Gay/Lesbian Issues

Arkansas Legislators Meddle with Local Anti-Discrimination Laws

Ban on new protections nothing like a religious freedom act.

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Credit: Mktp / photo on flickr

Arkansas Senate Bill 202 has no references to gays, lesbians or sexual orientation in it. Nevertheless, the law clearly targets the gay and transgender citizens of the state. It just passed the state legislature last week and Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he'll allow it to pass into law, though without his signature.

This law (pdf) is nothing like those religious freedom restoration acts that some states have considered or passed. Those laws allow people to opt out of some laws and regulations (particularly antidiscrimination or public accommodation laws) on the basis of religious beliefs. SB 202 flips the idea on its head: The state law forbids municipal governments within Arkansas from passing any new form of antidiscrimination laws or adding new categories in private antidiscrimination laws unless said basis is already contained in state law. So, cities and counties within Arkansas would be banned from banning any sort of discrimination the state doesn't already ban. Arkansas does not ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. So that means that the two cities in the entire state, Eureka Springs and Little Rock, that have laws against anti-gay discrimination would lose the ability to enforce its law. Since the law excludes public employees, Fayetteville would keep its city laws that forbid anti-gay discrimination in public employment. Nobody else would be affected, but obviously, SB 202 would prevent other cities from following Eureka Springs' lead.

The law is cynically being peddled as an "intrastate commerce improvement act" whose purpose is to make sure that "businesses, organizations, and employers doing business in the state are subject to uniform nondiscrimination laws … ." Mind you, it doesn't forbid municipalities from passing any number of other business-related regulations that vary wildly from city to city—just discrimination laws. It also, absurdly, declares that this situation is an emergency, which means that once the bill passes into law, it will be immediately enforced. It all ends up feeling as though a business buddy of a state senator really, really wants to fire some gay employee in Eureka Springs or Little Rock but can't.

Several local civil rights groups are still hoping the governor will veto the bill. He has until today. If he does nothing, the law takes effect, though obviously the state will immediately be sued over it. The American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights issued a statement:

[M]ake no mistake – this bill is not about alleviating drags on commerce within Arkansas, and no one truly thinks it is.  A bill with that goal might, for example, reduce the variation in municipal tax rates and other local rules that actually can bedevil businesses. But it's not burdensome for businesses to treat gay and transgender people fairly. In fact, dozens of research studies have found again and again that ending discrimination, and supporting diversity, is good for business.

So the real purpose isn't helping businesses, it's targeting LGBT people. This is obvious from the sponsors' consistent and constant claims that this is needed because of an ordinance in Fayetteville that provided protections for LGBT people. And as in Arizona last year, the speed of the bill has meant the critiques are now coming in a wave after the legislature whizzed the bill through.

Their statement also invokes the 1996 Supreme Court case about a somewhat similar law in Colorado. In Romer v. Evans, the court struck down Colorado's Amendment 2, in a 6-3 ruling. That amendment to the state's constitution forbid the state or any municipalities within the state from passing any sort of antidiscrimination laws or ordinances protecting gays or lesbians. That amendment, though, specifically targeted gay people. Arkansas has written its law in such a vague fashion obviously to try to avoid a repeat decision, but its intent is pretty obvious.

I'm on the record as being generally opposed to the passage of new antidiscrimination regulations and don't believe the extent of discrimination that continues today necessitates or justifies more laws. Nevertheless, the state telling its municipalities what kinds of laws they may or may not pass is one of those slippery slope situations that can (and does) go to very bad places.

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  1. SOCONZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!

    1. I broke the initial story last year and work for an Arkansas news organization, so I feel I need to give you guys some much-needed background on this situation:

      This state law is in response to a city code passed in Fayetteville last year called the “Civil Rights Ordinance,” which made it a criminal offense for a business to discriminate against someone based on perceived sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity and other factors.

      Basically, if someone felt offended at a local business because of their sexual orientation or the like, they would create an official complaint with the city attorney, and the city attorney would decide whether to fine the business as much as $600 per offense and place them on a list.

