Civil Society

Civil Society Defeats a Bigoted Policy

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When then-candidate, now-Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) got into hot water over his later-walked-back comments about the 1964 Civil Rights Act last year, there was some interesting intra-libertarian discussion about whether federal laws against private discrimination are still necessary, about whether they're legitimate government interventions, and, if they are legitimate, about whether the Commerce Clause was the appropriate way of implementing them. (My own view: They were necessary in the segregation era (in part because of the effects of state enforcement of unconstitutional segregation laws), probably aren't necessary any more, but should have been implemented by other means—like the 13th Amendment—to avoid eviscerating the Commerce Clause in the process.)

Outside of libertarian circles, there was much mocking and derision about how this could even be up for debate, complete with references to free market fairy dust and scornful ridicule of the idea that market forces could sufficiently deter businesses from engaging in bigotry.

It's just one example, but here in Nashville, that magical free market fairy dust has in fact overturned a discriminatory policy, and in a place many people would probably find unlikely.

It all began last month, when the private Christian college Belmont University fired women's soccer coach Lisa Howe shortly after Howe revealed to her players that she and her same-sex partner were expecting a child. Belmont has maintained that Howe was not fired for her orientation, and resigned on her own. But no one in town really believes that. Howe's players say she told them she was pressured to resign because of her orientation.

Belmont is a very conservative school. All faculty members are required to sign a declaration of faith before they're hired. Until 2007, the school was officially affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. And as a private institution, Belmont was well within its legal rights to fire Howe. Tennessee's anti-discrimination law does not include sexual-orientation, but even if it did, such regulations often include exemptions for religious institutions.

But that doesn't mean Belmont is immune from criticism and pressure from outside the government. And in the following weeks, a curious thing happened. Belmont students held protests in support of Howe. Faculty members spoke out on her behalf. The Faculty Senate passed a resolution in support of the school's gay employees, and demanded that school administrators sponsor an open discussion about Belmont's discrimination policy. Belmont benefactor, trustee, and Nashville music baron Mike Curb threatened to withhold his financial support for the school, and wrote a public letter praising the faculty for speaking out on what he called a "basic civil rights issue." (Interestingly, Curb was the Republican Lieutenant Governor of California from 1978-1982. He is also a partner in the gospel music company World Label Group.)

The payoff: Belmont trustees announced just today that they are adding sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy.

Again, this is just one example. But it's a pretty compelling one. This conservative, Christian school in the buckle of the Bible Belt was convinced by private actors to explicitly protect homosexuals from discrimination in hiring, promotion, and firing decisions. And all without the threat of force stemming from a law or regulation.*

(*The Nashville City Council is considering a bill that would bar companies that have contracts with the city from discriminating on the basis of sexual preference. I don't find these sorts of bills particularly objectionable. There are gay people in Nashville. There's nothing wrong with the city refusing to give its business to companies that discriminate against some of its residents. But as a private school, it seems unlikely that the bill would have significantly affected Belmont.)

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  1. I think this policy was changed not due to the hectoring of the college, but due to the new H&R comment guidelines noted above (“be civil”).

    Well done!

    1. civil and on-topic

      Dream the impossible dream.

  2. The payoff: Belmont trustees announced just today that they are adding sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy.

    Did Ms. Howe get her job back?

    The Nashville City Council is considering a bill that would bar companies that have contracts with the city from discriminating on the basis of sexual preference. I don’t find these sorts of bills particularly objectionable.

    These sorts of contract requirements have bloated government contracts and are used as a way for governments to impose requirements indirectly that they couldn’t impose directly.

    So, I do have a problem with government contracts that go beyond the product/service contracted for, to try to control how the contractor runs their business in ways that do not affect the product or service delivered to the government.

    1. Agreed; in WA, they have been used to sort for construction contractors by level of compliance with Affirmative Action and union bullshit, rather than cost and satisfactory project completion history.

    2. Taxpayer money should never be given to discriminatory groups.

      1. Taxpayer money should never be given to discriminatory groups anyone.

        1. Fair enough, though is it better for the government to contract some work out than to do it itself?

          Of course what kind of work are the contracting out to a university?

          1. Education and training?

      2. So taxpayer money should never be given to, say, a company that discriminates against potential employees based on their union membership. Good idea.

    1. How about a definition of “bigot”?

    2. Why don’t you fuck off, you racist piece of shit?

  3. This conservative, Christian school in the buckle of the Bible Belt was convinced by private actors to explicitly protect homosexuals from discrimination in hiring, promotion, and firing decisions.

    Did the students protest outside or inside school property? Because if inside, then don’t talk to me abour “market forces.” Markets (i.e. people) don’t bully, they simply stop doing business with you.

  4. Did the students protest outside or inside school property? Because if inside, then don’t talk to me abour “market forces.”

    Wouldn’t that depend on the terms of their enrollment agreement? The protests I saw were in common areas around campus. Unless the school specifically forbids that sort of thing, I don’t see what’s wrong with it.

    1. Re: Radley Balko,

      Wouldn’t that depend on the terms of their enrollment agreement? Unless the school specifically forbids that sort of thing[…]

      Are you being serious? Isn’t the campus grounds still private property? If it is not mentioned in the enrollment agreement, can you seriously conclude you are defacto allowed to do whatever goes beyond the scope of the agreement (whch I would presume is to use the facilities strictly to learn?)

      If you invite someone at your home for a game of Call of Duty, would the invitation give your guest defacto permission to “protest” inside your house? Really, if I saw the NEED to tell my guests what they can and cannot do inside MY FUCKING HOUSE, I would not invite them at all! I would think I am living among barbarians.

      Does the school accept barbarians that have to be told what is and what is not acceptable?

      1. Are you being serious?

        Are you saying that students are only allowed to do what’s explicity mentioned in their enrollment agreement? So if the enrollment agreement doesn’t specifically say you’re permitted to bend down and tie your shoe on the way to class, or to chat up an attractive co-ed between classes, it must be forbidden?

        Using communal areas for activism, discussion, meetings, rallies, etc. would seem to me to be part of the college experience, even at a private school, unless the school explicitly forbids it or dictates specific guidelines. And given that Belmont didn’t have the protesting students arrested or disciplined, I’d say the school sees it the same way.

        1. chat up an attractive co-ed between classes

          HARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAASSSSSSSMENT POLICY VIOLATION!!!!!!!11!

        2. Re: Radley Balko,

          So if the enrollment agreement doesn’t specifically say you’re permitted to bend down and tie your shoe on the way to class, or to chat up an attractive co-ed between classes, it must be forbidden?

          If it is not spefied, would it mean you are free to break the windows and the benches and pee on the lawns?

          Let’s assume for one second, Radley, that we’re dealing with people that know what it is to act with civility. People acting in a way that does NOT infringe on someone else’s rights are civil people, and thus would not require a minute specification of all actions on an agreement. Instead, protesting on a campus that does NOT belong to you infringes on the owners’ property rights. Now, is it reasonable to conclude that whatever is not specified in an agreement between two parties that involves the use of a venue means that one of the parties can perform whatever acts he or she fancies that can infringe on the other party’s rights?

          Unless the agreement establishes specific zones for protest, then there’s NO REASON TO ASSUME ONE CAN PROTEST inside what is somebody else’s PROPERTY. Tying your shoes or talking with a pretty co-ed does NOT violate someone else’s rights, Radly; but indulging in protest inside someone else’s property without PERMISSION is an infringement on rights. That’s called bullying.

          Using communal areas for activism, discussion, meetings, rallies, etc. would seem to me to be part of the college experience[…]

          So is binge drinking. Somehow, I don’t see how any of that gives people the right to bully an organization to do something.

          1. bully?

            to steal from ioz, i think you misunderstand the fundamentally transactional nature of higher education, chief.

            they’re customers, not employees.

          2. Bit of a reach, here:
            “If it is not spefied, would it mean you are free to break the windows and the benches and pee on the lawns?”
            Pretty sure no enrollment agreement releases a student from local law.
            Point to Balko, try again.

            1. Re: Sevo,

              Pretty sure no enrollment agreement releases a student from local law.

              And, oh surely, the local law encompasses all sorts of possible situations, as lawmakers have proven to be omniscient, so no need for A person to have responsibility or accountability.

              Look, sevo, the point I am stressing is that just because a certain act is NOT indicated in an agreement does NOT mean a person is FREE to perpetrate it. Protests disrupt, be it normal operations, life, movemnt, you name it: that is their purpose. In order to disrupt, the act HAS necessarily to INFRINGE on other people’s rights, be it other students, be it the faculty, be it both. INFRINGING upon somebody ELSE’S rights IS a BAD THING; it is certainly NOT a CIVIL WAY of acting. So what makes YOU or RADLEY think a person or persons have the RIGHT to commit such acts INSIDE someone’s property, without permission?

