Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mini-Catalog of U.S. Tardiness

Now it's Portugal. How the small, ostensibly Roman Catholic countries continue to race past us socially. Today's Salon has a list of nationwide same-sex marriage and civil-union locales, which does not include the old U.S.A. Then, it piles up our LGBT shortcomings.

I've noted discouragingly often that we are a lumbering country in social and civil rights. For a people who built their personal mythology on action, we sure are constipated when it comes to liberties for all.

We can find some amusement that both Iberian nations enabled SSM, as has the very Catholic Massachusetts. If we set aside the Scandinavian countries, we might suppose you have to have a population dominated by fundamental religious trappings to break out of old-line subjugation. Then, there's South Africa...

At least those other nations don't have to face our states' rights issues. We have a few centuries of permitting our sundry states to follow our constitution in setting rules for anything not specifically allocated to the federal government. That certainly is more restrictive than a Portugal.

Another amusement is that the anti-gay and anti-SSM forces here keep trying to make the Defense of Marriage Act's one man/one woman definition of marriage expand to the state level. You'd think they would avoid setting up a national law that would end up being a single target for conversion to adding SSM. Meh. They're emotional and can't help themselves.

So, here we are as the slow kids in the rights race, being lapped by more socially agile nations. We'll get there.

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