On Marriage Equality

I wrote this about a year ago: Human Nature, Humility, and Homosexuality, and thought it was worth putting it up again today, given the Supreme Court cases on Marriage Equality being heard today and tomorrow.    

Earlier this month, Lech Walesa, former President of Poland and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said that: “They (homosexuals) have to know that they are a minority and adjust to smaller things, and not rise to the greatest heights. A minority should not impose itself on the majority.” Walesa is not American and his ideas are not relevant to the Supreme Court hearings. But his words elicit two thoughts: first, a Nobel Peace Prize does not confer immunity against illogical bigotry (who knew?). Second,  it exposes the fallacy in the argument that human rights are dependent on numbers, and that those in the minority should ‘stay in their place.’ 

I have an old, dog-eared and annotated book of quotations from M.K. Gandhi that my wife gave me about 17 years ago. I still look through it from time to time. Among the quotes, one seems appropriate here: 

“I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number. It means in its nakedness that in order to achieve the supposed good of 51 per cent the interest of 49 per cent may be, or rather, should be sacrificed. It is a heartless doctrine and has done harm to humanity. The only real, dignified, human doctrine is the greatest good of all.”

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