They say that you can't legislate morality. Passing laws against pornography or prostitution, or gambling will not prevent the behaviour. People will just find a way to get around the law. You can't make people stop drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. There is no way that you can try to stop people from having sex outside of marriage, or from getting a divorce or an abortion. You especially can't even suggest that homosexuality might be even considered to be immoral. Any government that puts limits on any of these behaviours is repressive, backward, ignorant, tyrannical, and just plain bad.
A progressive society, then, is one in which moral issues are deregulated, and any laws that have been attempting to legislate morality are revoked.
We as a society in general are still okay with having laws to protect children, animals, and the environment. We hate pedophiles, rapists, and people who hurt animals or children.
Not that there is anything wrong with having laws to prohibit or limit behaviours that hurt people (especially children), or animals or the environment. For example, in Canada, you can smoke all you want, if you can afford all the hidden taxes; but recently our government passed laws to no longer allow smoking inside many restaurants and even bars in some jurisdictions. It is no longer legal to smoke inside a car if children are present, and stores are not allowed to sell cigarettes to minors.
Smokers are not complaining quite as much anymore about having to butt out in public places. My dad used to say that he paid taxes on the air so he should be able to smoke wherever he wanted. But after my mom died from lung cancer, he no longer smoked in the house, and he even quit for the first time since he was a teenager. When he started up again, he still went outside or in the garage to smoke. My dad was a stubborn man, so for him to stop such an embedded habit even for a couple of months, and to change his attitude about his right to smoke wherever he pleased is a sign that anyone could do the same. So it is possible for new laws to limit harmful behaviours such as smoking.
There are other behaviours that are also harmful to children and families but are still legal.. It is incredibly difficult to change laws that people view as freedoms and/or entitlements. In Canada, it took several generations of teaching school children about the damaging effects of smoking and regular exposure to second-hand smoke, especially in the undeveloped lungs of children, before it became socially acceptable to ask people not to smoke in front of their children. Once it was socially acceptable to ask people to butt out or go outside, then it was possible to make laws against smoking in public buildings.
Pregnant women who want their babies have been butting out and requesting those around her to not smoke in her presence for decades now, but this cannot become a legal requirement in a country in which the preborn are not granted any human rights. There is no legal precedence to require a pregnant woman to quit smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or having risky sexual relations while she is pregnant. There have been many advertising campaigns to educate the public about the risks of fetal alcohol syndrome, a birth defect that could significantly and permanently impact a child's health and brain functions, but in a society with no abortion laws at all, we cannot pass a law to require a pregnant woman to seek treatment for her addictions. Even if she has had previous children removed from her care by Child and Family Services, they have to wait until this baby is born before any intervention can be taken to protect him/her from the dangers of life in a uterus. A mother's freedom to choose death for a child ends the moment he/she emerges from the womb. One second it's an abortion, the next second it is murder.
Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in. We have much freedom here. We have rights and privileges that I am extremely grateful for. Freedom of speech, for example. We have made progress in so many beneficial ways. But morality only flows in one direction, and that is a downward spiral. Once a freedom is granted, it is very difficult to repeal. But just because something is legal, that doesn't mean it is safe. Almost every liberty has two extremes: lawlessness, and legalism. If you have read this far and disagree with me, please leave a comment. You can leave a comment if you agree with me, too, but that goes without saying, literally. The people who agree with me don't need a special invitation to leave a comment.