Rod Miller: The Model Is In Your Hand

in Column/Rod Miller

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By Rod Miller, columnist

The poet Gary Snyder once wrote that “when making an axe handle, the model is in your hand.” Wyoming’s legislature should remember this truism while struggling with hate crime or anti-discrimination legislation for the Equality State.

A copy of the Constitution of the State of Wyoming is readily available to each legislator, and I hope that they each carry a dog-eared, highlighted copy of this most egalitarian and humane document in their pocket. The model is in their hand.

Here’s what our constitution has to say about discrimination, from Article I, at the very front of the document: Sec. 2. Equality of all. In their inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all members of the human race are equal.

Sec. 3. Equal political rights. Since equality in the enjoyment of natural and civil rights is only made sure through political equality, the laws of this state affecting the political rights and privileges of its citizens shall be without distinction of race, color, sex, or any circumstance or condition whatsoever other than individual incompetency, or unworthiness duly ascertained by a court of competent jurisdiction.

I’m no lawyer, but it looks to me like anytime that anyone violates another Wyomingite’s “natural and civil rights” because of who they sleep with, what they worship, how they act or dress, or any other reason that sets them apart, then they have violated our constitution. I see no wiggle room. None at all.

Now, nothing in our constitution requires that you have to accept or love a person whose lifestyle or appearance is so different from yours that it makes you blow snot bubbles. It only says that their rights are exactly the same as yours. The Wyoming Constitution renders “identity politics” moot.

If you want to read up on requirements for whom you should love or accept, I’d suggest the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7. The Framers of the Wyoming Constitution weren’t preaching salvation, they were just laying down the law.

Here’s a simple suggestion to legislators who are struggling, on one side or the other, with writing anti-discrimination legislation. Don’t load it up with a lot of lawyer talk, and a litany of do’s and don’ts.

Just cut and paste the above sections of our constitution and add something like, “Anyone found guilty of violating another human being’s natural and civil rights in Wyoming will be subject to a fine of X dollars, and a term in prison of X years.” The model is in your hand.

Maybe we DO need a statute that codifies our constitution with regard to civil rights. That’s a sad commentary on us, though. It means that we either don’t know what our constitution says on the matter, or else we don’t believe in it enough to act accordingly.

This is most certainly NOT socialistic, libtard drivel. There is nothing more conservative than a deep belief in the constitution, and a willingness to defend it by living it in our day to day lives.

So, if it takes a hate crime or anti-discrimination statute to realize the humanistic dream of our Wyoming Founders, then I’m all for it. But it shouldn’t stray too far from the model.

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