Thursday, April 14, 2005


But you chose to be a Baptist!

David Niewert at Orcinus has some comments on an effort in Washington State to add sexual orientation to the list of banned types of discrimination.

The measure passed the State House but in the Senate has been bottled up in a committee by—guess who!

That's right—

The Senate Republican caucus yesterday handed out a five-page "talking points" document opposing the measure. One of the talking points states: "This bill establishes minority status for individuals based on sexual behaviors many believe they choose to engage in."

Niewert makes the point that religion is also a choice, so in the interests of consistency, religion should be removed from the list. He then considers all the fun that could be had with our new-found freedom to discriminate.

Washington State also protects "marital status," which should be totally unnecessary. I've always felt it was better to have singles working under me.

Seriously, maybe it's time to turn these antidiscrimination statutes on their head. Instead of writing laws banning this and that type of discrimination—and don't forget, we're talking about matters such as housing, employment and public services—the legislators should take up the matter of what types of discrimination are permitted.

This would end the argument made by the culture warriors that antidiscrimination laws single out people by class. It would also end headlines such as that in the Seattle Times story under discussion: "2 Democrats help Senate GOP throw gay-rights bill off track."1 This is not a gay-rights bill. We may say that it's an antidiscrimination bill that adds gays as a protected class—or better, that it's a people's rights bill that would recognize gays as people.


1 Also notice that even though this is an entirely Republican enterprise, the headline writer has given the two defecting Democrats top billing. [back]

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