My "Republicans For Voldemort" shirt is in the mail, elections are coming soon, so it seemed like a good time to say a thing or two about the issues.
Stem Cell Research
i think the easiest way to approach this issue is to reduce it down. I'll start with the man himself, President Bush and his policy in 2001 governing the last set of stem cells that were usable.
1. The derivation process (which begins with the destruction of the embryo) was initiated prior to 9:00 P.M. EDT on August 9, 2001.
2. The stem cells must have been derived from an embryo that was created for reproductive purposes and was no longer needed.
3. Informed consent must have been obtained for the donation of the embryo and that donation must not have involved financial inducements.
Ok, #1 was the time line for government funding to stop. #3 is just common sense. Now lets look at #2. #2 basically says that it's ok to have used an embryo that was created for a fertility treatment, but isn't needed anymore. Mommy and Daddy wanted 1 child, 13 embryos were fertilized, the best few were picked and the rest are deemed unwanted, and will most likely be incinerated. Right there several embryos were created that were never going to be used. If you are truely against stem cell research because it creates an embyo that will be 'killed' then you also must be against fertility treatments that do the same. I'd be pretty interested to see the poll number differences on those two things.
I talked about this previously, but here goes again. First off, when we say gay marriage we can only mean legal marriage/union, that is, a document the government endorses that entitles two people to the the rights of legally married people. The religious interpretation is up to the many different churches and they are entitled to dictate whatever they want on their followers. I understand that for some the whole thing may simply be an issue of semantics between the words marriage and union, but I seriously hope that this is not the only reason they would choose to legally prevent the rights of a whole group of people.
Now from a legal stand point ( to the best of my knowledge ), you can not legally discriminate against a person due to race, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, color, or handicapping condition. It is then illegal to prevent two legally responsible people from entering into a legal marriage on the basis on sex. There is the small issue that the person being discriminated against is not specific since it's the sex of only one of the people that needs to change for it to be 'ok,' however I think that is a pretty weak argument if used. So it comes down to this; to be against legal gay marriage is to be for legal discrimination against a mentally competent adult. The only argument I see at this point is that a gay person is mentally ill in some way. There are lots of studies both ways on this, however there is no conclusive evidence that it is legally an illness. Therefore you can not legally discriminate against it. At this point I suppose a vote against gay marriage is then a vote that being gay is to be mentally ill. This is of course anyone's prerogative, but best to realize what's really going on.
In my view, the best compromise is that the government issue legal civil unions to anyone who wishes and is able, and churches conduct marriage ceremonies. This takes care of the semantic issue which seems to be a big part of things, as well the government is not discriminating against its citizens.