Thursday, April 07, 2005

Chosen behaviors

One of the many holes in civil-rights protections for minorities in Washington state is that it remains legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians -- in hiring and employment practices, as well as in housing.

It's one of our blue state's ugly little secrets, largely because the GOP remains a potent force. Changing the law, you see, would advance the "homosexual agenda," even if everyone knows that this kind of discrimination isn't right.

So with Democrats finally in charge of both houses of the Lege, party leaders had their sights set on rectifying that oversight. After a bill adding gays and lesbians to RCW 49.60, the state's anti-discrimination law, passed the House readily, some late maneuvering, and a couple of DINOs, have helped to apparently scuttle the bill in the Senate.

Interestingly, there was this:
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."

Ah yes. We've heard this line before. Because being gay is a "chosen behavior," it is undeserving of civil rights protections.

It's the same reason given by many evangelicals -- and particularly black and minority evangelicals, and people who claim they support civil rights -- for not supporting gays and lesbians in hate-crime protections: "You can't compare being gay to being black. One's immutable, one's chosen."

Well, yes, this is true when it comes to race. And even ethnicity. These are, after all, two of the three main legs of anti-discrimination and hate-crimes laws.

But it's not true of the third leg of these laws: religion. Last I checked, this too was a "chosen behavior."

In RCW 49.60, the matter of faith is defined more broadly as "creed." This thus includes atheism, agnosticism, and other belief systems.

Now, it's true that many people are born into faiths and don't really choose their creed, but it's also a fact that everyone is free to change their creed at any time of their choosing. It's truly a chosen behavior.

So I'm going to propose new legislation for Luke Esser and the rest of the Republican crew in Olympia to pursue, just for the sake of legislative consistency. I mean, if you're going to insist that anti-discrimination laws only affect "immutable characteristics" and not "chosen behaviors", then obviously, we're in serious need of reform here.

I propose that they seek to strip "creed" out of the state's anti-discrimination statutes, so that the only categories included are race, color, national origin, sex, or disability.

They should think about the advantages, especially from their viewpoint of advancing their traditional positions.

First of all, removing these protections would finally allow employers to refuse to employ atheists and agnostics and godless Communists if they so choose. And Lord knows those people don't deserve jobs. They're just amoral parasites who undermine moral society and righteous authority.

It would also allow housing discrimination against these losers. Throw them out of their homes. They don't deserve decent homes anyway.

And then we could cut off all those Muslims and Hindus and whatever else has been infesting our shores with eeebil terrorists all these years. No jobs, no homes, no nuttin'. Outta here.

And hey, while we're at it, we can finally go back to the good ol' days when you could discriminate against Jews, too. Considering how horribly those connivers have corrupted modern society, they'd have it coming too.

Oh, and, y'know, can't we do something about those Mormons, too? They're not really Christians, and they're secretly doing dirty things in those temple ceremonies. Actually, they're lunatics, even if they are good Republicans. That's a mitigating factor, sure, but I see no reason why they should have good jobs or homes.

And finally, don't talk too much about this, but we might be finally able to do something about those, y'know, Papists. You know what I mean. There are Catholics, and then there are real Christians.

Speaking of real Christians, we ought to be able to discriminate against any of those godless "liberal" churches like the Episcopalians and the United Methodists, who have proven their utter godlessness by allowing gay and lesbian clergy.

After awhile, we might finally see the kind of state Republicans have been hankering for: white, real Christian, and Republican. Real Republican.

I hope they take this under consideration. We know that Republicans in Washington state are big on consistency -- after all, they keep hammering King County for relatively minor inconsistencies in its voting procedures, none of them evidence of fraud or malfeasance.

So let's be consistent all around. Opposing extending basic civil rights to gays and lesbians because it is a "chosen behavior" demands that we deny those protections on the basis of religious faith, too.

But then, discrimination is a "chosen behavior" too. Even when someone uses their faith, or their constituents', to justify it.

No comments: