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Author Topic: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity  (Read 6846 times)

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Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« on: December 19, 2008, 07:53:16 AM »

Can't really say it surprises me to see it, that once again Europe is taking strides ahead of us on a developmental level. Citizenship across the pond is looking more and more attractive on a number of counts, the US has become a hotbed of ignorance and bigotry. While we gained ground by electing a black president, we lost any progress on other ground.

So by not signing, we say it's OK to make homosexuality punishable. At least we're not un-signing anything like we did the Kyoto Protocol.

I'd really love to see a motion start where we basically ignore the establishment and state formally to the UN that We the People sign regardless of our would-be authorities. Frack the system, I'm tired of the conservative belly-aching here.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081219/ap_on_re_us/un_gay_rights


Quote
UNITED NATIONS – Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration — which backers called a historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. More than 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of them homosexual acts can be punished by execution.

Co-sponsored by France and the Netherlands, the declaration was signed by all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries. There was broad opposition from Muslim nations, and the United States refused to sign, indicating that some parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.

"It's disappointing," said Rama Yade, France's human rights minister, of the U.S. position — which she described as in contradiction with America's long tradition as a defender of human rights.

According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officials expressed concern in private talks that some parts of the declaration might be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In numerous states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.

Carolyn Vadino, a spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the U.N., stressed that the United States — despite its unwillingness to sign — condemned any human rights violations related to sexual orientation.

Gay rights activists nonetheless were angered by the U.S. position.

"It's an appalling stance — to not join with other countries that are standing up and calling for decriminalization of homosexuality," said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

She expressed hope that the U.S. position might change after President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

Also denouncing the U.S. stance was Richard Grenell, who until two months ago had been the chief spokesman for the U.S. mission to the U.N.

"It is ridiculous to suggest that there are legal reasons why we can't support this resolution — common sense says we should be the leader in making sure other governments are granting more freedoms for their people, not less," said Grenell, who described himself as a gay Republican. "The U.S. lack of support on this issue only dims our once bright beacon of hope and freedom for those who are persecuted and oppressed."

More than 50 countries opposed to the declaration, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, issued a joint statement Thursday criticizing the initiative as an unwarranted attempt to give special prominence to gays and lesbians. The statement suggested that protecting sexual orientation could lead to "the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts" such as pedophilia and incest.

The declaration also has been opposed by the Vatican, a stance which prompted a protest in Rome earlier this month.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Roman Catholic Church opposed the death penalty and other harsh repression of gays and lesbians, but he expressed concern that the declaration would be used as pressure against those who believe marriage rights should not be extended to gays.

A new Vatican statement, issued Thursday, endorsed the call to end criminal penalties against gays, but said that overall the declaration "gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human norms."

The European nations backing the declaration waged their campaign in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Dutch foreign affairs minister, Maxime Verhagen, said countries that endorsed that 1948 document had no right to carve out exceptions based on religion or culture that allowed discrimination against gays.

"Human rights apply to all people in all places at all times," he said. "I will not accept any excuse."

He acknowledged that the new declaration had only symbolic import, but said it marked the first time such a large number of nations had raised the cause of gay rights in the context of General Assembly proceedings.

"This statement aims to make debate commonplace," he said. "It is not meant to be a source of division, but to eliminate the taboo that surrounds the issue."

Although the declaration's backers were pleased that nations on six continents had signed it, there were only two from Asia and four from Africa.


Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 12:10:26 AM »
Backwards as I think the U.S. government is on many issues, the UN is all that if not worse.  One need only look at the goings-on during many UN "peacekeeping" operations to see that.

While there's no solution to the homosexual marriage issue that's going to please everyone, I think one major step would be to decouple (no pun intended) religious marriage from civil marriage.  Despite America's much-vaunted (and, by historical standards, largely successful) policy of separating Church and State, we still see a marriage performed in a church (to most Americans, read "Christian church or Jewish synagogue") as a one-size-fits-all act of spiritual union AND civil union.  Nice and traditional...except the U.S. Constitution actually precludes government from involving itself in religious matters, or granting special privileges pertaining to the rites of a specific religion but not others. 

