Letter to the Editor

Individual rights being threatened

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

To the editor:

Can we cut through some of the self-righteous political rhetoric and fact-obscuring spin being dished out these days? You can't claim to be for the rights and freedoms of the individual and then support constitutional amendments that restrict the rights of select individuals unless you also claim to be a hypocrite. The two are diametrically opposed. If you vote to deny same-sex marriages, you are by definition restricting a right to a certain portion of society because of the individual's sexual orientation.

You can babble about the Bible all you want, but in a secular government the majority must restrain itself from the inclination to legislate how every individual shall live. That's where America was supposed to be better than theocracies and oligarchies and dictatorships. Do we all remember the 14th Amendment? "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Well, Missouri just did.

A free and open democracy can be inconvenient at times. So-called conservatives, who claim to be concerned with the government regulating their lives, beware. We give up our liberties in small increments and with motives that sound so noble at the time.

CHRIS MOORE, Cape Girardeau