South Africans: Now They Have More Rights Than You

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If you hear any gay Americans chanting "Uhuru Sasa!" today, this is why:

[South Africa's] Parliament today approved the controversial Civil Unions Bill, which provides for same-sex marriage, the first African country to do so and one of only a few in the world.

The bill provides for opposite-sex and same-sex couples of 18 years or older to solemnise and register a voluntary union, either by marriage or civil partnership.

Same-sex couples can be married by civil marriage officers and such religious marriage officers who consider such marriages not to fall outside the tenets of their religion.

Stanley Kurtz hasn't weighed at length in yet, presumably confusing his peers by shaving his head and mumbling orders to "exterminate the brutes."

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  1. don’t they have something in their constitution guaranteeing the right to abortion too?

    I wonder how all that liberalism is working out for them.

  2. It occurs to me that we libertarians should be working to get the state out of the marriage business altogether instead of cheering at one more foray into the straight jacket of laws governing every aspect of our lives.

    I understand the pragmatic arguments and the disparity in legal treatment between unmarried couples and those couples who are married.

    Aside from that, marriage is in the eye of the beholder and the sanction of the glorious state doesn’t mean squat. People should be free to make their own arrangements without any input or rule making from the government.

  3. +1 law = +1 right

  4. See, South Africa already has an epidemic of bestiality, pedophilia, and incest, so it’s not a big deal if they legalize gay marriage. That’s the key difference between our two countries – we need to keep those things at bay here in the US, where decency still has a chance.

    Why, I bet even their religious leaders have been tainted with acceptance of homosexuality!

  5. South Africans: Now They Have More Rights Than You

    Unless your a white property owner.

  6. Is this all about the “down low” that my kids were whispering about lately?

  7. First they let dem niggers vote, now they let dem faggots git married! Its enough to make a white man want to leave the country, I tell ya!

  8. It occurs to me that we libertarians should be working to get the state out of the marriage business altogether instead of cheering at one more foray into the straight jacket of laws governing every aspect of our lives.

    Perhaps, yes, but that sentiment is too often used as a dodge for me to sympathize. For that matter, getting rid of government sanction of marriage is only slightly less pie-in-the-sky than going back on the gold standard, while legalizing gay marriage is eminently achievable within the next generation.

    This is a situation where some libertarians are, at best, making the perfect the enemy of the good. At worst, I suspect many of not being terribly excited about equal protection under the law for gay folks.

    Aren’t you married, btw?

  9. My understanding of most/all of the “anti-gay marriage” amendment/laws here in the good ol USA..the “problem” is that they reach way beyond marriage and into the whole “you’re a homo, your lover can’t see you in the hospital or watch your kids or feed your pets or drive your car or touch your penis,etc” ( or you are straight but not married, in some cases)

    So I guess my stance is, of course from a purist libertarian perspective there should be no laws sanctioning relationships. However surely it is is preferable to have laws with equal treatment rather than the alternative.

    I dont know if I am making any sense here.

  10. Johncjackson – Yes, you are.

  11. but that sentiment is too often used as a dodge for me to sympathize. . . . At worst, I suspect many of not being terribly excited about equal protection under the law for gay folks.

    Nonsense. Those opposed, specifically the religious conservatives of the GOP are rightly to be suspected of such sentiments – but find me one of them that used the “government shouldn’t be in the marriage business” argument as a dodge. The libertarians I’ve seen making that argument have given no other evidence that it is anything but a principled stand against government involvement in personal lives. Again I ask for one example of someone using that argument where there is any reason to suspect it is a dodge.

    Personally, and so I don’t get accused of not favoring equal protection for gays, let me make it clear that while I would, of course, much prefer to see government out of marriage, I will agree with you that it isn’t likely in the foreseeable future so in the mean time any consenting adults ought to be able to avail themselves of the benefits of marriage, period.

  12. Again I ask for one example of someone using that argument where there is any reason to suspect it is a dodge.

    Married individuals, presumably. Perhaps it’s less of a “dodge”, exactly, than an excuse to do nothing at all. I certainly don’t see anyone passing up their chance to get straight-married out of principle, save for gay marriage sympathizers and queer-agenda folks who oppose marriage on other grounds entirely. Nor, for that matter, do I see anyone, except for the aforementioned queer-agenda individuals, doing any serious agitation against government-sanctioned marriage.

