Letter: Thoughts on the anti-discrimination ordinance

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Editor,

I send you my best regards from sunny Palm Beach County.

I periodically check the Current in Carmel to follow some of the issues, and progress in Carmel despite the fact I am no longer one of your constituents. Recently, of particular interest to me is the anti-discrimination ordinance that has been offered to the City Council by Mayor Brainard for approval. The overwhelming reaction that I have read, both by the commentaries in the Council meeting of Aug 17th, as well as the local blog, frankly does not surprise me in the least.

The recent uproar in Kentucky over the issuance of marriage licenses to gay individuals is a good parallel to some of the comments I’ve read. I was also quite stunned at one of the commentaries regarding your ordinance, in the local Carmel blog, which proclaimed “it is just another hammer blow into the nail of growing Christian persecution in this country.” Christian persecution in a country where nearly 75% of individuals claim to be of the Christian faith?

The fact those supportive of the Kentucky clerk’s position of not issuing marriage licenses due to her faith smacks on the whole issue of the separation of church and state. Even more astonishing is a comment by the husband of that clerk saying that as between Supreme Court rulings and the Christian faith, only the latter should prevail because if a law undermines the faith, then it is no law. Our founders must be rotating in their graves as I am certain they believed that laws are meant to be executed for all peoples whether it be by our Congress, or interpreted by our Supreme Court.

My experience with discrimination in Carmel, especially during the previous election campaign when I ran for Mayor, ranged from verbal insults to the painting of swastikas on some yard signs. It only points to a latent discrimination that seemingly prevails in your city whether it be towards gays, other religions, or of alternatives to caucasian races. That is quite unfortunate to me when such extreme fervor circumvents what should be right for all citizens of our communities. The law is the law of the land, and this ordinance would validate Carmel’s universal agreement that discrimination is not viable in today’s America.

Though I had been a critic of several of Mayor Brainard’s actions, in this particular case I urge you all to support his legislation, and to enact this ordinance, without any amendments, as written. The eyes of Indiana, and for that matter many in this country will be watching the results of your actions. I do hope that Carmel emerges from this issue demonstrating that any kind of discrimination does not supersede all in measuring our fair play, and our humanity, based on the principles of our faiths, to all peoples on this earth.

Marnin Spigelman

Palm Beach County 

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