Wednesday, June 22, 2005

On human rights, Part IX

Okay, so interestingly enough, among your basic human rights? Not the right to party. That one you've got to fight for.
Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

But what does this mean for me?

Basic lifestyle stuff. Marriage. Family. Property. Freedom of thought, conscience, religion. Everyone has the right to make decisions that affect their own lives, as long as all involved parties consent and no one is harmed in the process. Re: Article 16, note that it doesn't say that any man has the right to marry any woman and vice versa; it just says that men and woman of full age have the right to marry. And that family that we're trying to protect? We're not specifying a family of Mommy, Daddy, and 2.5 kiddles. Just a family. A family is a family, and it's special and worthy of protection - even if Heather really does have two mommies.

Re: the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, I say right on. Everyone gets to pick his or her own religion, and everyone gets to practice it. If you happen to live in a nation that's populated 85 percent by shrimp worshippers, they can't demand that you worship shrimp or get out of their country; they can't hold your behavior to the standards of the Church of Shrimp; they can't insist that you say a prayer to shrimp every time you enter a government building. Conversely, you can't keep them from praying to shrimp in private or gathering to worship at the Church of Shrimp. Everyone has the freedom to their own religion and no one else's.

Just answer the question already.

It means that I can't keep you from getting married, no matter how much it creeps me out, and it means that I can't keep you from worshiping whom and how you want, no matter how much it creeps me out.

Part I: The Preamble; Part II: Articles 1 and 2; Part III: Articles 3 and 4; Part IV: Articles 5 and 6; Part V: Articles 7 and 8; Part VI: Articles 9 and 10; Part VII: Articles 11 and 12; Part VIII: Articles 13, 14 and 15

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