Quite a few thoughts swimming around in my head, but not enough time right now to do any real writing, so instead I'm soliciting opinions (I hope to God there's a Republican or someone conservative who can offer a differing - although logical - point of view here, because I'm afraid I'm preaching to the choir again ... ). I'll be posting in more depth on each of these after I get some feedback:
- Hate crimes laws. If a crime is committed out of hatred for a particular ethnic group/race/religion/gender/sexual orientation - should it be punished more severely than an "ordinary" crime? Why or why not? Is adding sexual orientation to hate crime laws "special treatment" or justifiable?
- "Gay marriage". "Domestic Partnerships". "Civil Unions". Equality? Special rights? The end of traditional marriage and an affront to society? How would any of these terms change our current structure of recognizing relationships as far as the current civil rights granted to people are concerned? Do same-sex couples really need this right/protection/special treatment (whatever your favorite term is)?
- Continuing the civil union theme - Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. Mr. Giuliani has changed his position regarding civil unions and is now against them (no Waffle Houses out here in the Pacific Northwest, unfortunately). Umm ... wasn't he pro-civil unions a while back? Now, I'm not saying that only Republican candidates let their opinions be swayed by public opinion ... but is there some chance that he's pandering to the ultra-conservative Right by making this change in his beliefs? Is he channeling Mitt Romney? Should a politician - regardless of whether or not he or she running for President - say what their base wants to hear, or say what they believe - no matter what the ramifications?
- Apparently same-sex unions/marriage/domestic partnerships/can openers is my theme: If you do not believe in same sex (whatever you want to call the "union"), why not? What rights should same-sex couples have? What rights should they not have? And, most importantly - why should/shouldn't they?
Okay, I'm done for now. I do have opinions to state (HEY!!! Stop it. I see you rolling your eyes over there ... and yes I hear that snickering ... ) on these items, but I'd rather hear your thoughts before spouting them off.