      If they didn’t pay the fine, they were arrested on suspicion of failure to pay fines.

      As you can imagine, a lot of business owners—not just bigots—didn’t want their livelihood in the hands of someone who might ruin their business by making a single complaint to the city attorney.

      So the voters voted it down in a referendum, and the state government passed this law to make sure such insanely unconstitutional ordinances never happen again.

  2. But it’s not burdensome for businesses to treat gay and transgender people fairly.

    A sale requires the seller’s consent.

    Telling me that if I wish to sell my property to anyone I must accept your requirement that I also sell to people I don’t choose to is an a priori burden.

  3. So if the Congress repealed the CRA tomorrow, something last I looked was Libertarian Party line, it wouldn’t be making the country more free but “targeting black people”? If not, then how is this targeting black people?

    Public accommodation and discrimination laws are restraints on the freedom of association and the freedom of contract. It is more than a bit ironic that a magazine that has gone to great lengths to advocate the repeal of the CRA, would now publish this in support of public accommodation and discrimination laws when they are applied to gays and worse accuse anyone who objects to them as “targeting gays”.

    If these laws are bad, they are bad. Extending them to protect more groups just makes them worse.

  4. I’m on the record as being generally opposed to the passage of new antidiscrimination regulations and don’t believe the extent of discrimination that continues today necessitates or justifies more laws.

    Nothing justifies such laws.

  5. When libertarianism and equalism conflict, is anyone surprised which reason puts first? It’s almost as if the former is just an excuse to institute latter.

    1. You seem to think “reason” is a single entity with a single mind and single purpose.

      Maybe you need to rethink your multiple-personality privilege.

      1. There seem to be a lot of geniuses who can’t separate individual writers of articles, or even just the coverage of a particular subject, from the entity known as reason as a whole.

        1. But when you put your name on something, you are to some degree responsible for it. Reason claims to be a “Libertarian publication”. That means it claims to present the Libertarian publication. That doesn’t mean every article must agree with every one. It does, however, mean, all of what it publishes should be within the range of Libertarian views. So, how is this article within that range?

          1. Whether it is or it isn’t is beside the point. I think we can all agree that Scott is, in fact, a libertarian. If he writes one article that you disagree with and that you think isn’t libertarian (and I’m not even weighing in on that, because that isn’t related to my point), does that invalidate everything else Scott has written?

            My point is, even more so, that reason publishes a lot of stuff. I also disagree with some of the writers they often publish. But it doesn’t make me think that reason isn’t in fact libertarian in general. It means they cast a wide net for opinions. Which I appreciate.

            All the whining about reason publishing shit people don’t like is moronic, as if reason was here to hand feed them solely what they want to hear and nothing else.

          2. ” But when you put your name on something, you are to some degree responsible for it.”

            Yup, see Ron Paul newsletter.

          3. I don’t disagree with your take on the law (though I agree with Shackford cynicism regarding motives), but I seriously doubt you would be reacting this way if this was an article that deviated from libertarian orthodoxy in a conservative direction.

            1. If that ever happens Calidissdent, feel free to call me on it. I am still waiting for that reason article that deviates from Libertarian orthodoxy in a conservative direction.

      2. I don’t see that kind of logic applied to other publications. Next time you see an objectionable article on slate.com, remember that that is only the opinion of one writer and not of slate.com or whatever. Besides, reason has published articles supporting anti-discrimination laws before.

        1. Uh, yes you do. People will post links to Slate or Salon and will often remark at how all of their (individual) writers are all retarded and insane. They note that these publications seem to almost exclusively hire idiots. But if they print an article that isn’t nuts, it’s taken for what it’s worth, as an individual article.

          You’re trying to excuse your own conflation of a publication with its individual writers. Well, sorry, it’s still stupid to do that, especially when you’re doing it in an insanely nitpicky and granular way. You don’t like an article? Great. But spare us the usual whining about how the fact that since reason wrote an article you didn’t like, it’s now unclean and not pure enough for you. It gets really tiresome.

          1. There were multiple articles, and it has become a pattern. Just like how reason always talks about limiting the power of the federal government, but not when the federal government decides to force states to institute gay marriage!