What we really need is for the government to wake up one day and say:

"As of today, we're no longer in the business of defining or performing or certifying marriage.  What we will allow and facilitate, between any two consenting adults, are civil unions.  A civil union grants property rights, parental rights, and power of attorney in the unfortunate event of the incapacity of one partner.  That's it.  We don't claim to be acting as an agent of God, Lucifer, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Xenu, Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  It's just legal paperwork certifying a union between two individuals.

"If you want a ceremony invoking or involving the powers of divinities or other such agents, like "marriage under the Lord" or consecrating your baby to galactic overlords or handfasting on the summer solstice under the good graces of the Earth Goddess, or what-have-you, that's not our department.  We're the State, not Church.  You are free to perform or undergo whatever such ceremony you wish on your own time.  It will have no legal significance (unless you choose to enter into a contract with one another above and beyond the civil union, like a prenup), but it will have whatever spiritual significance floats your boat.  You are free to specify the circumstances under which the cermony may be performed.  If you want it to only be allowed between a male and female, hey, there's this nifty First Amendment thingie that keeps us out of the loop.  But you can't deny civil unions to homosexual couples, because just as that First Amendment keeps us out of your business, it likewise keeps you out of ours.  Have a nice day."

Offline Zakharra

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 12:54:17 AM »
 
Quote
I'd really love to see a motion start where we basically ignore the establishment and state formally to the UN that We the People sign regardless of our would-be authorities. Frack the system, I'm tired of the conservative belly-aching here.

 Unfortunately, it requires a government's approval, in this case, the President's signature and the Congress to ratify it I think, for it to be a legally binding treaty for the US.

 I do agree it is stupid for the US to not sign it.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 09:43:50 AM »
As a Libertarian I agree with the government in this they have no right at the Federal level binding any State to a treaty that has no bearing on Constitutional protections, at least with Civil Rights legislation it was in accord with other amendments. Although I think the government went to far on that as well.

Maybe we should sign it with an addition that we reserve the rights of States and the United States government at the Federal level to determine marriage rights under our laws, or something. We did similar things to other treaties and UN documents. Sign it with strong wording protecting our sovereignty as a nation.

They could just change the document to suit the sensibilities of the US maybe a simple ban on executions for sexual status, that would be something we would very likely sign.


Offline Aleksandr

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Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 10:18:18 AM »
Governments screw up sometimes. *shrug* All you can do is raise your voice, try and make things change.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 10:38:53 AM »
What right do other nations have to make demands that the US or any other nation sign this document? I tend to think it would be best if the US leave the UN and maybe go it alone if this is the kind of thing they are foisting on us to sign.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 11:39:49 AM »
I really can't support the U.S. signing a treaty that regulates social behavior or matters of personal conscience.  There are tens of millions of citizens who believe homosexuality is wrong, and they're entitled to their opinion.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 12:14:59 PM »
  There are tens of millions of citizens who believe homosexuality is wrong, and they're entitled to their opinion.

Yes they are, however, they are not entitled to enforce their opinion on others that don't agree with with it.

Gay rights are the number one civil rights issue in the US right now. To be completely blunt here, this is going continue to be a knock-down drag-out backyard fight on American soil as long the conservative right refuses to mind their own damned business.

Arrayed against you is a formidable foe that absolutely will not back down, consisting of gays that want their fair rights, and the rest of us who back them because we believe rights have to apply to everyone or they mean nothing. Some of recognize that we have threats to our liberties right here on American soil that are far worse than some terrorist half a world away.

And you know something? In the end, we'll win. Count on it. We'll meet you at the polls for every related vote, we'll counter every nonsensical conservative argument why gay marriage is wrong. In the end we'll erode the conservative base until it collapses.

