02 Feb Non-Discrimination 101: A Simple tool for Combating Proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Laws
Nondiscrimination laws sound like a good idea. But they’re not. They give special “rights” to some people at the expense of others. They harm our First Freedoms of Speech and Conscience, and our right to make a living.
With the passage of these unfair non-discrimination laws, courts would be compelled to recognize some individual’s rights at the expense of the most basic rights of others. We know this will happen because it already has.*
Beware of non-discrimination laws that include:
- Protection of “sexual orientation” “gender identity” and “gender expression:”[i]
- Protections for LGBT citizens in all “Public Accommodations.”[ii]
- Allowing anyone to use whatever restroom, locker room, or shower room they wish.[iii]
- Criminal penalties with potential jail time, for those who do not follow the law.[iv]
Our nation was founded upon the ideal of religious freedom and the right to freely live your faith. If real discrimination is a public concern, there are effective ways to address it that don’t take away the first freedoms of others. Creating new discrimination just to give special rights to some people at the expense of other people is simply unfair. We can do better!
What can you do?
Every person can talk to family, neighbors, and coworkers. Here is an example of a simple, four-step message that you can share in as little as one minute:
1) Nondiscrimination laws seem reasonable but they’re not.
2) They give special rights to some people at the expense of others.
3) They harm our First Freedoms of Speech and Conscience, and our right to make a living. For example:
- A New Mexico photographer was forced to pay $7,000 and told that she had to photograph same-sex marriage ceremonies as the “price of citizenship.”
- In Massachusetts 2nd grade children are taught in school that same-sex marriage is normal and good, and parents do not have the right to opt them out.
- A recent California law allows all public school students to use the restroom and locker room of their choice. Parents were told, “Discomfort is not an excuse for discrimination.”
4) So in the end, nondiscrimination laws are not fair after all.
*Here are a few more examples of what happens when “nondiscrimination rights” trump our First Freedoms of Speech and Conscience, and our Right to make a living. (You might choose from this list to more personalize your 30-second message.):
- Evergreen College in Washington state is allowing a 45-year old man to use the women’s shower facilities–which is also used by a community children’s swim academy.
- A Vermont country Inn was ordered to pay $30,000 for declining to host a gay wedding reception because of their religious beliefs.
- A Colorado Judge recently ruled that a Christian Denver baker cannot refuse to bake a wedding cake for same-sex ceremonies–or face fines and potential jail time.
- A Georgia graduate student was expelled from her graduate counseling program because she refused to change her religious beliefs on homosexuality.
- Catholic Charities closed their doors in several states, rather than go against their religious beliefs by conforming to a law that would force them to place adopted children with same-sex couples.
- A Colorado school district granted a transgender first grader the right to use the girls’ restroom. (The option to use the nurse’s bathroom was ruled as discriminatory.)
- A California gynecologist declined to perform an in vitro fertilization on a lesbian patient because of her religious beliefs, and was sued by her patient. The California Supreme Court ruled against the doctor, suggesting that she “take up a different line of business”
- For more examples see: http://www.MarriageDebate.com/pdf/iMapp.Brief.ReligiousLiberty.pdf and NoToPublicAccommodation.com and http://fairtoall.org/
[i] Gender expression is who you feel like dressing or acting like at any given moment. “Actual or perceived gender-related characteristics, identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of such person’s biological or assigned sex at birth.” Idaho Falls nondiscrimination ordinance August, 2013
[ii] “Any public place, licensed or unlicensed. . . It shall be unlawful to deny to any person because of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, the full enjoyment of any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement.” Idaho Falls nondiscrimination ordinance August, 2013
[iii] “It is a discriminatory and prohibited employment practice to deny an employee access to restrooms, shower facilities, or dressing facilities that are consistent with the employee’s gender identity.” Utah bill SB 262 March, 2013
[iv] “Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished pursuant to this Code.” Idaho Falls nondiscrimination ordinance August, 2013