            1. I should have realized it was you, ‘Merkun. Your particular kind of sniveling whining is pretty unique. Luckily you’re a moron too so it becomes obvious very quickly.

          2. People will post links to Slate or Salon and will often remark at how all of their (individual) writers are all retarded and insane. They note that these publications seem to almost exclusively hire idiots. But if they print an article that isn’t nuts, it’s taken for what it’s worth, as an individual article.

            Actually, people quite often remark, after hovering over the link, that it’s slate/salon so they’re not going to bother. They will remark on the particular idiocy of this or that writer, but the idiocy is taken as general rather than specific.

  6. Nevertheless, the state telling its municipalities what kinds of laws they may or may not pass is one of those slippery slope situations that can (and does) go to very bad places.

    So, I take it you think we should repeal the 14th amendment? If not, why not? I really don’t see the principle in play here that wouldn’t be in that case. Also, it strikes me that state laws dictate quite often what municipal laws can be.

  7. Nevertheless, the state telling its municipalities what kinds of laws they may or may not pass is one of those slippery slope situations that can (and does) go to very bad places.

    Do we also feel this way about state laws preempting municipal gun laws? Come on.

    1. It’s freedom enhancing when it leads to things I like and a slippery slope when it leads to things I don’t is the point here.

      1. Hmm, is it weird that I think there is a difference between refusing to enforce all laws and wanting to add more laws?

  8. Right from the wrong reasons is still being right.

    1. SHOW YOUR WORK!

      /teacher

  9. I haven’t had much time to comment lately, but I have been reading. And what I’ve read in the last few weeks has been confusing and disturbing. Not only this, but articles about snipers being mass murderers, Bruce Jenner being the greatest example of the American Dream since Dusty Rhodes and several other articles I’d expect to read in Slate. And I still haven’t forgotten about the article from a few months ago which wondered if it was moral to watch football. After all this, I’m not entirely sure Reason wants my page views, or any other support.

    1. What, you missed the Wookie fashion show?

  10. It also, absurdly, declares that this situation is an emergency

    Everything is an emergency, just ask Obama.

  11. Funny, everybody seemed fine with sheriffs telling states like New York and Colorado to go pound sand with attempts to force tighter local gun regulations.

    1. I would also be fine with sheriffs telling those states to pound sand with attempts to enforce anti-discrimination laws.

    2. That might have something to do with people having a right to own guns, Scott. Sorry, but you don’t have a right to demand everyone accept you.

      People’s freedom of association and contract don’t end if it means doing something you don’t like.

    3. I think there’s a crucial distinction between choosing not to enforce a stupid law and choosing to ignore a directive to not enforce a stupid law.

      Honestly, it’s more along the lines of the DEA raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in states that legalized it or decline to enforce those laws.

    4. Funny how people like it when the sheriffs allow them more freedom to make their own decisions, regardless the source of the potential restraint.

  12. “In fact, dozens of research studies have found again and again that ending discrimination, and supporting diversity, is good for business.”

    I don’t think the contrary is true, but if this person accepts the truth of this fact, then what exactly IS the point of anti-discrimination laws?

    Once again, this shows the level of cognitive dissonance or simple dishonesty from little red Marxians: at times they bemoan the Market’s apparent lack of action yet at the same time are quick to show that their impositions are good for the Market, showing a complete disregard for market processes.

    1. IF it is good for business, then we shouldn’t need a law to get businesses to do it.

      This article is appalling.

    2. What is your point?

  13. Man, a lot of folks are willing to ignore the implications of the process by which a thing gets done as long as they like the outcome.

    1. What is the problem with the process? I’m not getting anything on that from your post. It sounds like Just Another State Law to me. Are we just supposed to care because it’s anti-local-control?

    2. I’ll listen to this argument when people of all stripes start submitting constitutional amendments for all the shit they want done, and start throwing all these “federal” suits back to the states where they belong.

      In the meantime, if it results in more freedom, yeah, I’ll take it however we get it.

    3. No Scott. The process is a question of Arkansas state law. I don’t see why anyone should have an opinion on whether the state can trump the cities like this. It is up to the people of Arkansas. I don’t see any reason why it is necessarily bad for the state to be able to do this.

      Now, if there is some provision of the Arkansas Constitution that says the state can’t do this, then yeah I guess this is a bad thing because it doesn’t follow the law. But, I don’t see anything in your article that says the state can’t do this. All I see is you saying you don’t like it.

      The bottom line is I don’t understand how you can call yourself a Libertarian and still support public accommodation and employment discrimination laws. If they government can tell me who I have to hire and who I have to do business with, what can’t it tell me? What is your justification for supporting these laws other than “God damn it you want the government to punish people who don’t like you?” So does everyone else Scott and it is not a good idea for them to get their way either.

      1. “still support public accommodation and employment discrimination laws”

        Don’t you ever lie about my positions like this if you ever want me to ever respond to you in comments ever again. You read and comment on every single thing I write about gay issues and know full well this is not true. It says in this very post that I don’t support new antidiscrimination laws.

        How dare you.

        1. Then if you don’t support them Scott, what is your problem with this law?

          Is it unconstitutional? Are you just really that concerned with the issue of municipal sovereignty in Arkansas?

          It appears the state of Arkansas is using its lawful power over cities to preempt them from passing laws you claim to support. And yet, you are writing it up like it is a bad thing.

          If you don’t support such laws, I don’t understand why you would be bothered by this law.

          1. My understanding is this law doesn’t get real of non-discrimination law in AR but prevents cities from making pro-gay changes in their own versions of non-discrimination law. I think you can be concerned that the state leg is specifically prohibiting ostensibly “pro-gay” changes in local law and still believe that non-discrimination law is a bad thing.

            1. The state is saying you can have discrimination laws for some people but not for others. They are just saying “we are not extending these laws to gays”. Isn’t that something that both you and Scott swear up and down you support? If so, then you should like this law.

              1. I think you’re missing my point. This law doesn’t end non-discrim law in AR, the state leg is particularly targeting it because they don’t like gays. I think you can be rightly concerned that the state leg is targeting gays and still be against the specifics of non-discrim law.

                1. I think you can be rightly concerned that the state leg is targeting gays and still be against the specifics of non-discrim law.

                  I think would be a fair summation of my feelings on the issue. My problem with this piece is that last line, almost a throwaway, that makes a pretty sweeping statement without anything to back it up.

                2. This law and your objection to it goes to the heart of my objection to judicially mandated gay marriage.

                  The issue here is whether it is wrong for the state to say, “you can have nondescrimination laws for blacks or women but not for gays”. The only way it is wrong is if you think gays are a protected class under the 14th Amendment. A state couldn’t for example say “you can protect blacks from discrimination but not Mexicans” consistent with the 14th Amendment.

                  If this law is wrong, then that means they can’t do so with gays either. And if the state of Arkansas must choose to either not have any discrimination laws or protect gays like they do victims of racial and sexual discrimination, then neither can the federal government. And that means the CRA needs to be re-interpreted by the courts to include gays.

                  1. Who is and isn’t in AR’s special box isn’t really my point at all. I only mention it because the AR law is only incidentally a win for freedom of association, and shouldn’t really be lauded as progress on that front.

                    My point is you can be concerned that the state law is passing laws targeting a group without specifically supporting the laws that they’re striking down. My comment was ONLY a response to your contention that Scott had to either support the AR law or he’d be supporting non-descrim law:

                    If you don’t support such laws, I don’t understand why you would be bothered by this law.

                    1. the AR law is only incidentally a win for freedom of association, and shouldn’t really be lauded as progress on that front.

                      The law specially prevents cities from further restraining people’s freedom of association and contract. That looks like an explicit win for freedom for me. The people of the state of Arkansas now don’t have to worry about their cities further restraining their freedom of association in the name of civil rights. Preventing further harm is a win just like making things better is.

                      My point is you can be concerned that the state law is passing laws targeting a group without specifically supporting the laws that they’re striking down.

                      And that goes to heart of my point above. The federal government already does that in the CRA. The CRA protects you from discrimination on the basis of race, sex and religion but not sexual orientation. The CRA, by excluding gays from protection, singles out gays for not being protected just as much as this law.

                      Let me ask you again, how can you object to this law and not also demand that the CRA either be repealed, which isn’t going to happen, or be extended to cover gays?

                    2. The CRA, by excluding gays from protection, singles out gays for not being protected just as much as this law.

                      The CRA doesn’t single out gays, John it just doesn’t include them. While the AR law doesn’t specifically mention gays, it is clearly structured to target Little Rock and Eureka Springs’ gay-inclusive laws. I think there’s a significant difference between passing a law to target a group and not adding a group to a short list of special cases.

                    3. Like I say below, you could never ban discrimination for any reason. Hiring someone is an act of discrimination against everyone who applied and didn’t get the job.

                      You are just begging the question. If it is okay for governments to choose not to protect gays from discrimination, then they are perfectly free to pass laws saying “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is legal and no city shall say otherwise.”. If the state has a right to exclude gays from such protection, that in no way prevents them from extending it to other groups or means they must stop protecting other groups if they won’t protect gays.

                      It is not an all or nothing proposition.

                    4. John, I think part of jesse’s point is that there is a difference, if not a legal one, in legislators passing a law that says “you can’t do this thing associate with gay rights” today and simply not including gays in another “civil rights” law that was passed before gay rights were a thing. It’s clear to pretty much everyone that the legislators responsible in AR are more likely to be acting out of anti-gay animus than out of freedom-lovingness. It doesn’t make the legal outcome or freedom outcome different, but it isn’t actually the same.

                    5. Nikii,

                      Who cares why they are acting? The point is either the government should extend CRA protection to gays or it shouldn’t. If it shouldn’t, then it is free to say “we hate gays and will never extend CRA protection to them”.

                      If they are not free to do that, and clearly Jesse thinks they are not, then they are not free to exclude gays from CRA protection.

                      It is that simple. All this law does is say “we don’t extend this protection to gays and don’t want our cities doing it either”. Arkansas has a right to tell its cities what to do and has a right not to extend this protection to gays. Therefore, this law is fine.

                      If you object to this law, you either think Arkansas law is such that the state can’t do tell its cities what to do or you think Arkansas has no right to not extend CRA protection to gays.

                      It is really that simple. Jessee and Scott both are just engaging in sophistry trying to claim they somehow don’t want CRA protection for gays yet have a problem with the State of Arkansas passing a law that does exactly that.

                    6. If they are not free to do that, and clearly Jesse thinks they are not, then they are not free to exclude gays from CRA protection.

                      Stop being a twat. Discomfort with the state acting explicitly against gays is different than thinking they don’t legally have the right to.

                      jesse.in.mb|2.23.15 @ 1:23PM|#|

                      Scott, I don’t doubt that this law is broadly worded, but very narrowly targeted, or that the state leg is being slippery about its motivations, but I’m having a hard time figuring out where they’re actually doing anything procedural wrong, or how this is worse than anything else a state leg does.

                    7. Okay, what is your discomfort? All the law is doing is taking away something you claim you don’t want anyway?

                      The end result of this law is that CRA protection will not be extended to gays in Arkansas. If you think that is a good thing, there is nothing to be uncomfortable about. Who cares if they don’t like you, they are doing what you want them to do.

                    8. If you think that is a good thing, there is nothing to be uncomfortable about. Who cares if they don’t like you, they are doing what you want them to do.

                      Why is it out of bounds to be uncomfortable that people don’t like you, even if you are okay with the legal outcome? Come on.

                    9. The end result of this law is that CRA protection will not be extended to gays in Arkansas.

                      WTF does the CRA have anything to do with this? If gays end up added by Congress to the list of people that are included then AR will have to accept that because of Federal primacy.

                      Gays aren’t under that list and neither AR nor Eureka Springs can change that.

                    10. CAR protection is short hand for discrimination protection Jesse. And the CAR has a lot to do with it since it is the supreme discrimination and public accommodation law of the land.

                    11. Who cares why they are acting? The point is either the government should extend CRA protection to gays or it shouldn’t.

                      Um…anyone might care. Anyone could think the law was a net positive and freedom-enhancing while still being upset that it was passed for malicious reasons instead of noble ones.

                    12. Anyone could think the law was a net positive and freedom-enhancing while still being upset that it was passed for malicious reasons instead of noble ones.

                      This, precisely.

                3. So what? If we got a good statute enacted because a key legislator didn’t like the clothing, dog, or family of another legislator or someone else that opposed it, that’s still good.

              2. I will grant you that the immediate effect of this law is to protect a small piece of freedom of association from local governments. The problem is that it does so in a manner that both entrenches the current public accommodation regime (by preserving the protection for more favored minorities) and that expresses the legislature’s intent to single out a particular subgroup for opprobrium and to deny them the protection of a (very misguided) law. I get very nervous when the law becomes a vehicle for expressions of social disapproval.

                Put another way, gambling bans are antithetical to liberty and should be abolished, but a law that allowed the Irish to gamble, while preserving the ban for everyone else would not be liberty enhancing, and the cultural mindset that would support such a law even less so.

                1. It doesn’t further entrench accommodation laws. It keeps them from being expanded to a new area. Nothing about that further entrench the existing laws. That is a bigger reach than Shackelford tried.

                  1. There’s no need to be gratuitously insulting.

                    One major argument against Republicans trying to “fix” Obamacare is that in doing so, they would be giving implicit support for the entirety of the resulting law, not just for whatever concessions they managed to extract from the Democrats. Obamacare would become somewhat less awful (or perhaps somewhat more awful – we are talking about Congresscritters here) but it would also become harder to repeal. Once you start to argue about how Obamacare should be modified, you have gone a long way toward conceding that it is here to stay, or even that it ought to be here to stay.
                    Similarly, as the Arkansas legislature passes this law forbidding certain groups from receiving public accommodation protections, they are giving a measure of institutional support to public accommodation protections for those groups who were not forbidden.

                    Put another way, if you are arguing with your wife about whether to remodel the ground floor, and you find yourself arguing forcefully against pastels on the walls of your study, it’s a good bet that the contractors will be arriving shortly to empty your retirement account.

                2. Why doesn’t a law that exempts some class of persons from tyranny enhance liberty? It was a great advance when the colonies preceding the USA outlawed slavery of whites. It helped lead to the abolition of all slavery, but even if it hadn’t, better some people than none, huh?

        2. boy,your thin shinned.I read your article.It’s poorly written,Seems you want to take both sides.

        3. Mr. Shackford,

          I don’t want to impute bad motives or a lack of good faith to you here. So, let’s hear you out. What are the “very bad places” that states telling municipalities they can’t mandate non-discrimination at gunpoint that we haven’t been to for a long while?

          You’ve made clear here and in a number of other articles that you oppose public accommodation laws. I see no reason to doubt you. But, I have to admit, I’m a little confused that you don’t seem to present much specific reason to think that banning municipalities from the policy you ostensibly oppose is a bad thing.

    4. I guess if New York really wanted to enforce its gun laws it could send in the state guard to do it, but how feasible is that?

      I don’t see how Arkansas’ new law threatens to establish any kind of precedent where local autonomy is crushed by the state authorities because state authorities are, ultimately, beholden to the people in those local communities.

    5. ” Man, a lot of folks are willing to ignore the implications of the process by which a thing gets done as long as they like the outcome.”…

      Said a lot of people about “legalizing” gay marriage through federal courts.

      1. There is that. And lets not forget that the Reason line is that they don’t support public accommodation laws, so there fore are not responsible for the effects they cause after we get gay marriage.

        Well, I guess not every Libertarian is against public accommodation laws. Either that Reason is only against them when it is convenient.

        Reason is quite good about objecting to these laws after it is too late and they are already in place. They are quite good about feeling bad for the victims of the laws. They however seem to be a bit silent about the laws before they are passed and can do damage. That is, until now when they publishing articles in support of them and criticizing the State of Arkansas for putting a stop to them.

