Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Straight thoughts 128

January 19, 2005

"Of all the phony arguments for gay marriage, the phoniest is the argument that it is a matter of equal rights."

In Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms enumerates individual 'rights'. these are: "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability" (Section 15), plus democratic rights, such as the right to vote (Sections 3-5), mobility rights (Section 6), legal rights (Sections 7-14), language rights, such as the right to speak any one of the two official languages in the Legislature (Sections 16-22) and Minority Educational rights (Section 23).

There might be a difference of interpretation about exactly what these rights are, but the Charter is very clear on one thing: These rights are individual. Especially those of Section 15, which starts: "Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law."

Thus, even if there was a right to "marriage", such right would not extend to couples or groups.

To "marry", according to the current law, is an individual privilege (and a restriction of individual rights). It is defined as "to marry a person of the opposite sex."

All of us, including homosexuals, have the same privilege and should expect to be treated equally. Homosexuals instead want to be treated preferentially and want to have the privilege to marry a person of the same sex, in addition to their current privilege to marry a person of the opposite sex.

Of course the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in their favour (regardless of the Charter, the Law, and the 1999 parliamentary motion defining marriage as the union of a man and one woman). The Supreme Court has done so on the basis of "reading in" what is not written anywhere, a clear example of political activism.