Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.



June 2012

"Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others"

Written by , Posted in Culture & Society, Identity Politics, The Courts, Criminal Justice & Tort

Americans like to believe that we are all equal before the law. It wasn’t always that way. White landowners once had special privileges. But slavery has been eliminated and suffrage extended to all citizens. Sure, some folks find exceptions and room for impreovement, but by and large we think the law gives us all the same status – that protections granted to one are granted to all.

That is not the case.

From those old days of slavery and limited voting rights, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. You see, there are such things as “protected classes” which receive special rights and considerations vis-à-vis the rest of society. If you belong to such a class, the law gives you additional protections. Sound unAmerican? You betcha.

Consider this story about a professional photographer forced to provide their services for a gay couple’s commitment ceremony, even though they didn’t want to (making a lie of the voluntary part of the voluntary exchange we typically think resides at the heart of a free society). I could easily go on about how this is a fundamental violation of private property rights and a form of enslavement to compel such use of another’s labor against their will. I could. But what really struck me was this passage:

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based legal alliance of Christian attorneys and others that represented the studio, plans to appeal. Elane Photography argued that it provided discretionary, unique and expressive services that aren’t a public accommodation under the Human Rights Act.

The studio asked hypothetically whether an African-American photographer would be required to photograph a Ku Klux Klan rally.

The court responded: “The Ku Klux Klan is not a protected class. Sexual orientation, however, is protected.”

There you have it. It’s bad enough that you can be forced into service for anyone, but that you can for some and not others seems to make it much worse.

I bet you didn’t know that the Declaration really said that ” all men are created equal, except for gays, women and minorities, who belong to protected classes.” According to this court, some Americans get more rights than others. Four legs are good, you see, but two legs are better.