    I do, see, however, see self-proclaimed libertarians opposing equal protection for gay individuals on the grounds that it constitutes “bigger government”. I find this position odious.

  13. [South Africans: Now They Have More Rights Than You

    …Unless you’r(e) a white property owner.]

    I think you’re partly confusing me with Zimbabwe, dood.

    Yes, in SA, as in a number of post-colonial African nations, most of the land (80%) is still in the hands of a few white owners, often foreign businesses.

    There hasnt been the same kind of state-sponsored land grabbing in SA that there’s been elsewhere (like zimbabwe)… although i’m not really an expert on the topic, my last ex-gf was (UNDP covering Africa). Anyway, your point holds, but I think it would be wrong to see SA as uniquely problematic in this area./

  14. I do, see, however, see self-proclaimed libertarians opposing equal protection for gay individuals on the grounds that it constitutes “bigger government”. I find this position odious.

    I would find that stance odious as well. However, I still am curious to see an actual libertarian argument that specifically opposes gay marriage on those grounds rather than one that simply makes the case for the desirability of getting government out of marriage. In other words, I think most libertarians want government out of marriage on principle, and use the gay marriage debate as a chance to say so – I don’t see many of those same libertarians using that principled preference as an affirmative argument against gay marriage in practice.

  15. Stephen,
    I suspect many of not being terribly excited about equal protection under the law for gay folks.

    I disagree entirely, gays will find more acceptance around libertarians than almost anywhere except West Hollywood.

    Maybe I’m just out of touch, but the philosophy seems to have been abandoned for a new approach that is just as happy with legislation de jour as any Republican or Democrat, provided, of course, that the end result is palatable.

    As I clearly said, I understand the pragmatics of the gay marriage issue and in the context of modern America it is more difficult for gay couples to function. So, we give them the same options for marriage. I don’t really care if we do and as I’ve stated elsewhere, I don’t understand why anyone cares.

    But somebody needs to say, wait a minute, aren’t we the people who want to see less government?

    Then again, maybe it goes to incrementalism and you have to do what works. But I suspect that many of the same libertarians that condemn school vouchers are perfectly fine with state approved gay marriage.

  16. I disagree entirely, gays will find more acceptance around libertarians than almost anywhere except West Hollywood.

    You sure about that, TWC? I can think of at least a few regular commentors here who have some work to do.


    I would find that stance odious as well. However, I still am curious to see an actual libertarian argument that specifically opposes gay marriage on those grounds rather than one that simply makes the case for the desirability of getting government out of marriage.

    If I were more of a Gunnels/Dave W. sort, I’d be able to go back in teh archives and find such posts.

    Really, though, if libertarians (or Libertarians) want GLBT individuals to take them at their word about being accepting of gay people, it takes a little bit more than inactive tut-tutting about government-sanctioned marriage.

  17. I can think of at least a few regular commentors here who have some work to do.

    Mrs TWC regularly reminds me when I’m in a snit that many of the commenters around here are not actual libertarians.

  18. SA is going the way of Zimbabwe in the near future. The news is grim. But when it happens expect no one to really care because he rights of white property owners mean nothing to the world because they are “oppressors”. When the blacks kill them, rape them and take their land, they are “liberators”.

  19. asegreg,

    Karma can be a bitch that way.

  20. Karma? Is that how it works?

    Excuse me. My Karma ran over your dogma.

  21. This is from Daily Brikbat

    We’re Through Talking
    October 9, 2006

    South Africa’s Agriculture and Land Commissioner has given white farmers six monthss to agree sell their land to the government. Or else it will seize their land. Lulu Xingwana says the government has already identified several properties for seizure. Xingwana blames disagreements over prices for the slow pace of the government’s land refrom plans.

  22. I think you’re partly confusing me with Zimbabwe, dood.

    Yes, in SA, as in a number of post-colonial African nations, most of the land (80%) is still in the hands of a few white owners, often foreign businesses.

    There hasnt been the same kind of state-sponsored land grabbing in SA that there’s been elsewhere (like zimbabwe)… although i’m not really an expert on the topic, my last ex-gf was (UNDP covering Africa). Anyway, your point holds, but I think it would be wrong to see SA as uniquely problematic in this area./

    Land Value Tax, anyone?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax

    I will now brace myself for the onslaught. (assuming this thread is not dead)

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