              I am making the assumption that the school does NOT simply allow, in writting, to be disrupted in its normal, productive efforts by a group of students, not if the administrators are normal people. If this is the case, then the students went BEYOND civility and acted no better than street bullies. I reach that conclusion applying ethics of liberty (the cornerstone of libertarianism), and under the ethics of liberty, a person has NO right to infringe on another person’s property rights or any other (life or liberty), period.

              1. This line of reasoning demonstrates exactly what liberals find so ridiculous about Randriods. You’re saying the institution has more property, so they should have more rights, and any attempt to exert leverage in an economic relationship by the lesser party is “bullying.” Free assembly is limited to one’s own property, or that of those willing to host a protest. Protesting on someone else’s property is infringing their rights. If you’re a college student, you’re SOL until you get some property.

                Basically, when two parties are in some kind of economic relationship, any action undertaken by the more powerful party to screw over the less powerful party is fine, and an attempt by others involved in the situation to join together to equalize the playing field is illegitimate, because if you have more money, you should be able to do whatever you want.

                1. Re: Evan,

                  This line of reasoning demonstrates exactly what liberals find so ridiculous about Randriods. You’re saying the institution has more property, so they should have more rights[…]

                  You must be on drugs. There’s NOTHING in the discussion anywhere whence one could construe such an argument.

                  The argument is not based at all on who has more or less rights, which is ridiculous in itself. The contention is that the institution has private property rights which, I argue, are being violated by the students when protesting within the premises.

                  Basically, when two parties are in some kind of economic relationship, any action undertaken by the more powerful party to screw over the less powerful party is fine[…]

                  Now you’re relying on a strawman. Is this what passes for logical discourse among the lefties? It’s boring!

                  Protesting on someone else’s property is infringing their rights.

                  It is not a difficult concept to grasp, Evan.

                  1. Which rights of the college were infringed by students protesting on it?

                    If the students don’t have the ability to petition the school, and assemble for the purpose of attracting attention to and support for their cause, then they have no ability to influence its decisions. That is, they have no leverage against the college and its superior position because they lack property.

                    1. Re: Evan,

                      Which rights of the college were infringed by students protesting on it?

                      Child, the right of the college to the property it possesses.

                      If the students don’t have the ability to petition the school, and assemble for the purpose of attracting attention to and support for their cause, then they have no ability to influence its decisions.

                      Yes they do – it’s called taking their business somewhere else. It’s something I would presume even YOU do, when you don’t happen to like a certain product or service.

                      If I don’t like the service at Midas, I take my car to Autozone. That simple – I don’t have to do a sit-in at Midas to ‘petition’ anything.

                      That is, they have no leverage against the college and its superior position because they lack property.

                      There must be something wrong with you. What do YOU think the students give the college, if not their money (i.e. their property) in exchange for services?

                      You think property means land? If you do, you ARE dense.

                    2. You’re going to have to condescend to explain to me how students protesting on campus infringed “the right of the college to the property it possesses,” because that doesn’t make any sense to me.

                      I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a small college in the US, but typically the student body and faculty form a reasonably close community. Governance documents are drawn up to give the student body certain authority, and a mechanism by which the sense of the students can be registered in some kind of democratic fashion.

                      My point is that the relationship between a student and his college is much more like a resident in a city than a customer at a business.

          3. “Instead, protesting on a campus that does NOT belong to you infringes on the owners’ property rights.”

            If the owners of the property did not press charges against the students, then obviously they didn’t care about the protests. So it seems to me your whole point is moot concerning this specific topic. You would only be correct if the property owners told them to shut up and leave, which they didn’t. But thats not what happened, so I think your completely off base, OM.

            1. Re: AA,

              If the owners of the property did not press charges against the students, then obviously they didn’t care about the protests.

              Is that the measure of civil behavior, AA? Not being prosecuted?

              Let me tell you: I still pick up my trash when I go to the local park, EVEN if leaving it there would not bring punishment upon me. DOES the lack of care from the part of the park officials EXCUSE my destruction of property OR the infringement of other people’s rights?

              Does “not being caught” become then the measure of all things?

              1. Have you even been to an American college campus, OM? Public assembly and social agitation is assumed to be acceptable behavior (if not encouraged) in most such places. That is part of what people pay for to go to these places.

                1. Re: Zeb,

                  Have you even been to an American college campus, OM?

