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Tolerance and equality in Spain

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The Spanish Parliament gave final approval today to a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making Spain only the second nation to eliminate all legal distinctions between same-sex and heterosexual unions, according to supporters of the bill.

What is key here is that last bit — absolutely no legal distinction between homosexual and heterosexual couples, and this in a country with a large religious conservative population.

Yet here, in the United States, numerous states have voted to pass opposite legislation — banning homosexual couples from marrying, under the grounds that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The languages may be different, but are the words so different? Are the meanings different?

Apparently so.

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About Alisha Karabinus

  • PseudoErsatz

    Just so I can respond in a satisfactory manner to the blog originator, please let me know how you would define ‘tolerance’ for me, from the two statements below: (reference Gregory Koukl)

    1) True tolerance applies to how we treat people, not how we treat ideas.

    2) Rejection of another’s ideas is a sign of intolerance.

    If you are confused between the two, I’ll give you a few examples:

    A) Hitler had this idea of creating a master race.

    B) Stalin had this idea that purging society of certain citizens would create a better society.

    C) Certain individuals had this idea to crash planes into buildings on 9/11/01 to get back at America for various and sundry reasons.

    D) Certain individuals in society have this idea that there is no such thing as truth statements. (or, to put it another way, some people are absolutely certain that there are no absolutes.)

  • How does a religious fanatic who hates gays and thinks AIDS victims don’t deserve respect get to define “tolerance” within the scope of this argument? Koukl is a fucking asshole.

  • Who’s Kould?

  • Aaman – this is Koukl. Read absolutely anything on his website, particularly the sections of homosexuality, to see why my hatred of the man is justified.

  • 1) True tolerance applies to how we treat people, not how we treat ideas.

    I would say tolerance applies to how we treat people. And I would say that makes fundamentalists right on par with the Taliban.

  • Steve-

    Then I suggest you emigrate, because fundamentalists are in charge and their voter base is growing.

  • John, yes, I know, that’s the 2% ‘mandate’ you are referring to.

    Thanks for the ‘don’t like what we are doing to your country then leave’ sentiment. No, I love this country and I was born and raised here, and I’ll stay here watching you all destroy it all. But until free speech goes away, I’ll be bitching about it the whole time, that’s for sure.

    Fundamentalists have already tried to take my life, twice and have assaulted me several times. Why would I leave now, just because you all are getting finally getting ready to branch out beyond my own community?

  • Hang in there, Steve, the pendulum will swing back, as it must, and it has a sharp blade

  • Thanks Aaman. The pendulum does swing, and nobody knows the sharpness of it’s blade better than those of us who do not fall smack dab in the middle of it all, but this time will be different.

    When the pendulum swings back and pushes fundamentalists ‘back’, nothing will fuel their ‘we are under attack and oppressed’ agenda more. Then watch what happens.

  • Ras Al’Ghul be praised!

  • PseudoErsatz

    Never mind. I respectfully disagree with some ideas that are floated as ‘legimate’ in society. I concurrently make every attempt to respect the person who floats these ideas. If these seem to be incompatible, then my wish is that your mind eventually opens enough so that you see that these concepts are not in opposition to each other. If any human being alive–past, present, future–is under the delusion that every one of their thoughts are equally legitimate, then the state of free thought and intellectual pursuit in this world is clearly in decline.

  • Here’s my issue with banning homosexuals from marrying legally and being allowed the same legal rights as heterosexuals —

    1) Allowing this HURTS no one.
    2) Not allowing it IS abuse. It’s a message that they are lesser individuals, with fewer rights, because they are practicing what some view as a “deviant” lifestyle. They are not afforded equal rights under the law, though that is supposed to be one of the greatest benefits to living in America. Equality and freedom — isn’t that what makes us great? Isn’t that why we’re here?

    So even if we do want to go with the first response, the way we are treating people demonstrates intolerance in my opinion.

  • based on a true story.

    Click on the ‘story synopsis’ link.

    A story being made into a movie about the ‘tolerance’ of right wing fundamentalists.