And you won't be rid of us until we see civil rights for all. When America decides to grow up, I'll step off my soapbox.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 07:18:47 PM »
Yes they are, however, they are not entitled to enforce their opinion on others that don't agree with with it.

Agreed...and hence my answer to the dilemma that I made a few posts back.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 09:28:26 PM »
These are different issues this is the UN acting not states or the United States acting at the Federal level. There is the no small matter of sovereignty why shoul dour nation be coerced into signing this by a minority of the population.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 10:24:52 PM »
Fortunately, we have the means to resolve this issue, without sacrificing our sovereignty, and within the context of our Constitution.  We don't need a United Nations.  We simply back government out of the issue of marriage, and permit it to handle only the legal aspects of the union between two consenting adults.  As far as the spiritual side to marriage, we let individuals handle that themselves via whatever church, temple, synagogue or other religious institution they belong to, if any.  That private institution is free to deny its ceremony to whatever group it deems ineligible.

Offline ZK

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 01:03:35 AM »
While I agree the US doesn't need the U.N. for this issue... leaving the U.N. would cause a hell of a lot more problems then solve them. I may love the Fallout series, but I sure as hell don't want to live in it.

As for the statements... everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I agree. It shouldn't be enforced on those who do not believe in the same. Be it the U.N., U.S.A., organization or whatever...

But people will be people.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 06:02:28 AM »
Fortunately, we have the means to resolve this issue, without sacrificing our sovereignty, and within the context of our Constitution.  We don't need a United Nations.  We simply back government out of the issue of marriage, and permit it to handle only the legal aspects of the union between two consenting adults.  As far as the spiritual side to marriage, we let individuals handle that themselves via whatever church, temple, synagogue or other religious institution they belong to, if any.  That private institution is free to deny its ceremony to whatever group it deems ineligible.

Why two consenting adults if its a legal contract then any number of adults should be allowed to join in the agreement. My S.O. may like a man in her if that happens I would like to include him into any family. I have a simpler solution just end legal marriage have the child stay in the custody of the mother unless she offers a legal agreement to share the care with others. Then it will come down to legal contracts if two or fifteen people want to share the lives of each other it can be worked out. And ban hospitals and others from not allowing full access to any party where there is a legal contract allowing said visitation and power to make legal/medical decisions.

As for this document all they had to do was make it palatable to the US say say executions or harsh sentences on par with drug traffickers si not a suitable punishment for homosexual behavior. I bet if that was the case we would have signed it.


Offline Trieste

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Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2008, 09:09:18 PM »
Oy ... it should be noted before the hijacking begins that if people would like to discuss custody law, they should open another thread to do so.

Offline Eren

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2008, 07:02:59 AM »
I personally think that using the argument of some citizens of a country being against homosexuality as an excuse not to sign is a bit silly. Estonia, as a member of the EU, signed this treaty, but I can personally say that there are many here who think that homosexuality is a disease or a blight or whatever. Still, we signed. There will definitely be complaints about it, but as a whole we showed that we value the freedom of choice.

The thing is, whether the citizens of the country agree or not, by signing or not signing, a country shows how they value human rights in general. It is a sad thing that homosexuality is still criminalized in many places, and there are various reasons for that (which I am not going to go into, because that would be thread hijacking).

I understand that it would not be pleasant to have your country support something which you personally abhor (be it gay rights, or nuclear bombs or whatnot), but we're talking about basic human rights here. And as for the US to step out of the UN... Not good. I think it would lower the general perception of the States in Europe even more (and with the last eight years, believe me, the perception is low enough), but it would show that any country can step out if they don't like something. Besides, countries stepping out of world unions and doing just what the hell they wanted to do - lead to the Second World War the last time (Italy and Germany leaving the League of Nations definitely contributed, though there was other stuff happening too).

I can understand Vatican opposing it, since they represent the Catholic religion which does not support homosexuality anyways. But the US...not really. As for the UN forcing member countries to sign treaties, whether with open threats or simply by majority of opinion, that happens all the time and not only in the UN. Most of economical and world politics is done in this "you do that, or we do that to hurt you" way.