                  Have you been on a Mexican college campus, Zeb? There are even WORSE behaviors, which are tolerated only because NOT tolerating them leads to violence. So students are not only bullies, they’re extorsionists to boot.

                  Public assembly and social agitation is assumed to be acceptable behavior (if not encouraged) in most such places.

                  And thus, permissiveness is the measure of things, then? It you don’t face any consequences, then it’s good, right?

                  That’s the thinking of barbarians, Zeb. Just because people act in a certain way in a PRIVATELY OWNED venue because the venue FEARS those people does not excuse the ACTS THEMSELVES!

                  One should not need to REMIND a person to act with civility in a private venue every single time. Even when the venue has to establish rules in writting (because of a certain level of INCIVILITY) does not mean the venue defacto allows EVERYTHING ELSE. That’s the point I made with Radley.

          4. Wow. He is serious.

      2. OM, I think you are way off on this one. Had the college a policy, or made any request that the students not protest on the property you would have a point, but they did not. Customers most certainly have a right to try to pressure an institution to change policies. The institution also has the right to tell them to fuck off, but that is not what happened here. GIve it up, man.

        1. Re: Zeb,

          OM, I think you are way off on this one. Had the college a policy, or made any request that the students not protest on the property you would have a point, but they did not.

          “Your honor, if the woman felt she was being raped by me, she could have simply say ‘no’!”
          “Uh, maybe the thread of DEATH made her shut up, son.”

          Right.

          Customers most certainly have a right to try to pressure an institution to change policies.

          Through violence? Because don’t talk to me about “non violent protests”. That I can accept in the public square, but not on a privately owned campus.

          The institution also has the right to tell them to fuck off, but that is not what happened here. GIve it up, man.

          “But, honest judge, she said nothing! I thought she liked it!”

          I wouldn’t want to live near you, my friend… You’re creepy.

          1. Remember kids: some people think that protesting someone is like raping them.

            1. Re: Evan,

              Remember kids: some people think that protesting someone is like raping them.

              Remember kids: some people think that not saying anything about a certain act can be construed as tacit justification for said act.

              “It’s not evil if you don’t get caught”
              Old Statist Proverb.

              1. Students at a college have a presumptive privilege to be physically present on its premises. A rapist has no such presumptive privilege to impinge on another person.

                1. Re: Evan,

                  Students at a college have a presumptive privilege to be physically present on its premises.

                  And that is as far as it goes – they can BE there, to do what they are paying to do: receive instruction and education from more learned individuals. Otherwise, they are overstepping the boundaries.

                  A rapist has no such presumptive privilege to impinge on another person.

                  Neither are protesters.

  5. Aren’t a lot of female athletes lesbian? It just seems like Belmont should have seen that coming.

    Also, Belmont, you guys are dumb. I hope your women’s soccer team loses forever.

    1. Re: Dan,

      Also, Belmont, you guys are dumb. I hope your women’s soccer team loses forever.

      Reminds me of this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feE1G2sJty0

  6. Outside of libertarian circles, there was much mocking and derision about how this could even be up for debate, complete with references to free market fairy dust and scornful ridicule of the idea that market forces could sufficiently deter businesses from engaging in bigotry.

    Only because some Libertarians allowed themselves to be suckered into such discussions. First of all, who the hell said that discrimination is a bad thing? It may be a bad economic decision for someone to hire people based on the color of their skin, if the people he decides to hire happen to be more expensive than other people, but that is not a bad thing in itself – it is THE EMPLOYER’S FUCKING MONEY, NOT YOURS OR MINE!

    The reason people get into these silly discussions is because lefties already assigned a moral spin on discrimination, but always in a way it favors them. For instance, is it discriminatory if I decided to build an all-black hockey team? Of course it could be construed as “discriminatory”! Would it be “immoral”, however? If so, why? It’s my money I’m playing with, not someone else’s, and especially not the arm-chair moralists!

    1. An all-black hockey team? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      C’mon, OM, someone had to call you out on that one…

      /sterotypes

      1. It actually comes from a Richard Jeni skit.

        “I believe love is the 2nd greatest miracle of the world!”
        “Which one is the first?”
        “An all-black hockey team!”

        1. BaBOOM CRASH!

          He’ll be here all weeks, folks! Enjoy the chicken fingers!

    2. Thank you for your honesty. I would appreciate it if all of you would be so honest when in public settings. I would prefer the public knows the truth before you go to the ballot box.

      Again, thank you.

      1. Re: SM,

        I would prefer the public knows the truth before you go to the ballot box.

