Catholic Charities Issue
RLCyr at aol.com
RLCyr at aol.com
Thu Mar 23 10:20:10 PST 2006
>But I don't think that gay liberation requires forcing churches and
religious organizations to >change either their personal beliefs or their actions
*within the confines of those >organizations*.... We certainly want to prevent
such people from imposing their
>beliefs on the private behavior of gays (and the rest of us, in a wide
range of other ways as >well); but we undermine our principled position if we
then seek to have government impose >restrictions on their private behavior (as
opposed to the laws they advocate).
Ed's post has helped put some thoughts in order for me.
It's my impression that conservative religionists are concerned that secular
recognition of gay marriage and other rights would force them to acknowledge
and condone relationships that they believe are morally wrong. Perhaps this
is true -- but it's not the first time that's happened. It's taken me
several days to come up with a similar situation, but I finally have. People have
been using interracial marriage as a comparison -- I've come up with one
that's much more straightforward: equal treatment of women.
There were, and I believe still are, some very conservative sects (the ones
I'm the most familiar with are Jewish, having spent many years living and
working in NYC) that believe that women should not act or be treated in ways
that are equal to men. Even more mainstream sects believe that interactions
between men and women should be very strictly restricted.
I have no doubt that Title VII led to some very heated discussions among
those adherents. If they wanted to run a business of any substantial size (and
therefore profitability), they would be forced not only to hire women, but to
hire women who most likely did not conform to their standards of proper
dress for women. They would be forced to interact with women at other companies.
They would undoubtedly face situations where female strangers would expect
to shake hands with them. All in all, it was undoubtedly a great change from
what they were used to.
Over the years, though, they've adapted. Yes, some of their adaptation has
been to form more insular communities and neighborhoods, so they can limit
their interactions with "the outside world" to some extent. But others have
simply gotten used to the new way of things. Yes, I'm sure (albeit without
proof) that some discrimination is happening -- or at least discouagement of
people who don't "fit" from continuing in the hiring process -- but it's on a
very small scale.
The religious sects survived, the people practicing them adapted, and women
play a greater role in the marketplace than they did 40 years ago. And
today, I don't hear anyone screaming (in the US at least) that forcing employers
to treat women equally trod on the rights of religious groups and prevented
them from living according to their convictions.
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