One Has the Moral Responsibility To Disobey Unjust Laws

25th March 2018: 'The Martin Luther King quote - this article's title - goes for all of us,' writes Morgan Taylor 'and my dad is living up to it.'


The below piece was taken from The Power of Me a blog by 21 year old Morgan Taylor. Morgan’s father Steve was the subject of a segment on ABC’s 7.30 Report recently after having been arrested for growing cannabis plants to juice for Morgan and her sister Ariel, both of whom have severe Crohn’s disease. Last Friday (23rd of March) Steve pleaded not guilty to drugs charges on grounds of medical necessity and the family’s story again went nationwide. This is Morgan’s account of what happened.

So here we are; a few months have passed since dad was charged. So much has happened since then and we have been so incredibly busy. Two weeks ago we appeared on the ABC 7:30 show. That interview was the best thing that could have happened and we’ve been given so much support since it aired. Micheal Vincent, the journalist, and his crew were incredible, they listened to our story with open minds and hearts and I could see that they really care about this cause.

The night the show aired we saw a comment on the ABC’s Facebook from Sally McPherson, a lawyer who reached out and offered to represent our family completely free. Some people can be quite sceptical as to why someone would offer their services for free because they may have ulterior motives. We didn’t think this about Sally for a single moment, she is passionate, caring and genuinely wants to help people, which in my opinion makes for the best lawyer. (We refer to her now as Erin Brockovich). Amazingly, the well-known human rights barrister Greg Barns has also come forward to help, so our team really could not be better – our thanks and gratitude are I hope understood.

In the past few days our family has had to make the decisions as to what my father is going to plead in court. If he was to plead guilty it would probably be a lot easier. But we’ve decided against this because we feel like it won’t help the cause we believe so strongly in. He’s going to plead not guilty with reasons of medical necessity. It’s going to be hard and we will probably wish we didn’t take this road but if we can be an example and get laws changed then it will all be worth it. We can’t sit by and listen to stories of people and their children suffering. We are willing to take on this challenge in the hopes that we can help some other people along the way.

The support we have gotten from the Australian public is better than we ever expected. So many people are reaching out to support us which just shows how many people in this country want the laws to change!

There are the odd comments like ‘well the law is law and he broke it so he needs to face the consequences’.

But don’t you think there are laws out there that should be broken? Just think where we would be as a society if it wasn’t for those in history who fought against unjust laws. African Americans would still be sitting at the back of the bus and using segregated bathrooms, women wouldn’t have basic rights like voting and gay people would be held in institutions simply for loving someone of the same gender.

Where would we be if Martin Luther king never said, ‘one has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws‘?

Things would never change. We would continue to face consequences that go against basic human rights.

So let me just finish by asking what would you do? Would you break an unjust law to save your child’s life? I certainly know I would.

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