The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

The Problem With Protecting “Choices”

I am a black man by birth. I am a Republican by choice. I’ve been called an “Uncle Tom,” “sellout,” and a couple other things that I won’t mention since I came to Norfolk for good in early 2009. I’m tired of it, and I want my status-black Republican in a fairly Democratic city-to be protected.

You say “no.” I say “why?” You say “because you made the choice to a) be a Republican, and b) live in Norfolk.”

Clearly, the above is hypothetical, and a lot far-fetched. And my intention isn’t to parallel my experiences with those of the gay community. That said, I have a philosophical problem with this:

Unsuccessful in attempts to add new discrimination protections into state law, a gay-rights group continues to push for similar policies on the local level.

Of the roughly two dozen Virginia localities with policies in place to protect gay and lesbian government workers, South Hampton Roads is home to two – Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Norfolk may soon join them.

I don’t know if people can be born homosexual…and frankly, don’t want to; I leave those decisions to God. I know more than a few, though, who have told me that for whatever reason, they decided they wanted/preferred a partner of the same sex. I take that for what is it…their choice, which they are well within their right to make.

That said, once the choice is made-for better or worse-there are societal stigmas that come with it. It’s a risk inherent to any choice we make; there are consequences-both positive and negative-to it. When the government decides that it’s a good idea to step in and protect people from their “choices”-to smoke, to have an abortion, to have a same-sex partner-we’re heading down a slippery slope.

We protect those things-race, gender, disability status-that people are.  Conditions they are born into-or become, in the case of disability-that, by and large, will not change.  Why? Because those things are the “life” part of natural law; government is required to protect that which you are, not which you choose to be.

We are all created equal; at the moment of conception, there’s no way to tell a baby who will be homosexual from one that will not. Beyond the constraints put on that equality by other humans, it’s our choices that truly define our inequality. And I’m from the school of thought where a little of that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are created equal, and our life’s actions define us from that point of creation; the responsibility for our success or failure lies on the individual’s shoulder’s alone.

I know I’m going to be accused of arguing for discrimination, which I’m not; I believe slights toward any person, for any reason, are wrong.

But it’s the inherent responsibility of the individual members of a civil society to stop that discrimination. Because when the government does it, nothing is gained…and a small piece of our individual responsibility is lost.

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Written by Coby Dillard

May 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Hate to say it but since you brought it up….

    … you sound like those white people who say they have black friends. Seriously:

    I know more than a few, though, who have told me that for whatever reason, they decided they wanted/preferred a partner of the same sex. I take that for what is it…their choice

    I don’t know any GLBT person who “chose” to be GLBT. And I’d wager I know a few more GLBT people than you do.

    No one in their right mind would choose to be gay. Not in our society.

    Vivian J. Paige

    May 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  2. …and you’d win that wager. All I do is go on what people tell me.

    Coby Dillard

    May 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

  3. So you based your entire post on the (obviously) few GLBT people who bothered to tell you what they thought. Not even on your entire universe of GLBT people you know.

    You’re black – you know how many times you get the “why do black people ______” question from white people. You know innately that your response is yours and yours alone, and that you do not speak for all black people. Why are you so willing to think that the few people who said this to you are representative of the GLBT community?

    That’s the part that’s disappointing, Coby. I think you know better. Or perhaps I’ve given you too much credit.

    Vivian J. Paige

    May 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm

  4. I didn’t mean it to come off as a blanket statement; truth be told, I could’ve written it without going there.

    I apologize…seriously.

    Coby Dillard

    May 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm

  5. (hate, hate, HATE reverse comments)
    No, you could not have made the argument you made without going there. You would have had to have had another reason for being against what EV is trying to do.

    What would that reason be? That you simply do not believe in equality?

    Vivian J. Paige

    May 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm

  6. But I do. I believe in the equality of opportunity.

    There’s a lot of “don’t know” that’s not written here. I don’t know if this prevents or puts limits on that equality, because in my day-to-day, I don’t have to deal with it. Maybe I could’ve said that.

    And at the risk of upsetting again, I don’t know what makes someone gay, beyond what someone who is tells me-which I don’t feel I have the right to question.

    When I sat down to write this, the point I had in mind was that the government shouldn’t be in the business of protecting people from themselves, which is why the smoking/abortion examples are there. Neither rates a “protected” status.

    I get what EV’s trying to do, but I think that’s MY responsibility as a citizen in civil society.

    Coby Dillard

    May 31, 2011 at 7:49 pm

  7. Only when you see being GLBT through the lens of choice does your argument of “government protecting people from themselves” make any sense.

    Remove choice – and then what do you see?

    Are you even remotely aware that homosexuality has been observed in nearly 1,500 species? Did they choose, too?

    Vivian J. Paige

    May 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm


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