In our countdown to the Founding Fathers March scheduled for April 20, 2012, Day 154 is dedicated to a prominent founder of the women’s rights movement, Susan B. Anthony. In many respects, her experiences 150 years ago are not unlike my own in the effort to secure equal rights for fathers. Everyone recognizes generally the contribution which Susan B. Anthony made for women. However, few are familiar with the fact that she was a convicted criminal.
Susan endured this stigma after casting her ballot in Rochester, New York during the 1872 Presidential Elections, thereby violating the law which prohibited women from voting. She was later convicted under circumstances which deprived her of a fair trial. After her case was transferred from Monroe to Ontario County, presiding state Supreme Court Judge, Ward Hunt, read an opinion before the trial even started, he refused to allow Ms. Anthony to testify, and he directed the jury to return a guilty verdict. She was never imprisoned but fined $100 which she forever refused to pay.
In remarkably similar circumstances, my licensure case was transferred from Monroe to Albany County and my custody case was transferred from Utica to nearby Syracuse where an “Acting” state Supreme Court Judge, Martha Walsh-Hood, prejudged the merits, refused to allow me to testify on the same footing as my adversary, and she rendered a decision without any jury. I refused to pay a child support obligation for the same reasons that Anthony refused to pay her fine: men are not allowed to participate equally in domestic relations matters and the support order emanated from a biased judge in violation of my constitutional rights.
Perhaps the greatest of ironies, however, may lie in Anthony’s certificate of conviction which is found on a memorial plaque at the Rochester courtroom where my license was suspended for non-payment of support. I certainly never expected justice to be tortured in the same fashion as my mentor, but it all demonstrates one thing: gender equality has become a one way street now that women have secured their rights to vote and preside over litigation. They have simply reinvented the rule of law which says that some people are more equal than others. Sounds a lot like the communists once promoted, circa the book “Animal Farm”.
Rochester, New York Dr. Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
Parenting Rights Institute