September 10, 2006

Know a Liberal: Gay Marriage

(This post is another in my personal 'Know a Liberal' series. Note that the category is Know a Liberal, not Know all Liberals)

If two adults love each other and wish to declare that love publicly and commit to each other, they should be able to do so.

I absolutely do not understand the fear or hatred or whatever the heck is the motivation behind the Defense of Marriage Act that Clinton signed. Even more ridiculous is Bush's proposal for a Constitutional Amendment "protecting marriage". Protecting marriage from what? With the most recent available numbers putting the divorce rate in the USA at 43% it would appear that we heterosexuals don't have such a good track record when it comes to respecting the sanctity of marriage.

As far as marriage needing to be between two individuals of the opposite sex, just why is that? It seems to me that this 'requirement' is based on individual prejudice. That prejudice may well come from one's religious affiliation, but that should have no bearing whatsoever on public law. Many religions have rules or teachings to which others do not adhere. Some Jews wear a yarmulke (skullcap); muslimas might wear a khimar (headscarf); Hindus might refrain from eating meat. Religious practices differ widely, and as long as these practices do not restrict the rights of non-believers, that is fine. Preventing two people from marrying on the basis of one's own religious beliefs is wrong.

Posted by Joe Litton | September 10, 2006 in Know a Liberal, Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 02, 2006

Know a Liberal: Gun ownership / gun control

I am a liberal. To many (especially those who unfortunately rely on the likes of Fox "News" for their information), that immediately defines everything about me, and there is no need to even bother with an attempt at further definition. Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and the other prophets of the Right have already spoken.

Well, just as there are all manner of individuals who regard themselves as "conservative", there are many different views among self-declared liberals. Time for some clarification to hopefully dispel (or confirm :) some of the stereotypes.

So I'm starting a little series to talk about how THIS self-proclaimed liberal feels about various issues. Today's topic in the 'Know a Liberal' series: guns.

I don't own a gun. But I've been considering it for 20 or 30 years, and may buy one this year (or next ...or never). I enjoy shooting -- shotguns, rifles, pistols, whatever. Though I certainly don't go shooting very often (sometimes years go by between outings at a range). I'm not a great shot (especially with revolvers), but not horrible either. There is absolutely no reason for any civilian in the USA to own an assault weapon. Period. There is a Constitutional right to own a rifle, shotgun, handgun, etc ... firearms that are legitimate for hunting and protection. Concealed weapons permits are fine by me; gun safety education should be required before being granted a concealed weapons permit.

The reason for starting with a topic of Guns? Well several of us at a recent Drinking Liberally meeting were talking about how we like to shoot and were talking about getting together at a local range to do just that. And we were also chatting about how it seems that the stereotype of liberals is that we are all for registering all guns, or flat-out prohibiting ownership or something. Nope.

Posted by Joe Litton | September 2, 2006 in Know a Liberal, Politics | Permalink | Comments (4)