Over the last several weeks abortion and gay rights have been at the forefront of the American discourse and political angst. It culminated last week, with both President Barack Obama's commencement speech at Notre Dame and the Donald Trump press conference over the controversial statements and actions by the Miss America runner up Carrie Prejean of California.
This is now followed by the announcement at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific on Tuesday the 26th by the California Supreme Courts decision regarding Prop 8 and the status of the 18 thousand marriages previously performed in California during the five and a half months it was legal to do so. Since that pointe in history Same Sex Marriage is now legalized or strengthened in even more states Iowa, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, and the Coquille Indian Tribe (which is a sovereign Native Nation located inside the State of Oregon), in fact already three States are talking about Gay Divorce Laws though they don't allow us to wed.
The BILERICO Project has the full text of the speech by President Obama to the University of Notre Dame graduating class of 2009. He rightly pointed out in his speech, "...we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory - the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature." I would recommend everyone to read it in full text. To answer his call we could start with some basic questions, like the ones at the bottom of this post below; but I would like to first redress the issue that is normally ignored by law or written off by civil society as chauvinistic, the equal rights of the fathers and men in general.
The Equal Rights Of The Fathers!
One of the biggest issues is the failure of our Federal and State laws to recognize the fact that the donor of sperm contributes not just half of the chromosomal or genetic glop which penetrates the mothers internal game of Chutes & Ladders but succeeds in determining the gender of the child(ren) also, based on which way his pieces are put into play. This lack of legal standing in parental relationships presents a larger problem legally then everyone realizes.
The other aspect that is currently overlooked by the current laws is the psychological damage to fathers whom were forced to allow termination with no legal redress to their own portion of flesh and blood currently gestating inside another persons womb. It takes at least two people for a life to be created, sometimes three or more, and that means that each person from the individual biological parents as well as the surrogate or the future adoptive parents or the new boyfriend all should have some legal standing to determine the best course of action for the future human, not just the person who is gestating the fertilized embryo.
Even today there are cases in multiple jurisdictions regarding which parent has legal standing in situations regarding same sex marriages or multiple partner relationships or previous relationships with persons whom contributed to the fertilization and gestation and rearing of children, which then causes eminence heartache to both the children and to the parents involved and is usually resolved with one or more parents being forced to walk away with no contact with the children they created and/or helped raise from infancy and beyond.
Our parenting laws need to updated on a Federal level not just the State level because now it is an issue of both equal access and legal recognition of all parents, gay and straight, single or married, involved in the formation of our next generations. They all need to have a percentage based legal standing; otherwise you will have to deal with another legal conundrum if we do not assigning legal status to the parent but to the child, at that point, the law will define the child as a sentient being with its own ability to determine its course in life even in the womb at a certain pointe, which potentially could be cited to overturn Roe v. Wade or other abortion provisions indirectly rather than making a principled stand on the issues involved.
Don't misunderstand, I am against abortion completely! I believe as a Libertarian abortion is a violation of the principled and self evident truths established by our nations founding, regardless of any personal religious views or thoughts. Even in the remotest possibility of rape, abortion is at a minimum destruction of evidence and second as a Pastor, an elimination of the one thing that could turn the heart and both judge and redeem the perpetrator of the crime. No child should be held responsible for the crimes of their parent and that is what abortion does. However, to quote Joan Crawford's character in the 1980s movie Mommie Dearest, "No More Wire Hangers Ever!", I am glad that it is permitted under law at the same time only because of the health of the mother, compared to non clinical procedures which predated the Roe v. Wade decision, back in the early seventies. Ironically, I am also one of the first who can say with great ease that abortion is murder because I have witnessed the results second hand and have been placed in the pastoral position of being with someone during the procedure. For my own sanity, what is left of it, the woman miscarried six hours before the procedure was to happen fortunately.
The problems hold the answers to the resolution of both abortion and lack of equality in this Country.::::BREAKING NEWS OUT OF UTAH::::
Man Charged With Beating Pregnant TeenagerA man in Utah was charged Friday with attempted homicide in the beating of a pregnant teenager who police say asked for the pummeling in an effort to abort her six-month-old fetus.(Source: CBS NEWS & AP, 22 May 2009)
Deputy Uintah County Attorney Mark Thomas said he filed the felony charge against Arron N. Harrison, 21, who was arrested Thursday and jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Prosecutors are still weighing possible charges against the 17-year-old girl, who is also in custody. Authorities haven't disclosed her name.
"I haven't decided who's more at fault," Mark Watkins, police chief of Naples, 130 miles east of Salt Lake City, told The Associated Press. "She was just as cold as the assailant - we're not going to treat her as a victim."
