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Letters to the Editor

April 02, 1999

To the editor:

One important element of a democratic life is that in spite of electing demagogues like Sen. Alex Mooney, we reject their demagoguery. Senator Mooney, in his opposition to SB138, used every tool available to the demagogue: scare tactics, "Do you want your child taught by a man in a dress?" and "You could be forced to hire a militant homosexual." He tries to diminish the importance of the issue by arguing the absurd, "that men who wear earrings" could be classified as transgendered.

Leaders with a genuine concern for their constituents try to build bridges rather than divide. Senator Mooney attempts divide the MSTA leadership from its constituency by pointing out the obvious, that some teachers will certainly disagree with the MSTA position. He tries to divide the African American community from other groups that have historically been discriminated against by quoting Delegate Burns. The demagogue also uses his favorite technique, the scapegoat. Senator Mooney blames this bill on lawyers, everyone's favorite scapegoat, by saying it's simply a way for the ACLU to make money.

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When Senator Mooney says under this bill, "a business owner could not refuse to hire someone or rent him a room based on sexual orientation" he implies that one should be able to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Apparently, when Senator Mooney said people should be treated fairly and compassionately he didn't mean equally.

Senator Mooney reminds me of another demagogue, Lester Maddox who was able to get himself elected governor of Georgia in 1967 by closing his Pickrick Restaurant rather than serve African Americans. I suppose Senator Mooney would do the same if he had to rent to gay, lesbian or transgendered Americans. It's too bad the Senator isn't old enough to remember Governor Maddox.

Jack M. Ebersole

Hagerstown

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