Of course, the best solution in any country would be to separate civil unions from religious unions, but that will be hard to achieve, whether in the US, or Europe or whereever. At least there is debate about this, which is good.

My two cents and I of course understand that my perception is radically different from yours, since I am not American while most of the people in this thread are. (Which does not mean that anyone's perception is wrong or bad, just really different.)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2008, 10:50:15 AM »
But I do think the US whould have signed with just one restriction to our application of the document:

The United States recognizes only that the death penalty for homosexual acts is a violation of international human rights, all other considerations to this will remain within the juristiction of the Union States government and its member states and territories.

So we would agree to the death penalty part but leave everything else up to our national laws local to the Federal level. So sign it with clear protections that this cannot threaten our rights as a free member nation to set our own policies.

Kyoto I also would suggest we sign with a proviso that limits it in the same way that we accept the principles of it but leave implimentation to the will of the government of the United States, similar to what China did. So such addendums to the signature of a nation is not uncommon many nations did that.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2008, 11:24:56 AM »
 China got a pass, more or less in the Kyoto treaty. As a developing nation. I understand it wasn't going to be heald to the standards like the US would have been. Even though it pollutes more than the US.

Offline Silk

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2008, 08:43:59 AM »
The problem is a lot of America still likes to play the "big i am" card, until that perspective changes and America gets off its high horse of "were bigger so were better and don't have to listen to you smaller countries" things will just continue to go downhill for them, but i digress.

It shouldn't matter about any economic religious or whatever take it up the earlobe with a pair of toenail clippers excuse comes out of peoples mouths, human rights is human rights, we all know it so why does it continue to be a case of "your diffrent your lesser" I mean what is so fundamentally wrong about homosexuality? what people do in The bedroom is nobodies business besides the people in the bedroom, its one of the other human rights called privacy. Now when you say "well such and such offends me when i see it"  tough crap there is a lot of stuff that offends me and one of those is ignorant behaviour of other peoples choices shall we give you the death penalty/criminal sentence because i get offended by you as well?

Now moving onto the Vatican side, religion has their choice, which is fair enough i suppose, but religion should never be a form of governing body because it is a biased section, i don't think there should be a greenpeace either, why? Because its a biased. sorry but when your running a country you cannot play favorites, a country is a machine that needs a fresh supply of oil everywhere, if you take away oil to one part and put it in another, sure the better oil part will work better but the part that doesn't have enough oil will start to break down, and as everybody knows, were running pretty damn short of oil right now.

Offline Skåldr

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2009, 03:07:26 AM »
"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex.  People should be very free with sex, they should draw the line at goats."Elton John

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2009, 11:52:16 PM »
Overlord, I think you have a right to express your opinion and, for that matter, I think that your opinion is correct on a number of levels.  But, I think that the United States has made significant leaps and bounds in its social and moral maturity.  The very notion that we can discuss homosexual marriage, the very notion that it's a TOPIC OF DISCUSSION, demonstrates a great deal of evolution in the way Americans think.

Don't be Magneto, Overlord!  Be Professor X. ^_^

(CAPS for edit; I sometimes get ahead of myself)

« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 11:54:05 PM by PhantomPistoleer »

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2009, 12:38:59 AM »
Overlord, I think you have a right to express your opinion and, for that matter, I think that your opinion is correct on a number of levels.  But, I think that the United States has made significant leaps and bounds in its social and moral maturity.  The very notion that we can discuss homosexual marriage, the very notion that it's a TOPIC OF DISCUSSION, demonstrates a great deal of evolution in the way Americans think.

