Neil Ferguson Posted about 1 year ago How does the sum total of ALL US healthcare costs compare to the sum total of ALL US health insurance premiums paid by Americans, annually? Good questions. I may venture into the statistics another day. For now, I'm interested in the rights aspect of the subject. First, my presumptions...there is a difference between a right, and the right thing to do. Civil rights and human rights are by nature different. Of course these often overlap; human rights inform civil rights, and civil rights can illuminate human rights. Human rights are innate, based upon the intrinsic worth of human beings. We accept that we do not grant these rights, and are not to restrict them by any means, but especially political force. One back-of-the-envelope rule I use is that exercising human rights have costs, but we automatically bear them without weighing the trade-offs. Civil rights are dependent upon the society of origin, and are granted by that society. We base many civil rights on human rights, but this is not a rule. Civil rights also incur costs, and we do weigh them against the costs of alternatives. Marriage, for example, is at its heart a contract. It is not necessary for human happiness, healthy relationships, reproduction, self-determination, et al. It simply isn't a human right as all its...spiritual benefits, shall we say, can be attained without it, and barring it for homosexuals only robs them of the social mantle of legitimacy. The contractual elements, however, such as division of wealth, power of attorney, tax implications, insurance, etc., are very much in the domain of civil rights. There is simply no good argument against granting this civil right and its benefits to homosexuals; the costs to society are ethereal at best, and if I don't count psychological harm against homosexuals by denying marriage, I certainly won't give credence or weight to psychological harm incurred by granting it. I'm running out of characters, and this is only the set up. I feel it essential to lay out my first principles before jumping into commodity versus right. Too often I find people start from different presumptions.