by Mike Pyatt
Wednesday’s K2 News headline told us that the Casper City Council won’t hold a public hearing on the SOGI resolution scheduled for February 20th. Council member Chris Walsh said, “I think that this will be so divisive that people will attack each other.” Dallas Laird said it isn’t an ordinance. Should that mitigate our concern? Many understand how pernicious philosophies like SOGI infiltrates our community. Will they vote on it at a February 13th, 4:30, Work Session, to skirt public input? Does that violate Wyoming meeting statutes? If they vote it down, it’s not over. This issue’s like herpes: Just when you think it’s gone, it shows up again.
One must become a cultural physician when diagnosing these issues. We’re contesting the symptoms, rarely getting to the underlying root causes. SOGI spreads like a tinder box fire, and we’re left combating the onerous consequences, like Cervantes chivalrous character, Don Quixote fighting windmills. Many ask, “How did SOGI gain a foothold in our culture?” The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D, cogently summarizes its meteoric rise in a November 30, 2015, abstract, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Laws Threaten Freedom.” Almost featureless until 1994, the Human Rights Campaign, in 2015, launched its Beyond Marriage Equality initiative, that thrust Americans into this current fog of moral relativism with predictable and catastrophic results. The major threats of SOGI law is to our free speech, religious liberty and the character of our community. Solemn thinkers understand the impact of unintended consequences. According to Anderson, SOGI is rife with laws that are overly broad, vague, lacking clear definitions of discrimination. Who decides those meanings? As Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.”
America was morally compromised by a litany of high court decisions like Jacobellis v. Ohio, on obscenity, Roe v. Wade, on abortion, Lawrence v. Texas, striking down the law on sodomy in Texas, and thirteen other states, left us vulnerable with a culture where few taboos exist. A nude dancer slithering down a brass poll was elevated to an artful expression, on par with a Norman Rockwell painting. The leap to embracing homosexuality, same sex marriage, and transgender identity was tragically short. We’ve witnessed a dramatic shift when principled public debate’s supplanted by the courts and intrusive government policies that banish our liberties, and muted our voices. Warning signs were ignored.
This precipitous decline in reasoning over the past four decades created a vacuum for considering SOGI policies. For centuries inductive and deductive reasoning permitted one to think logically and critically. Our culture is now dominated by seductive reasoning, or an allurement to cliché’s with scant substance. It’s a short leap to the loss of the ability of abstract reasoning. Any attempt at reasoning with one reared solely on total visual stimulation is an exercise in futility. Their conclusions are based solely on images. Morality is grounded in the latest social platform visit. Right and wrong exists fleetingly in the medium of choice. Monogamous marriage or serial affairs are the same. Strong desire trumps reason and cupidity reigns. Despite shrill insistence otherwise, after a name change, and “plumbing job,” the chromosomes are unchanged. Bruce Jenner is still Bruce Jenner.
This rapid moral slide has been further hastened by historical and political amnesia. A 2011, academic paper, titled “When Gay Was Not Okay with the APA,” chronicled the removal of homosexuality as a Mental Disorder in 1973. In 1957, clinical professionals understood it was deviant behavior. After discussions to remove it in 1962, it was affirmed that homosexuality could be treated clinically as abnormal. In 1970, the homosexual lobbyist marshaled a political action body and disrupted the APA convention in San Francisco. In 1973, the convention was heavily lobbied by homosexual influence. On December 15, 1973, the APA’s Board of Trustees, officially removed homosexuality as deviant behavior. Another taboo slain.
Few members of the Casper City Council fully understand these historical and philosophical underpinnings to adequately grasp the fervent opposition to SOGI. Its’ advocates falsely argue that their cause is analogous to defending one’s race. Anderson countered, “There are no good historical or philosophical reasons for the law to treat sexual orientation and gender identity as it treats race-and doing so has serious costs.” Earlier this year the Wyoming Republican Party passed a resolution opposing SOGI.
Emerging as a multi-tentacled beast, SOGI masquerades itself in a veil of social and moral elitism, permeating every fiber of our institutions, including cities, municipalities, towns, and state legislatures, crafted to insidiously eradicate historic edifices that once served as the lynchpin of our Judeo-Christian culture. It marches roughshod over traditional values in its path, demanding we jettison our principles, and embrace unscientific, arcane, and unnatural proposals crafted to obviate the long-standing Biblical role of male and female. SOGI gained standing through lobbying, coercion, and shaming those who oppose their movement, characterizing opposition as homophobic, hateful, and worse. The CST editorial board wrong-headedly supports the resolution, misguidedly characterizing it as a “non-discrimination” resolution. It isn’t. Those ordinances already exist. Have the reported 100 local businesses, who signed a supporting letter, ignored the economic clout of the opposition?
This resolution poses imminent, innumerable threats to Casper citizens, businesses, and imperils individual liberty and religious freedom. We’d do well to cling to permanent things, rejecting those subject to shifting sand. Sir Edmund Burke, Irish statesman, and political philosopher, reminded us of those who speak sophistries, with no intention of doing the same, “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond the promise, it costs them nothing.” What will it cost us? Be percipient of the public mood. Anticipate being pilloried whenever one takes a principled public stand. There’s no surcease to this battle. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s is a Natrona County WY resident. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org