Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gay Rights and Euclid's First Common Notion

Things which equal the same thing also equal one another.
- Euclid's First Common Notion

Euclid of Alexandria (325 BC - 265 BC)
Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry"

What does math have to do with anything 'gay' you ask? It never ceases to amaze me how virtually every question, if not every question, has a mathematical answer.

Recently, in my 2nd or 3rd viewing of "Lincoln", I realized how seminal was Euclid's First Common Notion to Lincoln's success in abolishing slavery. Lincoln narrowed the argument from that of "full equality" (even to former slaves) to that of "full equality under the law." Lincoln had the wisdom and the practicality to reason that "full equality" was the assured result of "full equality under the law" - since black and white are equal under the law they are equal to one another.

And, so, too, it is with our fight for equality - well, almost. Unlike the Democrats in 1865 who adamantly argued that black people were unequal, most of today's bigots smile and tell us "yes, you're equal," while they deny us this piece or that piece of equality. In so doing, not only do they violate our constitutional guarantee of eqaul protection - more importantly, they violate the laws of mathematics - things which equal the same thing also equal one another. And, in the end, those who oppose full equality cannot make 2 + 2 = 5.