Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Archive for July 20th, 2009

This is not a civil rights issue, it’s a civility issue

Posted by sanityinjection on July 20, 2009

Salt Lake City is abuzz over yesterday’s protest by gay activists and their supporters against the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Readers may recall that the gay community was already furious with the Mormons for bankrolling the anti-gay-marriage ballot question in California. However, yesterday’s protest was in reaction to the arrest for trespassing on church property of a gay couple two weeks ago. The couple claims (probably accurately) that the real reason for their arrest in an area where the public often roams freely is that they were kissing.

So yesterday, gay activists staged a “kiss-in” – first on the sidewalk, then on church property in the area where the arrest took place. Of course, counter-protesters showed up. Fortunately, no real fights took place.

Here’s the problem: You don’t have a right to do anything on someone else’s private property. If the LDS Church doesn’t want to allow kissing on its property or a particular area of their property, they’re entitled – although I would argue that prohibition should be applied equally to heterosexual as well as homosexual couples. There is a difference between exercising your civil rights, and deliberately thrusting them in the face of those you know will be offended. If anybody thinks that the gay couple that was arrested just spontaneously happened to kiss while strolling the grounds of a notoriously anti-gay religious group, and weren’t deliberately making a statement by doing so, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Meanwhile, of course, the US Senate has tacked on a hate crimes amendment to the defense budget which will practically make it illegal to think anything critical about homosexuals, transgendered people. I am not anti-gay at all, but you cannot legislate prejudice out of people’s minds. Nor should you punish a murderer more severely if he killed his victim for racial reasons – that’s like saying that the life of a black victim of a black murderer is less valuable than that of a white victim.

All of this is part of a disturbing trend in which a significant group of people or even a majority declares, “I do not like X, so the government should put a stop to it.” Gone is the idea that government should only become involved when there is a compelling need. Instead, government has become simply an effective tool to accomplish a progressive social agenda whose righteousness is not open to question.


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