(Scraped, with minor changes from a very early post — September 2004 — on the old blog.)
I’m in favour of a random assortment of things, including:
- Gay marriage (and therefore, obviously, gay divorce)
- Equal rights for women, homosexuals, and visible minorities
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of religion
- Freedom of the press
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom to self-defence
- Drug use
I’m also in favour of a lot of other marriage variations: whatever works for the individuals involved. The only thing I think the government needs to do is to provide a framework so that dependent children are provided for in the case of marital breakdown (that doesn’t mean the government automatically funding it, either). If there are no children involved, then whatever marital or quasi-marital arrangements are acceptable to the contracting parties are fine by me, provided that they do not violate the rights of other non-contracting parties.
You want to marry two other people? Fine, so long as they agree and the terms of the marriage are spelled out beforehand. You want to marry three other people? Fine, same restriction. You want to marry your dog? Nope. Sorry, a dog is not capable of giving informed consent, so you cannot marry your dog.
You want to engage in a master/slave relationship? Fine, so long as you don’t cause damage or trauma to non-consenting individuals (that is, your "slave" must be willing to enter into the relationship: if it’s consensual, go right ahead). Any contractual arrangement of this sort must still meet the requirement that it can be ended by any of the contracting parties (just because someone agreed to be your "slave" yesterday does not mean they can’t change their mind tomorrow).
In this day and age, something like this should not need to be said: anyone in the western world should agree that any adult human being must be given the same rights and responsibilities of any other adult human being. There should not be classes of individuals with "greater" or "superior" rights: equality before the law. Anything else results in the grotesqueries of trying to counterbalance the rights of a gay Chinese disabled man against the rights of a transsexual HIV-positive Kenyan (does the gayness of one cancel the transsexuality of the other? Are Chinese considered more or less oppressed than Africans? Does being
disabled trump all the others?) No matter how you slice it, it’s still iniquitous.
You are free to say whatever you want. But others are not similarly required to listen to you. You wanna shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre? Hey, feel free . . . and then get ready to pay for the damages, injuries, and other mayhem you caused (unless there really was a fire, of course). And by pay, I really mean pay. Cash, debit, credit, your life insurance, whatever you can muster up to cover the cost. Jail? Why should the rest of us pay to keep you behind bars on top of the costs you’ve already imposed on others? Restitution, not rehabilitation or retaliation, should be the key to our justice system. If you’ve caused harm to others, it’s your responsibility to make good (as much as is possible) that explicit harm to the innocent parties.
If your religion requires you to rub blue mud in your navel, great! If your religion requires you to force me to rub blue mud in mine, we’ve got a big problem here. Freedom of religion is freedom for you to worship (or not) in your own way, but confers no obligation on others to conform to your religious beliefs. Any attempt to force others to conform to your beliefs can (and should) be met with necessary force to restrain your exuberant display of your belief system.
You can try to persuade "the unbelievers" as much as you like, but keep off their property and respect their right to not be converted by force. Or expect to meet your maker sooner, rather than later.
Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, for those who choose not to partake.
As long as you own one. That’s a joke, son.
Like this one I’m using right now.
This is one of the freedoms most at risk in the western world right now, because too many people assume that freedom to assemble also confers freedom to riot, pillage, and burn. You are free to assemble, but not to trespass on private property without the free consent of the owner.
Ah, yes, the big right-wing scary bullet point. Guns. Swords. Knives. Sticks. Other extensions or amplifiers of the human fist. You must have the right to defend yourself, your family, your guests, and your property. The police can’t be everywhere (and we sure don’t want them to try), but human nature isn’t sweetness and light: leave yourself defenseless and you’ll soon discover that. Britain is busy learning this lesson right now. . .and Canada is ready to step over the precipice to join ’em.
Now the big left-wing scary bullet point. Drugs. What you put into your body is your own responsibility. What you do after you’ve ingested drugs is still your responsibility. Your ability to diminish your own perceptions is the business of nobody else but you. The risk you take is your own. But . . . you can’t take a vacation from responsibility. Others do not accept that they should be at risk because you are intoxicated / drugged / legless / blotto / waxed / wasted / etc.
I can think of nothing that has undermined individual liberty as much as the attempt by government to control what people try to use to get high, expand their consciousness, or just plain get bent.
All in all, it makes me a pretty typical rednecked right-wing whacko.