Friday, December 21, 2007

Podium Positions: Social Issues

My position on "social" issues.

Two things need to happen. One...overturn Roe v. Wade, so we can go forward with the next step. That is step number the legislative responsibility of this issue back in the hands of the states.

What this allows for is better representation of the people on such a bitterly divisive issue. For instance, a state like Massachusetts may allow abortion and provide funding for it and will have the support of the majority of the population. However, a state like Utah has a majority of anti-abortionists, so the will of the people in that state would be different and would probably lead to no practice of abortion within that state's borders. However, I would also not be opposed to allowing people to travel from a non-abortion state to a pro-abortion state to get an abortion if they so desire.

While I'm personally opposed to abortion, the only real federal actions I would approve of in this situation would be upholding the ban on partial-birth abortions, as that is infanticide, in my opinion.

Gay Marriage
Again, this is a state-to-state issue. What may play in socially liberal states will not play in socially conservative states. Represent the population, but as with the abortion laws, state governments must also pay attention to opinion changes and demographic shifts to keep laws up-to-date with the mood of the populous.

Socially moderate/conservative states may want to at least allow civil unions with marriage-style rights. Let the actual term "marriage" be determined by the churches, not the state.

I personally do not oppose gay marriage or civil unions, and I think that some relaxation and/or compromise in this area would be good for Republicans, who probably don't realize how much of the vote they are losing in this demographic due to their current positions, anyway. However, given the anti-homosexual opinions of many social conservatives within the party, I don't know if that will happen anytime soon.

I also believe that we have not come to a scientific consensus on whether or not homosexuality is a result of "nature" or "nurture" (I believe that both of those are roots of homosexuality, as I've seen scientific research that supports both theories), but either way we should not discriminate based on this. I don't believe it to be very Christian to do so, to be honest.

Civil Rights/Discrimination
Basically, we need to move towards putting everyone on an equal plane of treatment. It should not matter whether you are White ,Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, African, Male, Female, Transgendered, Straight, Gay, or Bisexual. "Hate Crimes" should cover crimes against any race/gender/orientation, with no extra or special punishment for crimes against certain groups.

In the workplace, we need to get to the point of hiring the best people for the job. We are in the 21st century, we do not need to place quotas based on race, gender, or orientation (though, I don't know of any place that says "you must hire X number of gays", but you get my point).

Understandably, this is not a goal that can be achieved overnight, but society needs to start moving in that direction, as it is not fair for someone to get special (or detrimental) treatment because of their race, gender, or orientation.

On a federal level, most of the social issues need to be deferred back to the states. Issues such as abortion and gay marriage, due to their controversial and divisive manner, should have their legality and funding determined by the states. States whose populous support these issues can deem it legal in their state, and states whose populous do not support these issues do not have to make it legal.

We should also move anti-discrimination legislation to treat all people equally.

Handing social issues back to the states is a healthy, federalist approach to these issues that tend to be create bitterness and tension between people of different ideological standpoints. Also, it allows for smaller-scale experimentation with various types of legislation, which is a way for people to find out if certain legislative actions are feasible and functional before it gets introduced on a national level.

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