  • one might easily expect Canada to show they are a bit more civilized in treating their Citizens…

    for hardline Catholic Spain to be the next to follow is no small “miracle”

    wonderous times…

    in comment #6 John B sez..
    *Then I suggest you emigrate, because fundamentalists are in charge and their voter base is growing.*

    i am hoping this is a feeble attempt at humor…when you can, if you would make it clear if this is your actual stance?

    thanks in advance


  • FluffinPoof

    Yo tango una palanka es muy grande!

  • BlogPolice

    Marriage defined. Where? What legal text is available to everyone who would want to define marriage?

    Blacks Law Dictionary….

    Look it up.

    What about U.S.Code? Is marriage defined there?

    If so, what does it state.

    Code, policy, dictionary’s can all be changed. Change them. Then the legal terminology can be adjusted. But change the legal definitions first. Not last.

  • What do you all think of civil unions?

  • Matthew asks…
    *What do you all think of civil unions?*

    can you say “separate but equal” ?

    nuff said?


  • separate but equal.
    Jim Crow for queers.
    billions upon billions spent trying to rework forms. Data entry personnel going postal.

    Lawsuits trying to hash out the mess adding more billions to the cost as we try to sort out interstate relationships.

    In other words complete disaster that still does not bring equality to all citizens.

  • will businesses that give family discounts be required to give them to civil unions too?

    It isn’t equality if they aren’t 100% the same.

  • Then what would you say to one who favors such constitutional amendments in an attempt to reach a compromise to the issue?

  • establishing a sexual “jim crowe law” is NOT a compromise

    and i am against any kind of “amendment” that restricts or limits an Individuals Rights

    you know..like Prohibition?


  • Nobody said civil unions were a compromise. At least not on this thread.

    But there are two very different bodies of thought, so logically a middle ground does exist.

    So how would you bridge the gap?

  • what constitutional amendment are you talking about? One in Spain or here in America? There is no constitutional amendment currently put forth that is an attempt at compromise.

    Rather there is only an attempt by religious folks to modify American historical documents to exclude and oppress based on religious belief. That’s all we have before us right now, nothing else.

  • decent Question…

    i am not certain what would satisfy those opposed to folks getting married

    maybe you could help…how does it hurt, harm, or infringe on anyone’s Rights to have two folks marry?

    once i have a handle on that, maybe i can think about it from both sides clearly


  • Steve, you read my question wrong.

    Repeated, with the qualifier describing the people, not the amendment, highlighted:

    What would you say to one who favors such constitutional amendments in an attempt to reach a compromise to the issue?

    (You know, this is how things get taken out of context in mainstream media and sound bytes are born. YEEEEAAARRRGGGHH! – H. Dean)

  • Gonzo, I’m not sure. Most people just have this gut feeling, “This is the way it’s always been.”

    I’ve heard that the same logic could legalize bestiality and polygamy, but I’m not so sure either of those would really happen.

    There’s a big gap, and it needs to be bridged, not whitewashed or fought to the death.

  • Matthew, my compliments..that is perhaps the most reasonable way i have heard it put…anjd i do agree there is a gap, and i think it can be crossed…how…well i don’t think i am anywhere near smart enough to have the Answer there

    but i do think that reasonable Conversation about it is a great place to start

    i, personally, have no problems with polygamy, for the same reasons i stated above…i just can’t see how it hurts or infringes on anyone’s Rights to allow it

    as for bestiality..where i do find it personally repugnant myself..since legally “beasts” are “property” in this Country…it has no bearing on anythign to do with a discussion of “marriage” and the legal rights and responsibilities pertaining therein…

    i do think you have hit it dead on when you stated “people have this gut feeling”…in that opposition seems to be based on an emotional or religious response, rather than a legal or reasoned one

    and that makes it all the more difficult to establish a meaningful dialogue about it for quite a few folks…

    as i said, Canada i expected…but to have Spain be next is quite wonderous

    whoda thunk it?


  • I did read it wrong. Does a comma go after the highlighted part? (rhetorical).

    Anyway, I’ve said for so long the answer that works for me. There is civil marriage and there is religious marriage. I don’t need my marriage to be performed in a church that doesn’t want to perform it, and I don’t need the endorsement of the fundies and I certainly don’t need a place at their table.

