Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The One on Puffs

Kudos to Anbumani Ramadoss. Thanks to his zeal, we'll have a very sensible ban on public smoking from tomorrow. I'm no fan of enacting laws that cannot be enforced. And this smoking ban is very unlikely to save my nostrils. But the larger point is how our laws should be.

Smokers have the right to puff their way to death. So any blanket ban on the use/sale of Tobacco cannot be justified. But the argument that people, especially workers, have the right to a smoke free environment is spot on. Laws should protect the rights of individuals. In this case, a smoker's right to kill himself and my right to save myself.

Ramadoss is also right in criticizing laws that deem homosexuality as criminal. Really, how dare the government and the courts interfere with people's sexual preferences. I'm appalled such a nonsensical law has survived all this while without a successful legal challenge.

Having said that homosexuality is not normal behavior. Its just a medical condition like trans-genders. A genetic misfiring which goes against the laws of natural selection and useless in the advancement of the human gene. So, no thanks to gay-parades.

Incidentally, California is gonna vote on the question of banning gay-marriage next month. A court there had allowed gay-marriages recently. This is a tricky issue. I'm ok with gay-marriage as long as gay couples are denied tax and other family related benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

Anyway, Puff apparently is also a slang for the homosexual male in the UK.


Anonymous said...

>Having said that homosexuality is not >normal behavior. It just a medical >condition like trans-genders. A genetic >misfiring which goes against the laws >of natural selection and useless in the >advancement of the human gene. So, no >thanks to gay-parades

There is always invitro fertlilizn to spread ones gene. Gays have gone this way and successfully procreated.

>I'm ok with gay-marriage as long as gay >couples are denied tax and other family >related benefits enjoyed by >heterosexual couples

I guess where you are coming from is that gay couples cannot procreate and have a family so why enjoy its benefits. Extrapolating this argument would imply only married couples with atleast one child can enjoy these benefits, no ? I know of many heterosexual couples who dont or cannot have kids. Deny them their rights ? Procreate or perish ?

Balaji said...

not sure that IVF helps in genetic advancement. if you are talking of gay woman fertilized invitro from a sperm bank, then thats still heterosexual.

in anycase, if I'm right about gay-ness being a genetic problem, then the child is probably not getting the best genes to take forward.

and as for benefits etc, I don't support Gay couples having children. I'm not sure thats the right environment for a child to grow.

Government cannot encourage gay-marriages. It should just protect the rights of gay-couples. Remember, tax benefits are not rights, just incentives from the state for the institution of marriage.

I support gay-marriage mostly for protecting gay-couples from each other. Like false rape charges or property claims etc.

I'm also ok with the suggestion of giving "civil-union" status which just false short of marriage.

Arun said...

banning smoking from public places is a good move. although there shud be smoke zones in those public places then and/or if there is no non-smoker within some X radius esp in nights, then smoking can be allowed but this cud be abused.

gujrat has even banned alcohol sale in the state. thats probably extreme.

Arun said...

how abt fining littering and spitting on the road, its much worse than smoking.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot more to it than mere tax benefits. I earn and support my wife. My wife enjoys significant benefits through marriage to me and if I were gay I would want my gay-partner to have the same. Who said gayness is due to a genetic problem ? It could and maybe a genetic difference for all I care but to go as far and call it a problem is judgemental. We arent able to do squat about creationism being taught in school and you want to preach genetics !! Though particularly immaterial to this discussion, gayness has been proved to be a natural occurrence in other spieces too and there is nothing scientific yet to suggest that it is abnormal. And invitro fertilizn. do not advance genes !! When was everything about gene advancement ? I do believe nature (genes, if I may) and nurture are as important. Yes, I do agree you may have a point that gay parents may not be an appropriate environment for kids but it is all about human's reaction to change. If the state does not believe that children will grow into healthy adults with gay parents then poor gays but I sure dont vote for that state. Well, who is the govt. to frigging support marriage anyway ? That is the institution of the church.

I think the state should keep their noses off marriage. Bring in the household member concept. Marriage belongs to the church and that is where it rightfully should be.

BTW, I like marriage/living-together more for the love, emotional support and stability it brings to my life more than the promise of kids. Everyone, irrespective of his/her sexual orientation is entitled to it. Making them feel different by treating them differently is a no-no. And to quote Russell Peters "India has a population crisis. They could use a couple of homos". Gays are fine, support them or leave them alone.

Balaji said...

hmm, well I'm indeed supporting gays by asking for the repeal of the law that deems homosexuality as criminal.

but as I said tax benefits are incentives from the state. whether one likes it or not, a heterosexual family with children is a social model worthy of government support.

