Republicans in three states push gay segregation bills

  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Feb 14, 2014 9:48 PM GMT

    Now there is a push in states including Tennessee, Idaho and Kansas to allow for legally protected discrimination. Mark Joseph Stern writes of the Kansas bill:

    When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations—movie theaters, restaurants—can turn away gay couples at the door. And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. As I’ve noted before, anti-gay businesses might as well put out signs alerting gay people that their business isn’t welcome.

    But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to barring all anti-discrimination lawsuits against private employers, the new law permits government employees to deny service to gays in the name of “religious liberty.” This is nothing new, but the sweep of Kansas’ statute is breathtaking. Any government employee is given explicit permission to discriminate against gay couples—not just county clerks and DMV employees, but literally anyone who works for the state of Kansas. If a gay couple calls the police, an officer may refuse to help them if interacting with a gay couple violates his religious principles. State hospitals can turn away gay couples at the door and deny them treatment with impunity. Gay couples can be banned from public parks, public pools, anything that operates under the aegis of the Kansas state government.

    It gets worse. The law’s advocates claim that it applies only to gay couples—but there’s no clear limiting principle in the text of the bill that would keep it from applying to gay individuals as well. A catch-all clause allows businesses and bureaucrats to discriminate against gay people so long as this discrimination is somehow “related to, orrelated to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement.” (Emphases mine.) This subtle loophole is really just a blank check to discriminate: As long as an individual believes that his service is somehow linked to a gay union of any form, he can legally refuse his services. And since anyone who denies gays service is completely shielded from any charges, no one will ever have to prove that their particular form of discrimination fell within the four corners of the law.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Feb 14, 2014 10:42 PM GMT
    That's so fucked up. These people who discriminate for religious reasons are the biggest failures of their own religion. icon_evil.gif
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2929

    Feb 15, 2014 12:22 AM GMT
    Really? Republicans?
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Feb 15, 2014 12:46 AM GMT
    tazzari saidReally? Republicans?

    Yeah, hard to believe ain't it. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Feb 15, 2014 8:21 AM GMT
    Ooooh, I want to hear again about how Republicans really don't hate us.
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    Feb 15, 2014 12:41 PM GMT
    Just now breaking...Kansas killed this bill for now in its current form.
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    Feb 15, 2014 1:10 PM GMT
    Aristoshark saidOoooh, I want to hear again about how Republicans really don't hate us.

    Yeah, that would be generalizing to say Republicans hate us. Versus when the RJ conservaposse finds a few rare examples of Republicans who don't hate us, then claim it proves that the majority are our friends. I guess generalizing isn't bad when the Right does it, only when the Left does.

    But is it generalizing? Hardly a week goes by that another hateful legislative bill or proposal comes from Republican leaders, like these, against gays, against women, against minorities, against unions, against everything. Or the latest outrage by the Junior Senator from Canada, Ted Cruz, yet another national anti-gay marriage bill after repeal of DOMA. Funny, I can't seem to recall a similar barrage of anti-gay legislation coming from Democrats.

    Or then the conservaposse falls back to Position B: "Well, it isn't about gay rights anyway, it's about the economy and jobs. I personally don't care about gay rights and marriage equality, so neither should you."

    Gee, I wonder why they don't care about gay rights? If they don't care about gay rights, whose civil rights DO they care about? White Christian fundamentalists, and the 1-percenters? Not to mention that Republican strength on the issues of the economy and jobs is a myth of their own making.
  • mikeylovesit

    Posts: 25

    Feb 15, 2014 1:28 PM GMT
    While it's sad that intolerance and prejudice exist in America, that news is nothing new. I think it adds fuel to the fire of sensationalism to even pay attention to laws such as these, particularly when they're merely proposed bills that haven't been passed.

    To say that the proposed KS bill was unconstitutional and would have been struck down in federal court (or even Kansas' own state supreme court) is so obvious that it hardly needs mentioning, but it's important to keep in mind that broken, twisted state legal systems remain subject to the U.S. Constitution. At this point, no religious extremists will stop the tidal wave of acceptance for basic human rights for gays.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Feb 15, 2014 2:38 PM GMT
    For the gay fiscal conservative voting these people in, I hope you're getting the fiscal policies you want in your state. I know I'm liberal, but I really think the trade-off is unbalanced. It's not worth it, especially now, to be voting in these kind of politicians. We've come too far.

    Thankfully federal judges are striking down these laws, state by state.
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    Feb 15, 2014 5:25 PM GMT

    I wonder what the cost is in taxpayer money is to table these bills for rejection?

    Fiscal conservatives, eh?
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Feb 15, 2014 5:33 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    I wonder what the cost is in taxpayer money is to table these bills for rejection?

    Fiscal conservatives, eh?

    It's costing the taxpayers a lot of money for their local legislatures to push these bills. Don't forget the court costs when some of these states will likely try to defend their bills.

    So much for "jobs, jobs, jobs." Since 2010, it's been about gays and abortions.
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    Feb 15, 2014 6:03 PM GMT
    They've lost the debate, and they know it. The Prop 8 Hearing was their chance to bring out of the woodwork all the kids who didn't know if they were boys or girls anymore, all the straight couples whose marriages fell apart because Todd and Jake got hitched, all the victimized Evangelicals whose churches were burned down by marauding gangs of Road Warrior-style monster gays. They couldn't do it, and in that moment, the balance tipped away from them.

    At this point, they're just sunstroke-mad scorpions stinging themselves to death.