C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Conservative, Not Fanatical

Andrew Sullivan on David Cameron's drive for marriage equality in the United Kingdom:
In Britain, where the cause of marriage equality is being championed by a Conservative prime minister (rendering him, by US standards, a socialist Satanist), a new poll finds a plurality of 45 - 36 - in favor of turning same-sex civil partnerships into civil marriages. Another new poll finds very similar results: 43 - 32. Among those under 24, the support for full marriage equality is 66 percent. Among those over 60, it is 21 percent - an even more extreme generation gap than in the US. But for even the over-60s, 71 percent favor either civil marriage or civil partnerships with all the legal rights of civil marriage. Britain is light years ahead of the US now on this issue - because conservatism there is not in the grip of religious fundamentalism.

But it's particularly gratifying to see in Britain how the Conservatives are actually leading the way in reforming this institution to include every Brit, gay or straight. That's in the tradition of Burke and Disraeli, who both believed that institutions needed to be reformed in order to remain the same in a constantly changing society. Cameron used this issue - full inclusion of and equality for gays - and an aggressive response to climate change as the key indicators that he was a modern conservative, not a religious reactionary. In the US, these two issues have now become fundamentalist litmus tests. To be a conservative in America means implacable hostility to any recognition of gay relationships and denial of the existence of climate change. Both positions are driven by religious fundamentalism.

In a sane and rational American landscape, the Republican Party ought to look and sound a lot more like this.  But I'm not holding my breath.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails