Its one of the common ways to denigrate a valid claim to equality.
It's usually used when someone would use the same right in a different way.
The right to marriage being used to marry someone of the same sex is called a 'special right'. But its really just marrying the person you love.
Whereas to say that only straight people may marry is in fact to demand a real 'special right'. It becomes a special right only available to straight people.
Now in Victoria there are attempts to get 'special rights' for religious businesses and organisations to deny services and employment to people for a large swathe of reasons. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/balancing-religion-and-rights-the-case-against-discrimination-20091003-gh9y.html
A religious persons right to worship whichever god/s they choose are not harmed by having to sell a product to every customer equally. A religious persons right to worship are not harmed by having to fulfill their duty of care and obligation of duty to serve every person in need equally. Its even theologically bankrupt for those christians supporting it, Jesus was more than fine hanging with gentiles and tax collectors etc, he outright targeted them.
Yet caving to these people is somehow considered a valid course of action by the government. And when 85% of Australians want anti-discrimination protection on sexuality and gender identity!
So its a minority demanding the special right to discriminate against other minorities!
Religious rights do not supercede others equal rights. thats how that word Equal works. But yet some people irrationally and unethically and unjustifiably are demanding a special right to treat others as not equals. A codified double-standard. They want injustice to be ptotected and legal.
Thats the real special right demanded here.
It's unethical, unequal, unjust, unpopular, undemocratic and unaustralian.
An abuse of universal human rights and basic equality.
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