Jeanne…I a not sure that one can “legislate” moral values, or ethics. These values should be learned when we are children, in the context of our own family values, culture, and religion. We learn some “common values”, including dignity and respect that help us to interact with those people outside of our own concept. The moral, and ethical concepts we should learn as children are what we use to build everthing else we do in society. Those “common values” are enforced in common places, such as the freeway, or children in school. but not taught. (an example would be, a police officer not giving you a lecture on why you shoudn’t break the law instead of giving you a ticket for speeding because he assumes you already have learned to respect the law) It is not the fault of society, the governemnt, the media, the schools if ethics are not learned by our children, for this is soley the responsibility of the parent. Furthermore it is not the fault of society when parents do not do honor to thier children by teaching them morals, and ethics. Unfortunatly, “legeslating: morals” is a side step away from addressing the root cause.
Anyway, if we do “legislate” morals, whose morals do we pick? I am not a “religious rightist”, do I get to say? Or to the other extreme, does my uncle who is a strict Muslim who thinks it is sinful for women to wear short pants or short sleeves, does he get to say? (not even my uncle belives that legislating morals is a good idea in a free society) Who will be punished, and how?