Don't be Magneto, Overlord!  Be Professor X. ^_^

(CAPS for edit; I sometimes get ahead of myself)




You have a solid point. The topic of interracial wasn't openly discussed a few decades ago, now it's not a real issue except with the most hidebound among us. These things come in increments; it's not that America at large has to grow up, but a very troublesome and vocal conservative portion that feels they got it all right because they- a) read it in a moldering old holy book so it must be the truth, b) they can't escape the ignorance and bigotry that their own parents raised them with, c) they're just plain uncomfortable with the topic and want it to go away, to the point of making it illegal, d) many cultures raise men with this machismo attitude, when in reality they're just overgrown little boys that can deal with the world when it does something they don't understand.

Whatever the reason, this is the next big thing that's on our plate for civil rights in the country. The right can only slow it down, they can't hold it back forever. The fear mongers that believe this is going to be the downfall of society are the same idiots that are ranting electing a black man to the highest office in the land means white America is lost. It's stupidity at its worst, in reality we’re just leveling the table, and that’s what America is supposed to be about.




And for the record, I liked Professor X too, but Magneto knew how to get shit done.  :)

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2009, 01:17:13 AM »
Whatever the reason, this is the next big thing that's on our plate for civil rights in the country. The right can only slow it down, they can't hold it back forever. The fear mongers that believe this is going to be the downfall of society are the same idiots that are ranting electing a black man to the highest office in the land means white America is lost. It's stupidity at its worst, in reality we’re just leveling the table, and that’s what America is supposed to be about.

What's going to be funny (in a rather sadly pathetic way) when the American economy accelerates its slide down the crapper this year is hearing white conservatives rant that it's Obama's fault.  Of course, the racism involved in that will be asshattery enough, but the idea that millions of people will be stupid enough to buy the idea that Obama crashed the economy will, to me, be simply hilarious and yet another sign that we as a nation deserve the epic bitch-slapping we are about to receive.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2009, 02:31:01 AM »
What's going to be funny (in a rather sadly pathetic way) when the American economy accelerates its slide down the crapper this year is hearing white conservatives rant that it's Obama's fault.  Of course, the racism involved in that will be asshattery enough, but the idea that millions of people will be stupid enough to buy the idea that Obama crashed the economy will, to me, be simply hilarious and yet another sign that we as a nation deserve the epic bitch-slapping we are about to receive.

I agree 100%, it's going to be high time when it comes.



In some ways I sort of wish the racist faction would make its bid so we could have it out once and for all. Every time I see one of those KKK and related rallies, the idiots are always chanting 'we want to wake you up before we lost the white race'.

Imbeciles. They're missing the point; they're white like one another not white like the rest of white America. I'd love to see those communities burn.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2009, 11:44:43 AM »
What's going to be funny (in a rather sadly pathetic way) when the American economy accelerates its slide down the crapper this year is hearing white conservatives rant that it's Obama's fault.  Of course, the racism involved in that will be asshattery enough, but the idea that millions of people will be stupid enough to buy the idea that Obama crashed the economy will, to me, be simply hilarious and yet another sign that we as a nation deserve the epic bitch-slapping we are about to receive.

 It might be the reason some people are saying it is his fault is because of his political affiliation, not because of his skin color. To automatically assume that it's because of race are in a way racist itself since that is the -first- assumption that is looked at.

 I do not like Obama because he's a Democrat and leftist. I'm white and more conservative than not. Some would way I am racist just because I do not like him. *shrug* I look at a person's actions and politics before skin color to judge someone and I am always open to have my mind changed if new facts present itself.

Offline National Acrobat

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Re: Once again America proves its social and moral immaturity
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2009, 12:42:08 PM »
Rather than leave the UN, we should just stop paying 60-75% of it's budget. If everyone wants the UN and they want it to stop being corrupt and do things above the board, in a beneficial manner, then perhaps instead of complaining, every nation should contribute to the funding and operations of the organization equally, and move the headquarters. That way we can't be seen as trying to influence or undermine the UN due to our funding of it and having the headquarters in America, and also so that if everyone is funding it equally, maybe they'll be a little more concerned with the fraud and waste that seems to be the norm at the UN.