Sunday, December 22, 2013

Majority Rule versus Minority Rights

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia commons
Isn't it part of our form of government that the majority not be able to oppress the minorities? Weren't the founders of our country interested in ensuring equals laws to protect the minority against the times when majority rule might become unreasonable? The LGBT community are a small portion of our society, but it makes sense to look at laws made to see if they follow the constitution. I am glad Judge Shelby addressed his civic duty here to rule according to law using his best ability.

I see many reasons to think the world will generally be a better place because it begins to help the nice folks in the LGBT community to feel more connected to all of society. I understand there are some concerns, some fears that this will unravel the societal fabrics, patterns and cultural quilts that have protected us and kept us warm as we've continued to develop our community here in Utah.

Photo Courtesy of Salt Lake County
Bar Association
Following in that thought, I think it important to consider also that while many of us have felt safe within the warm blanket of this master quilt created from the weaving of our deep cultural pioneer roots with that of the social wisdom developed from our world's greatest minds and societies including the ancient Greeks that helped form the opinions of our founding fathers. They studied, considered and thereby recognized the enormous opportunity they had with this idea we call the United States of America. Under the weight of that responsibility, they carefully crafted our constitution considering where to follow and where to differ from that of other competing civic constitutions in practice in parts of Europe and around the world.

They understood well the ideas of Majority Rule, and the power that could bring. They also understood the other side of Majority Rule, that of the oppression of the rights of the Minority.

President Thomas Jefferson proclaimed in his first inaugural address,
“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression.” from http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/americapedia/americapedia-constitution/majority-rule-minority-rights

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons
From this consideration, I think it useful and even possibly our responsibility to consider those that are kept from enjoying the warmth and security of our quilt. I have an image of these folks who in many ways have been kept out in the cold for so long, as we enjoy each other's company, sociality and civic protection, while our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, nieces and nephews are kept from enjoying the warmth of the many fabrics and stitching that keep us together because of the preference of whom they choose to love. I consider it important to consider how we can extend our shared quilt of friendship, warmth and civic protection to our loved ones in the opportunity. 

I believe there is room to sew in the patterns and fabrics of camaraderie, brotherhood and what the ancient Greeks called Agape, or brotherly love those whom we have responsibility through the bonds of our shared human empathy and roots. 

If we can find ways of extending the laws which make up the patterns of our societal quilts, we can begin to reverse the ostracism felt by our loved ones as they are welcomed within its warmth and protections. Where there once was pain, pain sometimes felt so deeply as to contribute to ending their own lives, these steps can begin to stitch up those wounds, and bind them to our society and build a stronger, more united society from our diversity. 

I am Brent Fisher, and I support Marriage Equality.