    My relationship, which consists of a twenty year monogamous relationship and includes family/children deserves equal status in terms of legalities, governmental and/or civic recognition.

    But it goes far beyond marriage for me. It includes EVERYTHING when I talk with a fundy. I want my daughter to be able to go to school (right now, it’s not a public school and may never be, but there are millions of kids in the public school system who have gay parents) and I don’t want her to have to be subjected to a ‘disclaimer’ that there are alternatives to her family.

    Legal and governmental AND civic recognition of my family. Rather than try to justify why I should get it, others should try and justify why I should not. They have tried to justify it in court and that’s why they are having to resort to amendments, because they really can’t.

    What you are seeking Matthew, is a way to find me equality while still finding a way to allow bigotry towards my family.

  • about ALL relationships, whether gay, straight, polygamous, or with animals, or whatever else combo you can think of….the gay relationship falls under the ‘two consenting adults’ criteria. Unless the others do too, then they aren’t comparable. So of the ones I listed here (gay/straight/poly/bestiality), that would put gay relationships on par with straight relationships and not the other two.

  • yomama

    “and i am against any kind of “amendment” that restricts or limits an Individuals Rights”

    Gonzo gone libertarian?

  • heh..yomama, i have always stated that i was Independant and belonged to no political “gangs”

    some of my Opinions are progressive, some are more Conservative than you might think…but i do think i have been quite consistant in defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

    nuff said?


  • I agree with what’s already been said — civil unions equate to the same separate but equal bullshit that African-Americans fought to overthrow. Legally, they largely succeeded, but the long fingers of Jim Crow are embedded in the minds of many to this day, and it may be another forty, fifty years before we can boast true racial equality, if ever. Do we want to go through the same thing over sexuality? I don’t. I’ve already seen that it doesn’t work, that it isn’t equality.

    How would I bridge the gap?

    I think the ONLY way to do it fairly is to do what Spain did today — legalize it. No matter how it’s justified, banning homosexual marriage on principal goes against everything America stands for. How can it not? The only reasons not to legalize marriage are grounded in religion, and making laws based from that is akin to setting up a state-sponsored… well, if not religion, then set of beliefs. Natural law should govern this country, not WASP law. That was the basis of the Declaration of Independance and our Constitution — natural law, and the idea that one wo/man’s rights begin where another’s end.

    An it harm none, etc.

  • LargeJohnson


    Were not the Spanish Fascists therefore NAZI’s? And weren’t the NAZI’s renown’s Homosexual Odinists?….

    oops I invoked Godwin’s Law! Blog over. Sorry, I slipped, unhip, oh my… all that work…

  • another traveled link on a “new” name attempting bullshit



  • LargeJohnson

    Hey, It worked for the NAZI’s…. oh shit there I go again….

    Drinks on me… sorry…

  • Posts like LargeJohnson’s make me want to believe it should be illegal for retards to marry.

    –Susswin’s Law

  • LargeJohnson

    Don’t you mean pro-create. I guess theirs a difference.

    Lighten up… It’s Thursday Night, you know half-off and all that.

  • Matthew, what else do you expect from a “big dick” ?

    he’s gonna be a little nuts

    no reason to be teste

    i’m just worries there may be some asshole following him around

    stop me before i pun again!


  • LargeJohnson

    Sorry… I’m typing way too fast..

    BTW Sussman… posts that want to fuck with the constitution for the sake of fucking with the constitution… make me wonder too.

  • LargeJohnson

    Right on Gonzo…. sharp as the proverbial tack. Always

    Seesya later

  • LargeJohnson

    Okay a couple of more:

    I’ll do the stupid thing first and then you shy people follow…

    Stupidity is the basic building block of the universe.

    Never try to get your peter sucked in France.

    Another day, another sausage…

    I want a garden!

    Don’t mind your make-up, you’d better make your mind up.

  • Good for Spain, good for Canada…

    Civilization continues to evolve and progress despite the occasional regression in countries like America. Luckily for the world it appears to be two steps forward for one step back and not vice versa..