by David Sisler
Who suspected that traditional attitudes would ever be disparaged as bigotry? Who suspected that extraordinary rights would ever be granted to individuals whose behavior has been ruled as criminal? But that is exactly what happened when the United States Supreme Court, in Romer Vs. Evans, struck down the State of Colorado's constitutional amendment barring special treatment for homosexuals.
The Court's decision was based on Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "No State shall ... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
That is the point which six justices missed -- equal protection, not special protection, shall be afforded to all citizens. Homosexuals are not a discriminated minority entitled to the equal protection clause. Colorado'sAmendment 2 denied homosexuals special protection because they discarded their natural sexuality and, of their own free will, follow a lifestyle which, according to the Supreme Court, is criminal behavior. But the majority of the justices, in an opinion written by Anthony Kennedy, says that interpretation is "implausible."
The only thing that is implausible, or improbable, inconceivable, unbelievable, unlikely, and preposterous is this ruling. If a citizen is a member of a specific racial group and is discriminated against because he is a member of that race, then that discrimination demands he receive equal, not special protection. If the basis of discrimination against a citizen is solely because she is a woman, then that discrimination demands she receive equal, not special, protection.
However, in Romer Vs. Evans, the Supreme Court completely ignored their earlier ruling, Bowers Vs. Hardwick -- which affirmed that same-sex intercourse is criminal behavior -- and provided special, not equal protection to individuals whose sole claim to that protection is the deliberate violation of the Laws of the United States. Criminal behavior does not entitle anyone to special protection. At least that was true until two weeks ago.
Keith Meinhold, the former Navy petty officer who fought to stay in the military after he revealed his homosexuality said, "Had it come down another way, it would have sent a green light to the Congress, to the bigots, that they could continue to bash us."
Contrary to the opinions of Mr. Meinhold and Justice Kennedy, this is not bigotry. The issue is not bigotry at all. The issue is, to quote Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent, "the piecemeal deterioration of ... sexual morality." The issue is the implausible -- there is that word again -- political power of a minority (whose sole claim to minority status is one of personal choice, not of birth) and the incredible lack of backbone of our elected and appointed leaders. No, make that "elected and appointed officials" because when Romer Vs. Evans reached the highest court in the land, leadership was certainly not in evidence. President Bill Clinton, whose cowardly "don't ask, don't tell" policy is now the standard by which homosexuals are allowed to enter the military, praises the decision. Leadership caved in to the pressure of a movement whose agenda is to have aberrant behavior recognized as normal.
As if in confirmation of the agenda, Bob Hattoy, who works at the Interior Department and is a longtime gay friend of the President and Mrs. Clinton said, "The president's political handlers think that they can gratuitously oppose [gay marriage] and not have any fallout from the gay community. Gay people are saying to me, ‘If Clinton won't come to our wedding, we won't go to his election.' "
Rich Grant of the Denver Metro Convention and Visitor's Bureau said, "We're happy to have that [Amendment 2] not hanging over our heads." Some business people said Amendment 2 had cost Denver an estimated $38 million in lost revenue because thirty-one conventions canceled in protest. If money is all they care for, money will be all they attain, but the cost of Romer Vs. Evans, will be accumulated, not in the coin of the realm, but in continuing decay.
Those who advocate deviant behavior have gained a powerful new ally. The Supreme Court is on its way to establishing homosexuality as a class, not a behavior. If people of moral conscience spend all of their time wringing their hands, the struggle will, indeed, be lost. If there is to be liberty and justice for all, there can be special treatment for no one. There must be clearly written legislation which will be able to withstand the scathing judicial review it will certainly face. To attempt anything less in the struggle to restore our national moral character would be implausible.
Published in the Augusta Chronicle 6/1/96
Copyright 1996 by David Sisler
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