I regularly read Consider the Tea Cosy; while I don’t agree with everything, I find it interesting and though provoking.
There’s a recent post up by Aoife on the gay marriage referendum currently on in Ireland. There’s two points that I find particularly interesting.
The first is that although the referendum is inevitably about gay marriage, that doesn’t mean it’s the only front on which the debate is had:
We could do that. Alternatively? We could take back the framing of this year’s events. We could make a decision that this time we as a community show respect for the very diversity that we’re supposed to celebrate. We could take that platform that we have, and decide that we say what we use it for.
You see, if we do that then we’re taking ownership of that platform that we’ve spent so many years building up. Now that we have the ears of the country, we’re using them for our purposes and on our terms.
Marriage equality is important, yes, and we continue to advocate for that. But we do so without erasing queer lives, and we do so while still shouting about the non-marriage-related injustices that we face all the damn time.
They might be right. That might lose us a few middle-Ireland votes. But it might not. And if we do that- if we campaign in a way that doesn’t shove many of our community back under carpets and into closets- we will be forcing this society to not only tolerate us, but to genuinely respect and celebrate us.
This is a really interesting point. In some senses a tactical consideration that cuts to the heart of a lot of difficult political questions, but I think a hugely important one.
The other thing I found interesting is the first subsection Aiofe addresses – ‘A thing feeling inevitable doesn’t make it okay’. This is Hume’s ‘Is-ought‘ problem – the relationship between what we see in the world, and how we then arrive at a normative system. In various conversations I’ve been surprised by the number of people who’ve not maintained the distinction.
I haven’t read as much as I’d like on the topic, but I’m hoping to do some more this year – particularly on some of Gewirth’s work. But more of that to come in future posts.