Notes from underground

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Archive for the tag “statism”

Same-sex marriage: one cheer for Bermuda

There have been reports that Bermuda has rescinded a law on same-sex marriage that it passed a year ago, and replaced it with one on domestic partnerships.

Bermuda legalized same-sex marriage a year ago. This week it abolished it. – The Washington Post:

In an unusual move, Bermuda has abolished same-sex marriage less than a year after it was legalized, replacing the same-sex unions with domestic partnerships.

Bermuda Gov. John Rankin signed a bill into law Wednesday that reverses an earlier Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. The new law gives domestic partners in the British island territory similar rights as married couples — but without the legal title.

The reports are short on details, but from what I have read it seems to me to be a step in the right direction, and one step towards something that I proposed in a blog post 12 years ago: The State should get out of the marriage business | Notes from underground. I’d be glad to see if some countries went the whole hog, and left marriage to civil society, rather than making it a government prerogative.

Marriage Equality

In Brazil a civil union between a male and two females had been described as “unprecedented”. In Brazil perhaps, but not in the world. They need look no further than our esteemed president.

Unprecedented civil union unites Brazilian trio – CNN.com:

  • In Brazil, a notary has granted a civil union to unite a man and two women
  • The public notary who approved the status says they have the right to be a family
  • Others say it is a violation of the constitution and destroys families
  • The notary is now studying unions for another trio and for a quintet

Now that is the kind of thing I have been advocating for years.

Not that I have been advocating that particular form of ménage à trois, but rather that the state should get out of the marriage business and, if it sees the need for it, register various kinds of social and domestic partnerships without perpetuating the illusion that it somehow creates marriages or has the power to define marriage. See here Notes from underground: The State should get out of the marriage business.

I have suggested that the state can register such partnerships, whatever form they take, in the same manner as it registers births and deaths. The state should no more try to create marriages than it tries to create babies. If it treated the registration of births in the way it treats marrtiage in most countries, we would have decanting factories, as in Aldous Huxley’s book Brave new world.

U.S. defends laptop searches at the border | csmonitor.com

People in the US seem to have a very swivel-eyed idea of privacy. They object to identity documents and the like, yet seem to put up with this sort of thing with hardly a squeak. To me this is real Gestapo/KGB stuff, and carrying an identity document is just part of normal life. It’s funny how cultures differ.

U.S. defends laptop searches at the border | csmonitor.com:

Is a laptop searchable in the same way as a piece of luggage? The Department of Homeland Security believes it is.

For the past 18 months, immigration officials at border entries have been searching and seizing some citizens’ laptops, cellphones, and BlackBerry devices when they return from international trips.

In some cases, the officers go through the files while the traveler is standing there. In others, they take the device for several hours and download the hard drive’s content. After that, it’s unclear what happens to the data.

To me that kind of thing implies that the State owns you, body and soul, and can steal your ideas, your inventions, and your secrets with impunity and no accountability.

It’s what used to happen in South Africa in the bad old days. A fellow called Martin West did a lot of research on African Independent Churches in Soweto. Some of it was published in a book called Bishops and prophets in a black city, but the rest was stored in the Christian Institute offices and seized in an SB raid. It has never reappeared. Months of research just vanished. And now the US is doing the same sort of thing.

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