        Strange non sequitur, SM.

    3. Old Mexican, I would like to extend my appreciation to you, for keeping the arguments of sixth grade alive and on the internet.

      1. Re: atheist,

        I would like to extend my appreciation to you, for keeping the arguments of sixth grade alive and on the internet.

        I appreciate the candor you use to say things that are utterly irrelevant and meaningless to me, as they come from you. Keep it up.

        1. It’s a regular mutual admiration society up in here!

    4. As a “leftie,” I would say that discrimination is bad, immoral, whatever. When it comes to action, however, discrimination has to fit into a hierarchy of other bad, immoral things. I would say that discrimination by the state is worse than discrimination by private actors. Lots of discrimination doesn’t even rise to a level where there’s a compelling state interest in trying to reverse it.

      For example, there is a lot of evidence that black people are more likely to be charged with drug offenses relative to levels of drug use in different communities. Furthermore, they are also more likely to face the death penalty when it is an option, receive harsher sentences for a variety of offenses, are more likely to be convicted, &c. I think this is immoral, and as the state acts in the name of its citizens, I think we should fight it.

      Your all-black hockey team, like an all-white basketball league, is pretty minor in the scheme of things, so I’d leave it alone. It is very much unlike every business in a city (and most cities at that) refusing to serve black people.

      1. Re: Evan,

        As a “leftie,” I would say that discrimination is bad, immoral, whatever.

        As a “non-leftie”, I prefer to use my brains.

        Discrimination is NOT immoral, Evan. YOU discriminate against a myriad of choices of ice cream before settling for Rocky Road, or Vanilla. YOU discriminate between millions before choosing your friends. We humans, ALL discriminate.

        Aggression, initiation of force, infringement on other people’s liberty and property, those are immoral, evil, bad.

        By the way, a State that discriminates violates the tenet of “equality under the law”, as the State presumes to be the purveyor of law.

        1. I am racist against Rocky Road.

        2. As a substantive reply, I would say that I thought it was clear that I was referring to discrimination against people based on arbitrary, irrelevant factors; since I’m obviously arguing with a pedant, I will be more precise in the future.

          Nearly all above-described discrimination is bad, in the sense that a lack of arbitrary categorization would be better, but the degree to which it should be actively opposed depends on how actively destructive it is.

          Capriciously firing people based on sexual orientation is bad because it degrades the employment opportunities of a class of people in a way that is unrelated to their ability to do their job, whether or not it is within the rights of the employer.

          1. Re: Evan

            As a substantive reply, I would say that I thought it was clear that I was referring to discrimination against people based on arbitrary, irrelevant factors; since I’m obviously arguing with a pedant, I will be more precise in the future.

            I will explain things better to you, like an adult explains to a child.

            I *know* what you argue, but I do not fall into these subjective traps. Either discrimination is EVIL in toto, or it is NOT. Since the damages you talk about are totally subjective, not objective (as would be the case with destruction of property or the taking of life), then they cannot be construed as evil.

            As an employee who has been dismissed a couple of times, it sucks to be fired, but the firing did no damage to my person or my own property.

            You need more explaining, child?

            Nearly all above-described discrimination is bad, in the sense that a lack of arbitrary categorization would be better, but the degree to which it should be actively opposed depends on how actively destructive it is.

            You’re begging the question. You know what that is, don’t you?

            Capriciously firing people based on sexual orientation is bad because it degrades the employment opportunities of a class of people in a way that is unrelated to their ability to do their job

            Never mind that the person who was fired does not OWN the job, no.

            whether or not it is within the rights of the employer.

            “Whether or not”, as in “I don’t care the person has rights”, no?

            Who’s being a pedant?

            1. “Whether or not,” as in “my opinion of the employer’s actions is not dependent on the employer’s legal right to engage in those actions.”

              Do you know what “pedant” means?

  7. It’s just one example, but here in Nashville, that magical free market fairy dust has in fact overturned a discriminatory policy, and in a place many people would probably find unlikely.

    Free market fairy dust will transcend bigotry.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve relayed this story on H&R before, and it looks like it’s time again:

    Many years ago I was walking through a neighborhood in Seattle during gay pride weekend. On a bar, I saw a beer poster advertisement– the kind distributors ask bar owners to put up. On this poster was a fit, young attractive man in some kind of form-fitting body suit running, and behind him was trailing a long rainbow flag. The poster read: “Budweiser”

    I turned to my then-wife and said, “Fascinating. Budweiser has marketing materials aimed at the gay demographic, they know which bars are ‘gay’ and have a network which distributes products and marketing messages to this group. No laws were passed, nor did any government agency demand this distribution network, let alone the recognition of it. We’re living in a brave new world.”

