Constitution guarantees right to think

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2001

DEAR EDITOR: This letter’s purpose is to point out my objection to our state senator Joel Chaisson’s vote to support a state anti-discrimination law concerning the hiring of homosexuals. Thankfully, the bill failed. Now, whether or not people should hire homosexuals to work for them or not is not actually my concern. I would imagine that it’s the business of the person doing the hiring. It is definitely not the concern of the State of Louisiana (or any level of government) to regulate who hires whom. On principle, anti-discrimination laws violate a fundamental and natural right of the people, that being the right to own and control private property. The American way of life is based on freedom to pursue happiness. The ability to possess and determine the use of our goods is basic to this freedom. What right does any government have to use force in taking away a citizen’s property and granting it to others? That is what “civil rights” laws do. Am I saying that people, when they making hiring or lending decisions should discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, national origin, etc.? I’m not advocating that. But, do I think that this is the business of government? When the government forces someone not to discriminate, it not only violates his property rights, it violates his right to think. A truly free country respects the natural right to be a blockhead. Let’s say I was a bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobe. Should I have the right to not rent or sell my home to minorities or homosexuals or any other group I didn’t like? In a free country that right would be guaranteed, because my freedom of thought would be guaranteed. If this is the case, then how could a people get past intolerance? Why not freedom? The free enterprise system, based on freedom, will usually solve most of the problems. Take Jackie Robinson. Did government force that team to hire him? Does government force pro sports teams to hire various percentages of minorities? Sports clubs hire the best, due to those players’ merits. They want to make money, not level the societal playing field. The purpose of government is to protect our rights, not invent rights, such as the supposed right to confiscate or control our property to ensure equality. I’m sure Sen. Chaisson voted for the bill because he wanted to help people. I just want him to be careful not to hurt people in the process.

Ronald J. Theriot Jr. LaPlace