Archive for ‘Gay Rights’

06/24/2018

Why It’s Different

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Someone refusing service to Sarah H. Sanders is not the same as someone refusing service to a gay person.

Do places of business have a right to deny service to a person? Absolutely. However, since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you can’t refuse service if the reason you’re doing it is to discriminate against a protected class of citizens. You can’t refuse a service to someone based on their gender, their color, their race, or a whole host of other things you can read in the linked document.

The reason for this is that, historically, certain classes of citizens had been denied access to services in entire states or counties because there were enough bigots in the area to effectively render services unreachable. The government saw this, and under nationwide pressure from minorities and their non-minority allies, was forced to change the federal laws regarding discrimination. So now, if you want to refuse service to someone because she is a woman? You can’t do that. Refuse service to someone from India? Not allowed. Refuse service to someone with dark skin, irrespective of national origin? Nope. You can’t do that either. Those groups of people are now protected under federal law.

This requires us to look at two things? 1. Well, which kind of people CAN you refuse service to? 2. Are homosexuals protected under the Civil Rights Act?

The short answer to question 1 is pretty much anyone, provided you’re not doing it based on those protected classes. Walk into a store without a shirt? They can kick you out. Walk into a store and curse up a storm? They can kick you out. Walk into a store with a shirt the owner finds offensive? They can tell you to go kick rocks. Walk into a store and just be brown? No. They can’t kick you out for that.

The answer to question 2 is that under federal law, no, homosexuals are not protected. Many states have protected homosexuals from discrimination, but not all of them have. In the recent SCOTUS decision on a bakery in Colorado who refused service to a gay couple, SCOTUS didn’t really decide the issue. The Court punted that case into the sun, completely refusing to deal with whether or not homosexuals were a federally protected class. Not only that, Colorado is a state where homosexuals are protected from discrimination, and that didn’t save the homosexual couple who merely wanted a cake for their wedding.

So really, with question 2, we’re in a sort of legal gray area. SCOTUS decided that homosexuals had a right to marry, but they refused to decide if they had a right to protected status on buying cakes for the wedding. It’s a disgrace, really.

That being said, we’re left with two more questions. A. Should homosexuals be a protected class? B. What should be happening in places where homosexuals aren’t protected and they are denied services?

A. Of course you fucking dummy, and I don’t give a shit about your religion. Homosexuals have been discriminated against in this country since before it was even a country, and the fact that we still have to ask questions about this because someone’s religion teaches them to hate homosexuality is something future American citizens will look back upon with horror.

B. This should be irrelevant because see previous question. The rest I leave to lawyers.

Okay, now back to Sarah H. Sanders. Why was she refused service? Was it because she was a woman? No. White? No. Her age? No. Was it because she was a Republican? No. Conservative? No.

Well what was the reason?

The reason was that she’s a fucking asshole.

Sanders has spent the last 13 and a half months lying to the American people in an attempt to defend a man who is trying to tear this country apart, erase the rule of law, promote unbridled racism, and seize authoritarian power from a democratic republic. I mean, if you need me to explain to you why Donald Trump is a fucking asshole, then you’re a fucking asshole. Here’s a good twitter thread about it if you want, but Jesus. Trump is an indefensible shitbag who very likely worked with a hostile foreign power to get himself elected*, broke campaign finance laws in his bid for the presidency, denigrates American veterans who have been captured or killed, strips children from the arms of their parents and puts them in cages, targeted an entire religion to stop its presence in this country, chose to start a confrontation with the NFL because its players are black and he can use their pain to further his political agenda… and this only scratches the surface of why he’s such a contemptible piss-drinking** dickhead.

*pending the outcome of the Mueller investigation, which has already led to at least a dozen indictments and guilty pleas.

**allegedly

So Trump is a fucking asshole. And Sanders is his mouthpiece. Therefore, she’s a fucking asshole, too.

Sanders is not in a protected class of individuals who have been historically discriminated against in this country. Comparing the refusal of service to her with the refusal of service to homosexuals, who have been historically discriminated against in this country, is fucking stupid.

Here’s an example for you to flesh it out completely. Let’s say you own a store and someone comes in looking for a pair of scissors. You sell scissors. They go up to the counter, put the scissors down, and take out their wallet. You ring them up, and as you watch them fumble with their wallet, you notice that they have a rainbow flag on their wallet. You ask if they’re gay. They say, “Yes.” Then you slam the register shut and tell them to get the fuck out because you don’t sell to gays.

