Reverent & Free has an entertaining post teeing off on the “American Family Association of Indiana’s” Micah Clark’s letter to the editor critical of Indiana Third Congressional District candidate Dr. Tom Hayhurst for being insufficiently anti-sex. Apparently Dr. Hayhurst didn’t support some sort of ordinance regulating businesses associated with sexuality and that made Mr. Clark mad.
So, there you have it, Dr. Tom Hayhurst: champion of small businesses and small government! (I’ve noticed that organizations like the AFA are usually in favor of “government small enough to fit into your bedroom.”)
I don’t know anything about the ordinance in question, so I can’t comment authoritatively, but I get pretty tired of political busybodies trying to use government to legislate their particular sense of propriety. I prefer that government respect its citizens enough to let them make their own moral decisions, so long as those decisions don’t “break the legs or pick the pockets” of other citizens.
Mike Sylvester says
I am so sick of our elected politicians infringing on private property rights and the rights of small business owners…
Smoking bans on private property…
Eminent Domain abuse…
The list goes on…
Being right of center, I have mixed feelings on the AFA. I don’t agree with laws that go into the bedroom, as you say. However, I don’t have a problem with some place like the AFA helping people keep out a business they feel would be harmful. Communities choose to restrict all types of businesses from operating in their backyard, from pig farms to Wal-Mart.
However, these groups have to walk a fine (and sometimes invisable) line. How to do try to stay clean when fighting politics? A show I watch had a great line in it that seems fitting:
“It’s hard to find the high ground when everyone is standing in the mud.”
I think I’ve stated this previously, but I have no problem with zoning laws.
Not that anyone creating political messages is terribly interested in the facts, but the ordinance in question, as I recall, had some pesky legal questions that City Council was appropriately concerned about (as in, is it legal to effectively ban a type of legal business from a community?) Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to live in a world without strip clubs. However, not only is it appropriate for City Council to make sure that an ordinance they pass has some reasonable chance of withstanding legal scrutiny, it is downright fiscally irresponsible to pass an ordinance that you KNOW will invite a lawsuit that you will likely lose. Hayhurst is a super City Councilman and will be a super Congressman, regardless of what the AFA thinks.
I have absolutely no knowledge of the ordinance in question, so I couldn’t offer any comment on the particulars. But yeah, adopting an ordinance that is likely to be challenged and likely to lose has to be weighed against the harm it seeks to correct. If the harm is medium to low, and the risk of challenge and defeat is medium to high, I think you just forego the ordinance.
Permit me to be skeptical of Mr. Clark’s claim that the ordinance had been crafted by experts to withstand challenge. I heard the same thing when I was looking into Perry County’s Certificate of Need ordinance purporting to regulate new medical construction in the county. The county attorney claimed it was narrowly crafted to reduce the potential for legal challenge. But when I took a look at it, it contained the same types of provisions that had been struck down before.