Recently our Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden took it upon himself to team up with the Trump administration to suppress gay rights. Which will conservatively impact— 600 and liberally 1,700— of our Shoshone County residents.
I am opposed to this vile mindset since governments hold sway over us only because, as individuals, we collectively decided to give our personal power to these entities for safe keeping.
When we gave our consent to those who govern we gave it with a number of caveats which safeguard us from abuse. Chief among those provisions is the recognition that every individual regardless of race, creed, color, religion or sex is entitled to equal legal protection.
As Americans operating under the primary legal entitlement of, “equal protection under the law” we too are required to reciprocate socially and treat all persons as equal. Certainly, the term “equal” does not apply to financial benefits or physical attributes, but rather it connotes equally in a spiritual context. This was benchmark of the Declaration of Independence which contended that all have been endowed by our creator with rights that cannot be separated from the individual and that among those are: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As such, when we deny these rights to others we violate not only our mutual social contract but God’s law.
Consequently, our government is powerless to impact the individual without public consent because Americans believe since our rights have been given to us by God, we have the collective right to alter or abolish the system and replace it with another.
There are two ways in which we can we alter the system, either by force or by reason, and since force is not usually the first option of a stable society we have given ourselves to amending laws which is what Mr/ Wasden is trying to do. However, it can be argued, with some force, that amending laws ought to be done with caution as they are the institution that bind us together. Laws need to be amended when we slight even one individual’s right because when we wrongly take those rights we inherently weaken the system for all. Further, when we deny citizens of legal equal protection we make them subservient to the whim of the mob and violate our social contract.
Clearly, if we remove the expectation that every citizen has the right to self-determination we violate both the individual’s consent to be governed and pursuit of happiness and wrong them.
The State of Idaho has tried to clarify some of these rights under the Human Rights Statute. However, while many individuals are covered from abuse, the same protections are not afforded the gay and lesbian community.
According to current law, any individual who is gay or even thought to be gay can be denied housing or employment and fired without just cause.
What society allows people to lose their jobs solely for such a reason? Such callousness damages far more than is observable at first glance. For example, parents ought to have reasonable expectations that their children will be treated with dignity and treated fairly at school and other public settings.
When we remove those rights we harm not only the child but the parents and extended family thereby compounding the violation. Clearly, Mr. Wasden needs to set his sights on a higher achievement and rather than dashing the heads of gays against stones. He would serve both Idaho and this nation far better if he fought to right this wrong and insert gay rights into Idaho’s Human Rights Statute.
James Jonathan Ruggles,