That would be fucked up, right? One second, you were totally willing to help them, and the next, you weren’t because you wanted to discriminate against them, a member of a group of people who have been targeted for discrimination for centuries.

Is that what happened to Sanders? No. Not even close. So what’s her analogy?

Imagine you’re a store owner, and there’s a guy in your neighborhood known for all kinds of shitty behavior. He taunts local residents by saying racist shit. He spreads lies about you and your friends. He beats his wife. He lies about his family. In other words, he’s an asshole.

This asshole walks into your store and asks you for some scissors. You tell him to go fuck himself. You can do that! And it’s not even fucked up!

That’s what happened to Sarah H. Sanders. It’s not the same as what happens to gay folks. It’s not even close to the same.

And let’s say, as many stupid people have said, that she was targeted because she’s a Republican or a conservative. This isn’t true, and it’s very important to point that out. But let’s say it was. Well, conservatives and Republicans are not protected classes of citizens. They haven’t been subject to hundreds of years of discrimination, and because of this, there are no laws, and should be no laws, protecting them. Same as Democrats and liberals.

Now, do I think it’s a good idea to refuse service to someone because they’re a conservative or Republican? No. That would be stupid. It would be legal, but it would be stupid, and I think the free market will figure out a way to make that stay true.

So, if you’re a person who was previously confused as to why liberals were okay with kicking Sanders to the curb but not okay with denying homosexuals services, it should be clear by this point why there’s a difference. That isn’t to say it was right to kick Sanders out. You can disagree on that point. But comparing the two separate issues is fucking stupid. Don’t be stupid.

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04/14/2013

Politically correct.

It’s gotten to the point where whenever I see the term “politically correct,” I kind of just read it or hear it as “educated.” It’s a really handy tool. Here’s an example.

Someone says, “Things are too politically correct these days.” All I see is, “Things are too educated these days.” See how simple that makes it?

When people complain about things being politically correct, they’re complaining about the nuances of what it’s like to be living in a modern society. They yearn for the days when they could just talk about people as being “wetbacks.” Like Republican Don Young did recently. Young can’t be bothered to learn or understand how terms like “wetback” or “spic” are actually harmful to certain communities—until it threatens their political careers. Then they learn really quickly what other people have learned steadily over the last 50 years:

Language has a force to it, and using it to denigrate entire communities has real world, legitimate social effects. Every time we use words like “wetback” or “spic,” it reinforces the notion that there are “real Americans” with names like Young and “fake” Americans with names like Rodriguez or Gonzales.

This isn’t “political correctness.” It’s education and understanding, and it applies to just about every situation where groups of people are being targeted as homogenous entities. The kind of people who want to lazily talk about “the blacks,” or “Muslims,” or “the gays” as singular groups are the same kind of people who complain about things being “politically correct.” They can’t be bothered to understand the complexities of today’s America, especially the complexities of what it’s like to not be in the majority. And so they lament how other people are forcing them to confront the fact that saying things like “the blacks whatever just need to work harder, then they’ll succeed” has been and continues to be an incredibly stupid way of looking at how a society works. It’s not that simple now, and it never has been.

It used to be okay to respond to women who report rapes as though they were lying or making things up. It used to be okay to look at a woman dressed a certain way and say, “Oh, she deserved it.” It used to be okay to say, “If my son’s gay, I’m sending him away” (my father said this about me once—threatened to send me to Texas when we lived in NY). It used to be okay to call men with earrings “faggots.” (Score another one for my father! He called me that when I put on a fake, magnetic one to judge his reaction.) It used to be okay to compare gays to pedophiles. It used to be okay to say, “Hey look at that successful, talented woman over there. She’s really attractive!” It used to be okay to suggest that the way for women not to become pregnant was to keep an aspirin between their knees. And it used to be okay to say:

“There is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects—certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.” – Abraham Lincoln

But those things aren’t okay to say anymore, and it’s not because they’re politically incorrect: it’s because they’re staggeringly ignorant and ignore the real inequality that so many people in this country face on an everyday basis.

“Stop being so politically correct.” = “Stop being so educated.”