Thomas said Harrison is expected to appear in court Tuesday and faces one to 15 years in prison if convicted. Harrison pummeled the girl's abdomen in an effort to cause a miscarriage, Watkins said."Her intention was, in fact, to abort the child - to terminate the pregnancy," he said.
The fetus survived, but doctors won't know for certain what injuries it may have sustained until it is born. The girl spent a day in a hospital before her arrest and is being held at a juvenile detention center, Watkins said.
Thomas said the beating took place late Tuesday, and that the girl initially told her family she had been mugged by an unknown assailant. The family called police, who got the girl to speak truthfully about what happened, Watkins said. He said Harrison was an acquaintance of the girl and is not the father of the child.
Neither Thomas nor Watkins knew if either of the two had a lawyer.
The problem now is we have a highly unregulated private industry, which has broken laws in the past, providing the service to line their own pocketbooks and promote a decision that should not be made outside of a hospital, nor without medical ethics review by a panel of doctors, after consulting every social service alternative including adoption and stable homes for both the fathers and the mothers, single or married. Any action be it religious or civil in nature must recognize all parents involved and stop this vicious cycle of repression of emotions and sexuality, and the denial of a fathers right to know his children, otherwise nothing will change and in this day and age the overall situations that our children find themselves will only get worse. We need to diametrically change the way we view the nature of the family in this day and age and allow for alternative family structures that work, like multiple partner relationships and State sponsored group housing scenarios to give our young people the ability to be both successful in life and become great parents with the safety of the children always at the forefront of the discussion, and the rights of all parents not far behind it.
Libertarians regard the individual as Sovereign up until the pointe that they affect someone else's sovereignty and we are generally against anything that addresses a collective group as a special class because we believe that "all are created equal" and therefore to separate individual people by race or by class is in essence unconstitutional. How then do the issues of gay rights intertwine with abortion rights? The same arguments involved in the religious teaching against abortion and premarital sex are the same as the argument and predisposition towards the gay rights issues at a religious level which unfortunately both spill over into civil and political discourse regularly.
Hate Crimes vs. Abortion Clinics
However the nature of Hate Crimes protest of legal protection of sexual minority classes and Abortion Clinic protests and more specifically bombing threats are in fact the same issue. On one hand you have an individual or organization attacking a facility for religious purposes or bias to promote a political agenda and on the other hand you have someone attacking individuals for political/civil reasons or bias to promote a religious agenda in a Country that separates the two ideologies.
In both of these circumstances the attack is not just on one facility or persons but on the collective industry or community that they associate with as a whole. In actuality two crimes were committed simultaneously, once against the facility/individuals and once against the industry/community.
The current Hate Crimes legislation, in my opinion while flawed and in need of a serious modification, is necessary for both the individuals security and the collective groups liberties to be respected under the law of the land regardless of biases or agendas. This concern over flaws in the current field of legislation is given credence by recent actions in the European Union and elsewhere that if not addressed in the beginning it can only lead to a slippery slope with further erosion of free personal thought and the first amendment protections regarding freedom of association/assembly issues regarding principles and beliefs when hiring decisions arise within companies and organizations, be they religious or secular, gay or straight.
Love and Marriage Love and Marriage Go Together Like A Horse A Carriage
This I Tell You Brother You Cant Have One Without The Other....
But you can have it without government interference if we followed the Libertarian Philosophy which acknowledges individual sovereignty and we also believe that,
"Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships."
Anyone who claims that marriage is a historically civil or religious institution between a man and a woman only is not only ignorant of history but also invalid according to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
This commercial interruption is provided by Visit Montreal with complete humor as its intention.
Larry Kramer an Author and Playwright asserts in a recent column @ The Huffington Post, that the very beginning foundations of our country consisted of grouped and partnered male households, as women in the first colony of Jamestown were scarce at the earliest and definitely still under represented even into the next century to come, by quoting excerpts of text from Sexual Revolution in Early America, by Richard Godbeer:
...Jamestown was initially an all-male settlement...in subsequent years...male colonists outnumbered women by roughly six to one in the 1620's and four to one in later decades....In his own book The American People, Kramer denotes that: "...not only were male-only partnerships quite in evidence, but services were often conducted to join the partners "under God," and that, of equal interest, was their adoption of Indian children to raise as their own." He finally exclaims, "I hope it will not be too much longer before scholars will be able to deal with the fact that Jamestown was in fact not only America's first colony but its first homosexual community."
Settlers in the seventeenth-century Chesapeake often paired off to form all-male households, living and working together. ...it would be truly remarkable if all the male-only partnerships lacked a sexual ingredient....
