Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Commentary: The death of logic

The LBGTQ community has seen its share of the spotlight over the past year following the wake of a Supreme Court decision in June that overturned parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Locally, there has been a recent controversy regarding the San Antonio City Council’s decision last month to adopt changes to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, expanding protection to people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Closer still, UTSA decided on Friday to reverse its decision a week earlier, which had denied in-state tuition to the same-sex spouse of an Air Force captain.

“After carefully reviewing this matter, it has been determined that the student will be charged resident tuition,” UTSA spokesman Joe Izbrand said in an email to the San Antonio Express-News. “Our university is enriched through inclusiveness and diversity. We honor the service of our military personnel and recognize the sacrifices made by their families.”

While it is admirable that UTSA was able to offer this student a swift resolution, it raises a larger question about social inequity in the United States and the absurd arguments that this particular discussion often breathes into the national stage.

The arguments surrounding these issues are historically emotive and divisive, stemming from an ideologue that is based on individual morality, which should not have a hand in legislation that determines a collective regulation. The Bill of Rights is ingrained with the ideal that individual liberties are sacred and should be protected from the moral projections of the majority.

Over the history of societal inequity in the United States, there has been a long-standing history of the same emotive argument that serves only to stain the validity of social discourse on the political stage. Women’s suffrage, civil rights and now LBGTQ rights have long detracted from the progress the nation should be making in the legislative battleground.

The Civil Rights movement, and subsequent legislation, for example, went on to define the presidency of Lyndon Johnson. This type of legislation and the work that went into its passage though detracted from the global issues facing Johnson at the time, such as the Vietnam War and the spread of communism.

A 2010 survey by Siena Research Institute found that Johnson, while being rated as the top president for his relationship with congress, was rated dead last in his foreign policy accomplishments.

McCarthyism found itself wedged into the political discourse of the 1950’s. Over a 15-month period from 1953 to 1954 the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) called 169 hearings as a response to the growing pressure from this ideological movement.

653 people were called to committee and faced among others, allegations of communist activity and, in some instances, homosexuality based on a moral argument that purported potential security risks in the government. As a result of these hearings, 2000 government employees lost their jobs and a precedent of fear-based logic gained an even stronger foothold in American politics.

While detractors of such non-discriminatory legislation often cite an argument based on a fallacy-ridden chain of logic, these arguments, sadly, still find their way onto the highest stages of political discourse.

As the social pressures build to move past these divisive dialogues, it is imperative to note that these steps are essentially not as progressive as they are often seen. Modern society is evolving at a rate at which governing bureaucracies cannot keep up with.

Unfortunately, this dissonance between society and its governing bodies often results in an inefficiency that fosters the sort of farcical distractions that social legislation has historically seen.

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