    1. Re: Paul,

      Great anecdote. Thanks.

    2. Are you sure it wasn’t Schmitts Gay?

    3. Are you sure it wasn’t Schmitts Gay?

    4. Are you sure it wasn’t Schmitts Gay?

  8. It’s interesting that one story of a private company doing the right, non-discriminatory thing without being forced somehow proves that discrimination laws aren’t necessary, but Radley ignores the 85% of SWAT team members who are very careful about who or what they shoot in his quest to show that police in this country are out of control.

    1. “Negative, captain! The third ulogginaucht basin has snapped and I can’t grott the poletination spheres without some sort of virrulaumo retractor!” Faavrogg was in a near panic, a large chunk of sharp yuloplasm embedded in his lower tranjular region.

    2. “ignores the 85% of SWAT team members who are very careful about who or what they shoot”

      So if only 15% mow down innocents, why, everything is hunky-dory? Are you sure you’re not wishing for an “edit” tab?

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  11. As a progressive, i have to agree…we’ve used every tool available to end discrimination in this country, and are now further along than at any point in history, where it is almost unacceptable to be a bigot.

    How “libertarians” can claim credit for this, is beyond me…but conservatives don’t live in reality either, do they?

    You people really are the inter-generational welfare queens…

    1. you’re an idiot. If you’re going to troll, at least be GOOD at it.

    2. Re: SM,

      How “libertarians” can claim credit for this, is beyond me…

      What the fuck are you talking about?

  12. There is nothing bigoted in upholding religious convictions. What would have been more refreshing is to see the school stand up for its standards and withstand armchair bully pulpits.

    1. What a silly thing to say. Religious convictions can be just as bigoted as any other kind of convictions.

      1. Re: Zeb,

        Religious convictions can be just as bigoted as any other kind of convictions.

        That’s not what Denver Todd is saying. He’s saying that UPHOLDING THEM is not bigoted in itself.

        Look, I don’t give a rat’s tail about the cultural leanings of the school, but certainly it is within their right to dismiss a person from a job without forwarding a justification, for a simple reason: NOBODY IS ENTITLED TO A JOB. Period.

  13. Belmont benefactor, trustee, and Nashville music baron Mike Curb threatened to withhold his financial support for the school…

    And I think that simple act had more leverage than all the protesting and resolutions. Money talks, after all.

    What would have been more refreshing is to see the school stand up for its standards and withstand armchair bully pulpits.

    They did, Denver Todd, they did. They stood up for the principal of not biting the4 hand that feeds them. I love how religious convictions are divinely ordained, and unchangeable, until they become financially ruinous. Pwned, bitch.

    1. Er, “principle”.

  14. I’m solidly with OM on this one.

    Sorry but Freedom of Association is as fundamental a right as freedom of speech. Just because we are in an environment that does not consider this a natural right, does not mean libertarians have to give it up. Free association should be defended absolutely without any apologies. Fuck the lefties.

    1. I don’t think a society where an employee lives in fear of losing his job if his employer finds out about any of his various pecadillos sounds very free. Economic power has just as much ability to reduce people’s freedom as state power does.

      1. Stop bringing up reality, Evan. This is Reason.com.

        1. Re: atheist,

          Stop bringing up reality, Evan. This is Reason.com.

          See atheist.
          See him say things.
          He says anything,
          except arguments.
          Atheist doesn’t argue,
          he just slings sayings,
          like chips sling crap.

          1. See Spot run.
            Run Spot run.
            See Spot catch the ball.
            See Government take Spot’s ball.
            Bad Government!
            Go Galt, Spot.

      2. Re: Evan,

        I don’t think a society where an employee lives in fear of losing his job if his employer finds out about any of his various pecadillos sounds very free.

        First: It’s not “his job.”
        Second: It IS being free. Otherwise it would be as if the employer forfeits his property just because he DARED offer a job to another person.

        Economic power has just as much ability to reduce people’s freedom as state power does.

        Again with the “economic power” canard? How many times does one have to remind you: YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A JOB! I AM NOT ENTITLED TO A JOB! NOBODY IS!

        1. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…

  15. Faculty Member Lose Job Due to Sexual Orientation: A Victory for Non-Discrimination

  16. It’s just one example,

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