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Meet Our President » President’s Blog

Beware of Idea Segregation

»March 27, 2015

The article describing proposed California legislation, "The Sodomite Suppression Act", submitted by an attorney which mandates that all gay people be shot in the head, was sent to me by someone who demanded that I say something and would not stop yelling until I agreed to do so. Why me? Because your spcaLA has been protecting vulnerable classes - children, women and animals since 1877, and my personal and professional paths have frequently placed me between a bully and a victim.

What can I say about this proposed law? We are devolving into a society of ideologues, religious and secular, where idea segregation is being imposed on us all. "If you are not with us-you are against us" is shrieked from blogs, pulpits, news echo chambers and fundraising mailers. We no longer "agree to disagree" so much as plot the elimination of the enemy. I can't voice my opinion on the implementation of clowders without receiving a few threats and a notice that I am unwelcome at a particular conference. I can't address a flaw in a piece of legislation without being accused of being anti-animal protection. Those of us who know better and can fight back successfully can simply lament over a drink the days when we talked it out or compromised. Conversely, those with no voice or means to fight back can be severely harmed and disenfranchised. The latter are often our more vulnerable members of society.

The thing is - it shouldn't matter which member of society we are. What matters is that it must be safe to disagree, safe to live a different lifestyle, and safe to practice or not practice a religion. To that end this country's promise to separate church and state must be unfailing and eternal. You may believe that your faith prohibits same sex unions. My state may neither execute you for believing that nor for practicing the opposite.

We can do something about the legislation. What do we do about the vitriol behind it? We stop taking everything personally. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I want you dead. We may need each other the next go 'round.

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