Ahh, pleasant lunch. A few amusing things, mostly from youtube:I find this issue interesting - some religious groups are unhappy at new gay rights laws in England, claiming that they broadly mandate that gays are given equal access to all goods/facilities/services. Looking at the details, they have what might be some legitimate concerns - do we want to mandate that equally:
Personally, I don't buy that this is anti-christian discrimination in any sense - it's the principles/ideas that are at stake, not the christian identity. I do see the concerns though. My intuition is to separate services that are integral to the faith/philosophy from those that are intended to service a community in a largely secular meaning - telling them that their community must be society at large and that they cannot discriminate there while not intervening with positions that are not largely secular seems like a decent line to draw. If the primary role of a hotel is for religious purposes (that is, it is visited as part of a pilgrimage or for meditation or something), then it seems ok to me to permit it to discriminate ("hotel" might not be the right word for this kind of thing). Most hotels are not meant for that, and adoption agencies are similarly about adoption, not religion. Religious halls, if they're used solely as such (e.g. never for public purposes like rallies or adoption) seem like they should be run as private, discrimination-permitted areas. At least, that's an intuition I'd be interested in continuing to flesh out and play with to see if it can become a decent public policy. If not, something else could be found. I realise this would be a comprimise, but most public policy decisions are a comprimise by nature.
- hotels must rent out rooms to people regardless of sexuality
- religious halls must provide equal space for marriage and similar for gay weddings
- private/public/semiprivate bars/clubs need to accept people regardless of gender?
- religious adoption agencies need to allow gay adoption?
I'm also pleased at Chavez's pending nationalisation of a number of U.S. oil companies (among other things).