I can't see why the same benefits should be offered to gay couples. then it would outright silly not to offer them to single roommates too.

if marriage were a church institution, why are people fighting for favorable laws? as if church is gonna allow gay-marriages.

genes ... well atleast some people claim to look for a 'purpose' in their lives. there it is!

Anonymous said...

>hmm, well I'm indeed supporting gays by asking for the repeal of the law that deems homosexuality as criminal.

When I said "Support gays ..." I did not mean to be passive aggressive on you. Really, not. It was more like a slogan thing. I wouldnt waste my time here if you thought it was criminal anyway.

> a heterosexual family with children is a social model worthy of government support.

My whole point is this is wrong. Gays can have a family and they need support too. The eventual reproduction like you cared to point out has to be heterosexual but whose business is that anyway other than the sperm and egg donors and the hospital. This happens among heterosexual couples too who cannot reproduce normally, sorry, in the regular fashion.

> then it would outright silly not to offer them to single roommates too.

This is what I meant by household member concept . To accomodate livein relationships, etc. You live with a person who is an adult and who you consider to be your significant other and you dont need a marriage certificate for that. If you choose to get married, great.

>if marriage were a church institution, why are people fighting for favorable laws?

Marriage is still not a church institution, thats why.

> as if church is gonna allow gay-marriages.

Exactly, no body cares what the church thinks ;-) after the state is fine with it. You dont think these gays got into their relationships with their churchs' approval ;-) ;-) !!

Anonymous said...

>I'm ok with gay-marriage as long as >gay couples are denied tax and >other family related benefits >enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

Let us assume that medicine advances to a point where almost perfect sex alterations are feasible. Is a gay couple allowed to enjoy normal benefits if one of them would undergo a sex change procedure?

By the way , homosexuality is no more "unnatural" than the kind of opposition it generates. If you wish to be clear, you should prefix all related arguments with : "IF homosexuality is unnatural..."

In my opinion, homosexuality would not have received such notoriety if it were not for the Bible, and religions in general.

It is somewhat amusing that in India, in spite of all the legislative rigmarole from British-era,references to homosexuality receives almost the same taboo status as its 'natural' counterpart. In fact, it seems that gays are somewhat tolerated at various levels in contrast with other nations.

Balaji said...

hmm ... you are missing my point.

i said tax benefits are government incentives for heterosexual couples who'll perhaps procreate and make a family. so tax benefits are not rights and gay couples cannot claim the same.

ofcourse, homosexuality is natural. didn't i say that in the post itself? but i don't buy the argument that its as NORMAL as its heterosexual counter-part. natural selection will not allow that.

>> homosexuality would not have received such notoriety if it were not for the Bible, and religions in general.

right. I don't imagine any religion taking a favorable opinion of gay-sex. neither the abrahamic ones which'll regard it as some interference with creation nor the dharmic ones which'll regard it as a waste at best and a perversion at worst.

regarding india: yes, I guess there can be no organized opposition to homosexuality here. hence my surprise at the nasty law we seem to have on the subject.

Anonymous said...

>natural selection will not allow >that

That is at best an assumption , which lacks evidence, which is probably only valid when there is an overwhelming number of gays so as to seriously inhibit procreation of the species*. It is no better than arguing that homosexuality being a nuance of the animal mind, will continue to exist as long as the minds exist. If we insist on 'aiding' natural selection in the form of legislative counter measures, isn't it just willful suppression of a section of the society ; an act without due reflection?

Further, I don't know whether legislators do take Darwin into account when laying out the law.
I am inclined to think that the denial of family benefits to gay couples on the basis of evolutionary arguments is just a novel interpretation of the law; one that seemingly makes sense because it contains a couple of scientific terms. If the law needs to be that way, then there should be a more compelling argument. Isn't it much more amenable to human thought to debate whether a couple, gay or not, is eligible for family benefits on the basis of the degree to which they satisfy the functional model of the social unit called family . You have to agree that this is not the same case as the single roommates scenario.
That comparison can be made only by knowingly ignoring multiple issues.

It is interesting to note that lesbians are more tolerated than hombre homos . I would consider this fringe issue, a discussion of which would reveal the underlying nuances of the human sexual psyche , more amenable to debate. You seem to agree that the way they have sex is none of the lawmakers business, although I would say that most of the intelligent people who have some argument against homosexuality are either afraid or too ashamed to argue that it is the particular hombre to hombre sexual part that should be objected to on rational grounds. I am of this latter opinion; that it is comprehensible why some people would consider sodomy objectionable .

As an aside, I know of some creationist colleagues who object to homosexuality on evolutionary grounds. Fortunately these persons are not too influential in any way.

*-Even in that hypothetical situation it is likely that gays, who are generally more sophisticated, would intentionally do a favor by choosing to procreate for a while :-) .