
..."We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality," Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told the chamber before the vote.
Zapatero said the reform of Spain's legal code simply adds one dry paragraph of legalese -- but means much, much more.
He called it "a small change in wording that means an immense change in the lives of thousands of citizens. We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen, for remote unknown people. We are expanding opportunities for the happiness of our neighbors, our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives."