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Rights v. Privileges

Timothy Kincaid

May 3rd, 2011

A lesbian woman came up to me and said, ‘why are you denying me my right?’ I said, ‘well, because it’s not a right.’ It’s a privilege that society recognizes because society sees intrinsic value to that relationship over any other relationship.

- Former US Senator Rick Santorum speaking about adoption

Those who seek to institutionalize inequality based on their own biases like to say, “that’s not a right, that’s a privilege.” And implied in this statement (often accompanied by a smirk) is the notion that some people deserve preferential treatment and others deserve lesser treatment and that privileges can be doled out or restricted by whim.

You just aren’t good enough, you see. These are privileges for other people, those deemed worthy.

But besides being juvenile, this response displays a fundamental ignorance of the US Constitution. The clause under which discrimination is addressed is not worded in the way that they assume:

Fourteenth Amendment, Section One

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the PRIVILEGES or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [emphasis added]

You see, Senator Frothy Mix, whether adoption is a right of citizens or a privilege of citizenship, it still is protected from arbitrary applicaion. Oh, and by the way, you really are a pompous ass.

(hat tip JMG)

Comments

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Pliny
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

If adoption is any sort of right, it is the right of children to have homes and families.

Santorum’s really living up to his name with this load.

enough already
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Is it just me, or have those among the Christians who hate us recently abandoned their lie of loving us completely?

It reminds me of one of our older dogs, on her way to have her teeth cleaned a few years back.

The second she realized we were on the road to the vet’s…she pulled up sharp on the parking brake lever.

Something we always do when we park the car.

It did her no good – but that same desperation is showing in the micro-motions of Slaggie Gilamonster’s jaw, in Ms. Perkin’s twitch, in La Barbra’s loose left wrist…they are running scared.

I’d be happy, but never forget: A wounded rat still bites – and it’s bit still spreads filth and disease.

Edwin
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Santorum is another pompus a**. I don’t know why people like him think they are
so much better than anybody else. just a full time JERK.

RWG
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

I’m glad you wrote this article. It’s exactly what I was thinking regarding the notion of privilege.

One element of a sociopathic personality, like Santorum’s, is an elevated sense of entitlement. Another element is a lack of empathy for others, which he displays every time he opens his mouth about gay and lesbian Americans.

TampaZeke
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

That’s EXACTLY what Southern racists used to say about voting in the 50’s. “It’s not a right, it’s a privilege!”

Timothy (TRiG)
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

I’m with Pilney on this. Adoption (and fostering) are for the benefits of the kids, not the parents. So it isn’t a right*. But that doesn’t make Rick Santorum any less of a bloviating arsehole.

TRiG.

* Which is why UK authorities have twice stopped homophobes from working as foster parents. It’s in the interests of the kids.

Timothy Kincaid
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Adoption and fostering should be based on the best interest of the children.

The right/privilege to apply and to be considered on an equal basis cannot be denied to gay people without due process or equal protections under the law. Even if Frothy Mix does not see their intrinsic value.

David in Houston
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Completely agree with RWG. Santorum truly IS a sociopath. Which explains why is so delusional to think that he could become president some how.

WMDKitty
May 3rd, 2011 | LINK

As long as children find forever families, I’m good. It doesn’t matter if those families are straight, gay, single-parent, or purple with green dots, so long as they are loving and supportive.

Mihangel apYrs
May 4th, 2011 | LINK

every child has a RIGHT to be fostered or adopted. It is a privilege to be allowed to adopt, but that must be based on what is best for the child, and not an arbitrary blanket ban or shoo-in

b
May 6th, 2011 | LINK

To you, Mr. Timothy Kincaid, I must give you a cyber high-five for this post; every single word I agree with entirely. And while I know we should aspire to treat everyone, even those who hate or mobilize against us, as we would want to be treated, I just can’t help but think that the final line to this posting is COMPLETELY deserved.

Thanks to you and the rest of the Box Turtle Bulletin for inspiring me daily to not give up and stay true to myself no matter what happens.

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