Wednesday, August 12, 2009

human rights = non-partisan

Andrew Sullivan pointed to this LATimes interview with former Solicitor General Ted Olson last week. It's worth reading in its entirety. He'll be arguing against Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court, and while he's working alongside prominent liberal individuals and organizations (David Boies, the ACLU), his argument as to why legalizing gay marriage is perfectly aligned with what he sees as core conservative values should give shouters on both sides pause:
It is a conservative value to respect the relationship that people seek to have with one another, a stable, committed relationship that provides a backbone for our community, for our economy. I think conservatives should value that.

The argument for equal rights to marry is not a political football that should be used to score points. It's a question of whether our belief in human rights for all is a non-negotiable founding principle, or not. Equality for all is not an instant achievement -- it takes time and struggle. But the movement needs to be constant, in one direction. With human rights issues a victory is not of one faction over another, it's the triumph of justice over its opposite. Also pertinent, from the same interview with Patt Morrison:

We don't learn anything if we surround ourselves by people who think the same way we do.
Something worth remembering for those who hate critics of the President simply because they're critics of the President. Or, as the Economist put it last week,
He has been curiously ill-served by a press short of useful criticism, with liberal America prepared only to debate what sort of water he walks on best, while conservative radio hosts argue over when exactly he became a communist.

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