[Murphey circulated this statement to the Wichita State University Faculty Senate in April, 2000, to make clear his reasons for not being able to vote for a proposed resolution to add “sexual orientation” to the list of “protected categories” at Kansas Regents institutions. Murphey was a member of the Senate.]
My Reasons for Opposing the Proposed Resolution for Adding “Sexual Orientation” as a Protected Category at Regents Institutions
Almost forty years ago in my book Emergent Man I wrote that there seemed to be no need for a social taboo against homosexuality in a free society based on a strong moral foundation, since humanity’s strong affinity toward heterosexuality would assure the strength of monogamous marriage as one of society’s essential pillars.
During virtually the entire time since those words were written, however, the moral foundation of American society has undergone prolonged ideological attack and the structure of strong families based on heterosexual marriage has suffered a drastic erosion. During those same years, a deadly and infectious disease spread largely through homosexual behavior has become a major social problem, and has been shielded by ideology from the normal protections to the public that are applied to other infectious diseases. We find ourselves living in a context of misshapen ideology—a mixture of egalitarianism, statism and alienation from what the ideology has for many decades seen as “bourgeois” mores—that attacks values that are most conducive to a free society and champions many that are not. This ideology insists upon its own predominance, demands and for the most part receives conformity to itself, and demonizes with extreme intolerance anyone who dares to speak up against it.
We have also seen that the ideology has adopted a coercive strategy with regard to relations among people, as distinct from a slow accretion of respect and affection that might be expected to follow from education and from unforced experience. If something has seemed desirable, especially in the context of the generous impulses that Americans feel, the strategy has been to command it by law. We now have several decades of experience with this commanded fraternity, and the results, even when viewed in the most favorable light, are quite mixed. Not surprisingly, more people feel themselves “victims” of one kind or another today than ever before.
The adding of “sexual orientation” to the list of “protected classes” seems generous, and certainly appeals to Americans’ sense of good will, but notice that it will make it contrary to state policy for anyone to voice a different view in matters involving other faculty or students. Those who, on either religious or secular grounds, believe that there are valid reasons for a social taboo against homosexual behavior are commanded to be silent, and to cast their votes and express their opinions only in conformity to the Regents policy. Such compulsion is inherent in the entire strategy of commanded fraternity.
Notice, too, that the proposal comes to us explicitly as one from a well-positioned elite that hopes to act in circumvention of majority rule. This was evident when the president of the Faculty Senate told us at our last meeting that the President of the Board of Regents wants the Regents to put off any vote on the proposal until after the Kansas Legislature has finished its current session. This highlights yet another facet of the ideology I have described: it has perceived the “traditional” attitudes of many Americans with contempt, and has often brushed aside its earlier commitment to “majority rule” to impose, undemocratically, its compulsions. This should be a source of outrage to the average Kansan, who is reduced to a state of impotency within an ideological system that makes him little more than a pawn.
In such a context, can I in good conscience vote in favor of a resolution that appears quite innocent but that amounts to just another incremental step in a larger maze of disastrous social engineering? The question answers itself. I would urge other members of the Senate to join me in voting against it, but I am quite prepared to stand alone in voicing these objections.
Dwight D. Murphey
April 10, 2000