Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bite tongue, engage brain before speaking

At a forum for Black Hawk County legislators held yesterday at the AEA 267 building, State Senator Jeff Danielson lost his cool, telling a citizen at the microphone that he (the citizen) had "hate" in his heart. What brought forth such a strong judgment from Danielson? The constituent merely asked how a proposed bill that Danielson supports would affect his business.

The bill would add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the list of protected classes in the state's civil rights code. The business owner questioned what he would be able to do if a male employee decided to come to work dressed as a female. He also wondered if such a person would have to be allowed to use the women's restroom, or if a third (or fourth) restroom would need to be added to accommodate men who define themselves as female (and possibly women who define themselves as male)?

Among the several inaccurate and/or disingenuous comments made in response to the questions the business owner asked, one of the most blatant was the statement by Danielson that the Fourteenth Amendment "basically guarantees equal protection under the law for a whole host of enumerated traits". Someone needs to tell the senator that 1) "Sexual orientation" and "gender identity" are not "traits", 2) the Fourteenth Amendment has no "enumerated traits", but rather says "any person", and 3) the proposed law would actually be in violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as it provides greater protection to some people than it does to others.

It is sad to think that a person with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration, a Master's Degree in Public Policy, and who is serving as the President Pro Tempore of the Iowa State Senate, does not have an accurate understanding of this important amendment to our Constitution, especially when it will influence how he votes on laws. He stated at the meeting that he took an oath of office to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America". How can he do that if he doesn't even know what the Constitution and its Amendments say?

Or, do you suppose he really does know, but assumes his constituency is too ignorant to know?

I'll write more on this issue in coming days.

1 comment:

candyman said...

Senator Danielson does a decent job of making himself rather likable at first glance. But when you look closer, you see that he is disingenuous, arrogant, and, as indicated by this post, misinformed.

His degrees and his image are pure window-dressing for yet another tax-and-spend social liberal.

Shame on Black Hawk County for being so deceived.