Hiding In Your Cupboard

Hiding In Your Cupboard
Banksy's desecration of the Palestinian wall

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

One step for mankind and oh bugger a step backwards

Click the title above for the Timesonline story.

One overlooked story from the US election is California's decision to ban gay marriage. Proposition 8, which stated that marriage is the union only of a man and a woman, was voted on at the same time as the presidential election. Anti-gay marriage supporters won the vote 52.1 - 47.9. It is the first time gay marriage has been banned retro-actively.

It is shameful that on a day when discrimination and those who wish to discriminate took a slap in the face, this backwards step has been taken. What right do those people who voted "no" have to impinge on a person's life in such a manner.

The discrimination of homosexuals is no different to discrimination of any other groups. Opponents may argue dubiously that being gay is a choice. Whether it is a choice or not, a person should not be discriminated against because of any choice they make - provided they are harming no one directly.

Offending narrow-minded people's sensibilities is not reason enough.

Barack Obama - a leader to believe in?

So America now has that rare thing. A leader that inspires people to be better, a phenomenom that draws huge crowds of supporters eager to make good in the world. The last time America had a president like that he was assasinated. Lets hope the same fate does not befall Obama. Footage of McCain supporters calling Obama a terrorist is easy to find and the new president may be considered a target by the far right.

It is also important not to get carried away. The World's problems are not insolvable but they are large and increasing. When Obama talks about change he is addressing the whole world not just American citizens. Across the world people hope that a changed America will solve all our problems.

It won't, it will help, but one man and one concept will not make fundemental change overnight. If there is one lesson to be learnt from the last one hundred years, it is that the World should take responsibility for its own problems and not rely on the shepherding of Superpowers.

The USA's power is waning in the bright sunlight of China and India's economic growth. The USA can no longer hope to provide a moral compass for such powerful nations, they must do this themselves. Human rights abuses in China and the Middle East and abject poverty in many areas of India are things that also must be changed.

Barack Obama cannot be expected to bring about change in these sovereign countries, but we can hope that a new spirit of governance from the USA may seep into the conscience of others and make the planet a better place to live in.