Opinion

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Two For Thought

‘Separate but Equal’

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin

Years ago in America, the majority discriminated against people based on sex, religion and race. Until 1920 (19th amendment, USC) women could not vote. Until the 13th and 14th amendments, black people were property. Until 1967, states criminalized white and black people marrying each other. Those who supported these discriminations used either religion or natural law for justification. Liberal thinking people fought these discriminations successfully, and most conservatives today praise this fact.

With federal courts ruling that Equal Protection prohibits states from denying marriage licenses to homosexuals, anti-homosexual folks are barricading themselves from further federal court decisions — a new kind of “separate but equal” attempt. The most notable attempt is Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Protection Act.” RFPA states that churches, federal tax-exempt groups, etc. can discriminate against homosexuals based on religion. This is foreseeably problematic.

Philanthropy considered, RFPA will foster disrespect for fellow American citizens. Consistency considered, anti-homosexual organizations will prove hypocritical because they will certainly transact business with people whose lifestyles the Bible condemns. Politics considered, if sectarian religion becomes the benchmark of what laws should be, reason will suffer. What distinguishes homosexual discrimination from prior discriminations in the name of religion?

So, does our constitution prevent certain discrimination so that the majority cannot oppress the minority? Or is there a new “separate but equal” movement?


 

By Joe Carbonari

There’s a burden to carry when you are born different. You attract attention. You are judged on that difference.

Humankind has a range of sexuality. Limits on behavior are necessary to maintain order. This leads to “good” and “bad” sex. Heterosexuality seems to be the most productive arrangement, with monogamy preferable – a more stable family unit. It has worked over time. It has advantages.

If I were gay, I’d probably think it unfortunate that many of the people who I was attracted to didn’t share the feeling. It sure would feel good when I came across someone with similar feelings, who liked me for who I was.

Marriage is society’s way of saying, “that works for us.” The union makes each of you more stable and productive. This is good.

A person who thinks differently may hold to that thought and advance it, but not in a way that unduly injures others. At base, discrimination laws deal with injuries to others, most often psychological injuries. It does not serve society to pass laws that encourage discrimination, even with a religious cloak.

No acceptable interpretation of “God’s will” commands bigotry, or beheadings. It could not be; it would not serve. Think it through.

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