Participating in Pride parade proves preferential treatment

To the editor:

One of the things that unites us as Americans is the idea that all of us are created equal. We agree that everyone should have the same opportunity to participate in society and in government. We believe this so strongly that we have established laws making it illegal to exclude any particular group from equal opportunity to receive employment, housing, education, etc.

Here in New Ulm, we share that belief, and we have made that belief a lived reality by establishing a Human Rights Commission. The core purpose of that commission is to ensure that everyone in our city has equal opportunity — that no one is discriminated against.

As long as our Human Rights Commission focuses its efforts on equal treatment for everyone, we can all stand united behind them and give them our support.

But what if the HRC would set aside the idea of equal treatment for everyone? What if the HRC would pick out one group for preferential treatment? What would that do to our unity under that concept of equal treatment for all? Would it not destroy that unity? Would it not turn us against one another, with some supporting the HRC’s preferred group and others opposing it?

We don’t have to imagine what would happen, because it is happening. At the HRC meeting of Aug. 22, the HRC agreed unanimously to express its support for one particular group – the LGBTQ community – by participating in an upcoming Gay Pride parade to be held in Mankato.

The HRC has singled out one group to support and celebrate — a group, by the way, whose legal rights are not being violated in New Ulm. In doing so, the HRC has vitiated the concept of equal treatment for all, and has proven to be a divisive, and not a unifying, force in our community.

The Declaration of Independence says: “We believe that all men are created equal…” Our public commissions should treat everyone equally, without showing preference to any person or any group. If the members of the HRC want to show such preference, let them do so as individuals, and not in their official capacity as a city commission.

Michael Thom

New Ulm


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