Friday, December 31, 2004

SPAIN APPROVES same-sex marriage:
Spain’s Socialist government today approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriages, putting the predominantly Roman Catholic country on course to become only the third country to recognise gay marriages.

The bill was approved at a Cabinet meeting and is expected to be presented to Parliament in February for debate.

“The right to marry is a right for everyone, without distinction. It cannot be understood as a privilege,” Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a press conference after the Cabinet meeting. “The recognition of homosexuals’ rights eradicates an unjustified discrimination.”

Under the bill homosexuals will be allowed to adopt children and couples of the same sex will be able to inherit from one another as well as receive retirement benefits from their working spouses in the same way in which heterosexual married couples do now.
My personal opinion on the issue: I'm not against regulating some effects, quite a few if you will, for homosexual couples. But I think that marriage as an institution is modeled after a rationale that doesn't apply to homosexual couples. No, I'm not objecting to gay marriage on religious grounds, since I'm an atheist. I happen to agree 100% with the great Thomas Sowell on this topic. It is not a religious, but a 'civilizational' issue.

I also object to the specific way in which the bill has been approved in Spain; with no bipartisanship appeal, done unilaterally and in a hurry, with no wide public debate and at the same time demonizing anyone who dares to suggest any objection, even a mild one, as troglodytes (at least in other countries there's an intelligent debate going on, even within the left, about the logic of gay marriage) and without submitting the project to the Council of State, a high deliberative body which has to make a report on all major legislation, and which had unoficially pointed out -they weren't officially asked- that the current Spanish constitution as is only contemplates that marriage is between a man and a woman. Therefore, they claimed, the Constitution should be ammended before the approval of same-sex marriage.

But, alas, we're getting used to this by now: Zapatero always brags about being the champion of tolerance, of listening to others, and of the beauty of dialogue, but when it's the moment to act, he simply does whatever he wants without listening at all.

Andrew Carnegie famously said: "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." So true.