Sunday, 17 August 2008

Today's Battles

You know, sometimes I think I do more interfering in other countries' internal affairs than the Central Intelligence agency.

So here's some more, at the Detroit News.
"Hamtramck is following in the footsteps of a number of cities who recognize this is an important issue," said Kevin McAlpine, the Triangle Foundation's deputy director. "The majority of people in Hamtramck believe everyone should be treated with fairness and respect."

That's not so, said Brian Rooney of the Thomas More Law Center.
So, is it or isn't it? Do the people of Hamtranck believe everyone should be treated fairly or not?

At least Mr Rooney is being honest - that it's because certain behaviours, and in the case of transsexuals, even having certain congenital medical conditions, contravene his particular sect's beliefs (though not those of other Christian groups) that he wants to be able to continue denying some people their basic human rights.

Somehow Jews and Muslims manage to get by without ordnances prohibiting eating pork and bacon. We have many laws that go against the beliefs of sundry religions, yet somehow we manage to get by, condemning sin as we see it, yet not actively persecuting pork-eaters or divorcees.

Freedom of Religion is freedom of belief: not freedom to oppress others who may not share the same views.
I should add that Mr Rooney's honesty really is appreciated. It's a point of view I disagree with, but it's come to and presented without malice nor mendacity. Unfortunately, many think - and with some justification - that because "that dog won't hunt", they have to resort to distortion, concealment of facts, and even blatant lies. All in a good cause, of course. My respect for Thomas More Law Centre and its staff is increased because they're not falling into this terrible temptation.

Moving right along... at the Gainesville Sun once more. A commenter asked an honest and reasonable question about legislation preventing discrimination against gays and transgendered people.
Name another city that has this policy and if it was successful
2007 State of Colorado
State of Iowa
Lake Worth, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Palm Beach County, FL
State of Oregon
Saugatuck, MI
State of Vermont
West Palm Beach, FL
2006 Bloomington, IN
Cincinnati, OH
Easton, PA
Ferndale, MI
Hillsboro, OR
Johnson County, IA
King County, WA
Lansdowne, PA
Lansing, MI
State of New Jersey
Swarthmore, PA
State of Washington
West Chester, PA
2005 Gulfport, FL
State of Illinois
Indianapolis, IN
Lincoln City, OR
State of Maine
Northampton, MA
Washington, DC
2004 Albany, NY
Austin, TX
Beaverton, OR
Bend, OR
Burien, WA
Oakland, CA
Miami Beach, FL
Tompkins County, NY
2003 State of California
State of New Mexico
Carbondale, IL
Covington, KY
El Paso, TX
Ithaca, NY
Key West, FL
Lake Oswego, OR
Monroe Co., FL
Oakland, CA
Peoria, IL
San Diego, CA
Scranton, PA
Springfield, IL
University City, MO
2002 Allentown, PA
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Chicago, IL
Cook County, IL
Dallas, TX
Decatur, IL
East Lansing, MI
Erie County, PA
New Hope, PA
New York City, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Salem, OR
Tacoma, WA
2001 Denver, CO
Huntington Woods, MI
Multnomah Co., OR
State of Rhode Island
Rochester, NY
Suffolk County, NY
2000 Atlanta, GA
Boulder, CO
DeKalb, IL
Madison, WI
Portland, OR
1999 Ann Arbor, MI
Jefferson County, KY
Lexington-Fayette Co., KY
Louisville, KY
Tucson, AZ
1998 Benton County, OR
Santa Cruz County, CA
New Orleans, LA
Toledo, OH
West Hollywood, CA
York, PA
1997 Cambridge, MA
Evanston, IL
Olympia, WA
Pittsburgh, PA
Ypsilanti, MI
1996 Iowa City, IA
1994 Grand Rapids, MI
San Francisco, CA
1993 State of Minnesota
1992 Santa Cruz, CA
1990 St. Paul, MN
1986 Seattle, WA
1983 Harrisburg, PA
1979 Los Angeles, CA.
Urbana, IL
1977 Champaign, IL
1975 Minneapolis, MN

Number of cases of sexual predators using the law as a defence: 0

Number of cases of men exposing themselves in women's rooms and being convicted despite the law : At least 1 (Portland OR)
Source is the Transgender Law Centre.

Opponents of such legislation, be it in Hamtramck Michigan, Montgomery County Maryland, or Gainesville Florida, do tend to gloss over this issue. Just a bit. Some have even claimed that although no other jurisdiction has had any problems, it's "too soon to tell", and one, Peter LaBarbara, stated that he "expected a problem at any time".

I really think 33 years is a long enough trial period in a large city, and 15 for an entire state.


Battybattybats said...

Some folk don't want to let the truth get in the road of their story, especially as their story is the only way they can think of to try and continue the discriminatory policy.

The biggest problem is getting the truth to the same people that the lie is reaching.

Cornwell said...

Thanks for keeping the world talking and thinking about this issue. I live in Hamtramck, Michigan, USA and we have a very active group of people fighting these outside bigots who are trying to spread their hatred and anger. We passed this ordinance to let all know that our town accepts and respects all. We passed it as a beacon to all, that this was a place where you could live your life without prejudice or hate...nothing more and nothing less.

Anonymous said...

The attempt to amend the law in Gainesville is doubly insidious, as its wording de facto removes the city's civil rights protections for sexual orientation as well as gender indentification.

Anonymous said...

Holy bitchslap, Zoe!


Now, if only my keyboard had a "Hi-five" key.