"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
We'd like to talk to you about your "rights."
We say that we are endowed by our Creator with "certain unalienable rights," and, indeed, the first ten amendments to our Constitution are known as "The Bill of Rights."
We bring this up now because of Charlotte City Council's recent vote which would have expanded the city's non-discrimination ordinance.
Specifically, it would have added sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity to a list of protected groups.
A key talking point, which was removed before the vote, was the allowance of transgendered people to use a public restroom – men's or women's – in which they feel most comfortable.
There were persuasive arguments from both sides.
And in our view, there's not an easy answer – someone's going to be disappointed with any outcome.
But for us, the discussion raised even bigger question – how do we as a nation balance the rights of the individual against the rights of the collective?
Does the will of the majority take precedence over that of any minority?
Conversely, can one individual dictate policy for millions because he or she does, indeed, have rights guaranteed by the Constitution?
Ultimately, these things will be decided in a court of law.
But in the meantime, we'd like to hear your thoughts.
In the battle of "The One" versus "The Many," which way should we go?