Opinion: Civil rights must prevail for LGBT

In the 21st century, it seems primitive to think that discrimination still exists. It is outright inconceivable that two females in an intimate relationship can be ousted from a restaurant by its owner simply because the owner is offended and feels that their lifestyles are unacceptable. If this comes as a shock to you, I’d suggest reading this article from The Huffington Post.

What’s worse, a couple that identifies as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) can be denied public accommodations, housing, and an individual can even be fired on these same grounds.

Where do we stand as a city, as a state — as a country, if we keep allowing this?

The U.S. is a dynamical nation. As individuals we are taught to strive for financial success, still some of us yearn for richness in the form of passion and substance in our transient lives. Whichever path we choose, we are faced with challenges and hurdles in the quest and therefore, must inevitably adapt.

And this, if I can borrow the words of John Laroche (Chris Cooper) from the movie Adaptation, “is a profound process.”

Yet important matters seem to slip through our fingers when we are busy living life too fast — and the consequences of this neglect are immeasurable as others experience a limited sense of freedom.

Racism, inequality and discrimination are all still ubiquitous in the U.S., albeit on a more covert level than in, say, the ‘60s. Freedom for some will always be monitored by those in power, it will often be tested, and sometimes it will be denied. However, it is not in the theoretical nature of a democracy to operate in these ways, as evidenced in the catchy and oh-so-inviting theme of “freedom for all” that this country preaches.

Maybe we should amend the high school curriculum to omit the use of the word “democracy” in government and history classes. After all, every country has its flaws, and sometimes some things are too good to be true.

But we’re doing the best we can, right? Uh-huh.

By not enacting an anti-discrimination ordinance for Mount Pleasant, the “profound process” of adaptation within people loses its noble qualities and appeal. We choose to sacrifice our intellect for ignorance as we see those around us with fewer rights for no justifiable reason.

Though I guess if life and adaptation were profound at all, we wouldn’t be oblivious to the needs of the LGBT community and we could erase the issue by making the right choice to embrace diversity.

The fact is, supporting an anti-discrimination ordinance is not a matter of being a liberal or conservative, republican or democrat. It doesn’t matter what nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious background you identify with; this is civil rights — the same thing Dr. Martin Luther King fought for in his time. Surely the need for civil rights was exceptionally dire in his day, but the message is the same for the LGBT community: Freedom must thrive.

More information on the anti-discrimination ordinance proposed by Dr. Norma Bailey can be seen here and at the Mount Pleasant City Commission’s website (Pages 4-6 of the PDF file).

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