I would be negligent in my duties as a fair and balanced commentator to also pointe out that Richard Godbeer later modified his stance in the work The Overflowing Friendship: Love Between Men and the Creation of the American Republic to accept the popular culture concept of bromance rather than a undying passion that resounds of an intimacy similar to that with a woman between two or more men, even though in one account alone you see two 27 year old males in the throws of passion exude not just a brotherly bond, but that of an underlying lover:
"Tormented when apart, greedy for more when together....determined we should never part again.... I will give myself up to you, I will go wherever you go and one shall not go without the other. I love you very much. Yours for ever--and ever and ever."For those who don't know gay and religious lingo the second phrase is a specific desire to be joined spiritually and sexually; which if that covenant bonding were carried out, would involve someone "giving up" their virginity to the other persons, that night without any doubt. I would also be negligent in my duties if I did not stipulate to the fact that Larry Kramer is a controversial author in past historical dramas unfolding as well and so therefore should be reviewed with a wide lens and thorough review by anyone using his works. All that covers the historical aspect of civil society now let us look at the actual laws of the land and practice of the State to regulate marriage based on religious codex and theology.
Austin Cline wrote a wonderful piece back in March of 2006 regarding Civil versus Religious Marriage while reviewing the book Divided by God: America's Church State Problem by Noah Feldman whom explains that the difference between a civil right and the religious rite is truly the cause of angst in America.
Common Law and the Puritans is the origin of the problem and the solution at the same time:
...The source of the problem was that the roots of American law - including marriage law - lay in England, where church and state were united, not separate. Not until 1753 had marriage...been taken away from the religious courts (but) civil marriage was not fully available there until 1836....We know who to blame for the intertwining of civil rights and religious rites to marriage. How do we fix it?
The basic legal theory of marriage in England until then was that individual men and women had the legal capacity to marry each other by a simple act of consent, but the church must solemnize the marriage, and the state was entitled to insist on the church performing this role before it would recognize the union as binding....
...getting married without a priest’s blessing came to America with the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony....Massachusetts Puritans in 1646 passed a law making it a crime for anyone other than a magistrate to bring persons together in marriage.... To prohibit clergy from officiating at marriages was a radical move, but the Massachusetts Puritans were radical people, religious experimentalists living in a quasi-theocratic community at the frontier of the known World....
In the minds of those who first introduced civil marriage to America, then, it was possible to bifurcate (aka, forked, see below) the formalities of marriage between consenting adults from the judgments of heaven. The legal requirement that a marriage be solemnized before an authorized person, whether government official or minister, simply reflected the practical requirement that the government keep records of who was married to whom, especially for purposes of establishing descent and property ownership.... The state demanded a monopoly on the authority to solemnize marriages in order to ensure that the legal protections of marriage applied - not because the state claimed to have any special authority in matters spiritual.Austin Cline goes on to argue diligently that the the Civil Union is only in its prohibitions a direct copy to a predominant form of Christian dogmatic stances, and he notes that, religious officials are specifically authorized by elected leaders only to act as the legal agent of the State, not the State acting as the agent of religious organizations.
"What the state cannot do, however, is require couples to seek religious authorization for their marriages. This doesn’t just include direct authorization, like getting the blessings of a priest, but it also includes indirect authorizations, like limiting marriages to only those sorts of couples which religious authorities deem appropriate."In essence the civil restriction on same sex marriage based on religious bias is not only unconstitutional it was never intended to be there in the first place. Not only was it not suppose to be there but religious authorities were never intended by our founding fathers to have any say regarding whom entered into a civil union. They knew if that were allowed people could be restricted based on both interfaith and interracial protocols which we finally put an end to in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act and other similar laws and policy statements.
So What Does Qualify As "Fair Minded" Speech Concerning Questions On Abortion?
Is abortion murder of a baby or removal of a fetus?
If it is a baby, then when does life begin?
When does the embryo transition from a fetus to a baby?
If it is removal of a fetus, then why do we file murder charges against criminals whom commit crimes which cause the mother a miscarriage? Wouldn't that be a conflict of legal status of the fertilized embryo?
If the birth mother and biological mother are different whom has the right to or not terminate the pregnancy?
And just out of curiosity, What Qualifies As "Fair Minded" Speech Regarding Gay Rights And Equality?
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Pro Fatherhood Sites (somewhat conservative)
The National Center For Men
Priests For Life National
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1. Sexual Revolution in Early America by Richard Godbeer
2. The Overflowing Friendship: Love Between Men
and the Creation of the American Republic by Richard Godbeer
3. The American People by Larry Kramer
4. Divided by God: America’s Church-State Problem by Noah Feldman
For Your Information
BIFURCATE: Forked, to fork, to split between; Usage: A fork in the river or road