Editorials

Mayors and Members of West Virginia City Councils,                                              31 January 2016

As a citizen of West Virginia I wish to add my voice to the growing opposition to the proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Ordinances currently under consideration.

(A). There is a wealth of theological, philosophical, moral, historical, and practical human experience and evidence that suggest the error of this legislation. Much of it is available in the form of common sense, acquired experience, and available knowledge. Without deploying this entire line of thought, let it suffice to say that nature teaches that gender is not a private arbitrary construct. Thus, it is not possible to claim that a fellow citizen can be impartial to a personally chosen sexual transformation that has profound public and individual imperatives, risks, and responsibilities associated with it. This is especially pertinent when one considers that such transformations can be temporary, arbitrary, and affected to gain a situational advantage or impose a legal duty in a private or public context. This places a citizen and a community at a distinct disadvantage, unjustly exposed to risk, and uncertain at any moment on how to proceed. This is a prescription for public chaos.

(B). The ancients insisted that the object of any political act should be the good of the community. These ordinances seek to expand the rights of some and erode the constitutionally protected rights of others. It appears that a misplaced concern for discrimination drives this dynamic. Clearly to discriminate against one because of an objective trait (e.g. race, creed, language) is a moral wrong. But to discriminate against a subjective identity, an identity freely chosen (“Guess who I am today.”), or an individual action can be an imperative. If a black male electrician appears at my home to accomplish an agreed upon task but he is drunk, can I not dismiss him because of the obvious danger to my property and wellbeing? If a baby sitter appears at my home and proclaims that today she identifies as a man, am I not required by prudence and the protection of the innocent to refuse her/his services? In both those cases, I discriminate properly and morally. Yet, in the latter case, under this ordinance, I could well be exposed to a civil action. Thus, this ordinance abridges a citizen’s right to exercise prudence and common sense in reference to the freely chosen subjective identity or action of an individual in a public or private context. As such, it would demand judgement and decisions in opposition to moral principles and common sense. This will unnecessarily inject strife, controversy, and contention into the public arena of Charles Town. How does this serve the good of the community?

(C). The medievals teach that an ordinance should have a demonstrable origin and a clear, considered purpose. What does this ordinance fix? I suspect that individual citizens can act in an immoral and illegal fashion. Or is it the contention of the supporters of this ordinance that there is, or potentially will be, an organized, deliberate, and effective operation designed to discriminate against or humiliate the transgendered and gender confused? As to the former, are not there laws in place sufficient to address such individual conduct; as to the latter, what evidence is offered to substantiate that proposition? If neither, what is the purpose of this project? Why is it being urged for adoption? It would be foolish not to recognize a larger, strategic motive behind these ordinances.

These ordinances are proposed less to remedy any evil in our cities or to obtain a missing good in our public life than it is designed to contribute to a national momentum for the achievement of a privileged legal status for those who freely adopt a subjective sexual trait. There’s a mosaic of communities pressured to cooperate in a political strategy that produces no real local benefit. The good of our citizens is of secondary importance to marshalling and exploiting a legal momentum for this national purpose. Closely allied with this strategy is the local opportunity this ordinance provides for civil suits, settlements, and compensations against private or public actors who unwittingly apply common sense and morals to objectionable situations that would now be protected by law. In other words, these ordinances can be viewed as a business plan designed to gain the compliance of businesses and individuals through the fear of expensive legal action. Does this treatment of our cities as rungs in a legal ladder with fear as the new background in public commerce and private relations represent a good purpose that must be obtained by enacting these ordinances?

(D). I defer to the sound and objective legal analysis of this ordinance provided by Attorneys Donnelly and Ward. I emphasize only two points in their sea of cogent observations and objections. First, West Virginia already possesses a law that provides substantial protection to the civil rights of any person. Second, our cities assume incalculable legal, public, and economic risk in adopting an ordinance so vague, contentious, and prejudicial to citizens’ rights as the one now before it. Clearly, with adoption, a city would enter unchartered, dangerous, and unnecessary legal waters which could well entail expense and economic jeopardy of no benefit to the community.

(E). In Summary. The rule that applies here, as so much of these problems will arise in the context of private relations or individual economic encounters, is the ancient Christian precept of “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” I embrace the transgendered and gender confused as fellow creatures of God; I cannot in principle affirm the free choices they make or honor actions committed as a result of those choices. I do not acknowledge that a legally privileged position should be granted to those who make such choices. This does not mean that I deny them Christian charity, respect, and the rights of public association; it does mean that I retain the rights to principled prudence and the defense of the public good.

I much prefer to cooperate with my fellow citizens than to be in conflict with them. I could support a civil device where allegations could be mediated privately and without legal consequences. I cannot support any such civil device or ordinance which compromises the following:

  • the established constitutional rights of free speech and religious liberty
  • the establishment of a personal privileged civil and legal position based upon subjective traits, traits freely chosen and acted upon
  • the imposition of civil standards upon a citizen’s conduct and beliefs that are in opposition to the established, recognized, and profoundly held moral principles that made our civilization

We are political and social creatures shaped by nature and formed by objective realities and truths. We are smart enough to arrive at a solution to this problem that respects the three criteria above and affords equal standing in a dispute. The solution is not to be found in an ordinance that draws battle lines between citizens.

 

Respectfully,

William J. Lademan, Ph.D

Citizen of West Virginia

Is There a Gay Mafia in West Virginia? – November 4, 2014

BillMaherSept10

Shortly after April Fools’ Day 2014, Bill Maher, star of HBO’s Real Time television show caused a brief backlash from the gay rights community when he made the following statement during the taping of one of his shows, “There is a gay mafia. I think if you cross them then you do get whacked.” …

Same-sex activists have now seized an inordinate amount of political power in West Virginia considering they only represent 1.6% of the population according to recent reporting by the Federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. They are more than capable of “whacking” political opponents who defy their agenda.

They have adeptly taken advantage of the less than 20% voting rate of conservative Christians in West Virginia. Those couch-potato church folk unwittingly bolster same-sex proponents by staying home on Election Day while simultaneously bellyaching about how the gay community now run everything. That’s a tragic abdication of civic duty by the “faithful” and now legal, gay weddings are an embarrassing reminder of that laziness. [read more]