A solution in search of a problem

 

To the editor,

 

A few weeks ago a proposal was brought before the Dillon City Council by Mr. Turner asking the city council to adopt a non discrimination ordinance against gay, lesbian, transgender people. At first glance this seems to be a very noble request; however upon a closer look there seems to be some very serious ramifications that should be considered before going forward. 

In Mr. Turner’s address to the city he suggests that this ordinance is needed because of the rampant abuse and discrimination by landlords, business owners, and educators against the LGBT community across the state of Montana and this legislation is needed to put a halt to this type of activity.

I would like to suggest that we as a community and Mr. Turner, along with the city council look more toward the facts than at an emotional appeal.

If we look to the facts, we will find that according to the legal counsel of the Montana Family Foundation and the records of the Montana State Human Rights Bureau, to date there has been no documented cases of discrimination due to someone’s sexuality.

The purpose of government is to represent the people, which brings up another fact. According to the latest statistics from the Census Bureau the population of Dillon is 4,201, of this number the percent of people that affiliate themselves with being LGBT is .01 percent. Now I am not saying that we should ignore a group of people based solely on them being a minority group, but on the other hand I would challenge the notion that we should make sweeping new legislation based on that small percentage that would have a major impact on the remaining 99.99 percent of the population with no proven history of the need.

I understand that this issue is an emotional one -— on one side you have folks who are against the lifestyle of the LGBT community and on the other side you have folks that support this lifestyle. This anti discrimination ordinance is not about your approval or disapproval of this lifestyle, but rather the main issue is about adopting good law for the good of the people as a whole.

So the question still remains — will this ordinance really provide liberty and justice for all or is this an emotional, politically correct solution that is seeking a problem?

 

Dale Stewart

Dillon