Statute a vehicle for tyranny

Allow me to begin with a caveat: the following content is not prompted by hatred or prejudice. If you truly cherish your same-sex partner and he or she brightens your life I am happy for you, and long may it continue. However …

The city council has shown wisdom and courage in refusing to accede to the agenda of the inaccurately named “Fairness WV.” What, precisely, is fair about your being given a specially protected legal status I do not share, simply because of your “identity?”

All these fashionable “anti-discrimination” statutes actually constitute legal cudgels with which members of the specially protected minority may terrify and harass anyone who is not a member. You didn’t get the job and someone else did? Discrimination — arrest ’em! You got kicked out of a bar? Discrimination — arrest ’em! Someone said something that made you feel uncomfortable? Discrimination — arrest ’em!

Beyond the categorical legal amorphousness of what “protection from discrimination” entails, the true perniciousness of these statutes is that they invert the most precious tenet of American law, and the English common law which is its forebearer; the presumption of innocence. A defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In an “anti-discrimination” case, the burden of proof is necessarily placed upon the defendant to prove his own innocence; that not only was he not motivated by prejudice in this particular instance, but that he has never been guilty of a single act of prejudice in his entire life. Juries are expected not to decide upon actions — which are agreed upon by both sides – but by interpretations of intention, which cannot be absolutely decided without the gift of clairvoyance. This is not only a negation of the idea of impartial law based upon the weighing of evidence, but a mockery.

The fact that the News and Sentinel continues to cheerlead for this group provides sad evidence that the press has indeed given up its role as protector of individual liberty. Remember the slogan Orwell chose as the essence of totalitarianism; the motto of the pig Napoleon’s animal farm:

“All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.”

John Hale

Parkersburg

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