        1. As the case in Arkansas demonstrates, it is perfectly possible to extend public accommodation laws to gays even if you don’t have gay marriage, indeed, even if you have a constitutional amendment explicitly forbidding gay marriage.

          Gay marriage does not cause public accommodation laws to extend to gay people, and preventing gay marriage will not do anything to prevent that extension. Rather, broader societal acceptance of homosexuality is driving both public accommodation extensions and support for gay marriage. You are mistaking the effect for the cause.

          1. Gay marriage does not cause public accommodation laws to extend to gay people,

            Yes it does. Most public accommodation laws include marriage. That is the entire point of government marriage, to use the government to force people to recognize your union.

            If a state has gay marriage and one of your employees is gay and gets married, fuck you, you are recognizing his marriage and putting his spouse his insurance coverage.

            Gay marriage is about using government force to make people accept gays.

    6. Man, a lot of folks are willing to ignore the implications of the process by which a thing gets done as long as they like the outcome.

      Except the process is nothing new. As has been pointed out, state laws regularly preempt local ordinances. They have for a very long time. Hell, the 14th amendment preempts state and local laws by insisting they be consistent with the constitution.

  14. Nevertheless, the state telling its municipalities what kinds of laws they may or may not pass is one of those slippery slope situations that can (and does) go to very bad places.

    I think you need to give us a specific example of what you mean by “very bad places”.

    If the state told municipalities that they couldn’t pass laws infringing free speech, would that be a bad place?

    If the state told municipalities that they couldn’t pass laws infringing the right to keep and bear arms, would that be a bad place?

    If the state told municipalities that they couldn’t pass laws infringing the right of business owners to hire or fire workers based on whatever reasons they wanted to, would that be a bad place?

    If the state told municipalities that they couldn’t pass laws infringing the right of businesses to serve or not serve customers based on whatever reasons they wanted to, would that be a bad place?

    1. And every state does that all of the time. Generally, states generally occupy the field in certain areas of law.

      Does Shackelford think states having a single felony code and prohibiting cities from having their own a bad thing? What about state wide laws or torts, business regulation, workman’s comp and things like that?

      We are all familiar with arguments of state sovereignty versus federal power. This is the first time on Reason at least, however, I have ever heard someone arguing for municipal sovereignty over state. Really? Can this article be any more transparent in its endorsement of public accommodation and employment discrimination laws?

  15. Scott, I don’t doubt that this law is broadly worded, but very narrowly targeted, or that the state leg is being slippery about its motivations, but I’m having a hard time figuring out where they’re actually doing anything procedural wrong, or how this is worse than anything else a state leg does.

    Other than that I’m looking forward to watching folks try to hump non-discrimination law when SSM recognition rolls out in AR and find only air.

    1. Yeah. As far as petty outrages go, this one seems…well…petty.

    2. If Arkansas doesn’t have public accommodation laws with regards to gays, then there might not be an issue.

      So what is there to complain about?

  16. Okay, so I should probably step away and let people have their opinions.

    I would point out that Arkansas is not striking down any existing state-level antidiscrimination categories. Arkansas doesn’t give a goddamn about freedom of association and it has absolutely no relationship with what they passed.

    So it’s engaging in antidiscrimination policy protectionism. It is deciding which categories freedom of association applies to and forbidding cities from making their own categories. It is not expanding freedom in any meaningful way.

    I didn’t write more on this item because I didn’t think I needed to. I figured people would understand that.

    1. and forbidding cities from making their own categories

      Not sure I understand, since cities were already forbidden from making their own categories to which freedom of association applies?that’s what the existence of any state-level antidiscrimination law would do.

      1. No, many cities have their own antidiscrimination laws in addition to state laws. Obviously they can’t exclude categories that the state mandates, but they can add some that the state does not.

        1. But only excluding categories promotes freedom of association. Every time you add another category, it is anti-freedom.

        2. Why is it a good that cities be able to make their own categories? Especially when they can only ratchet the level of restriction on freedom of association up?

    2. So,it’s not you ,it’s us?

      1. No, it’s me. Whenever there’s a failure to communicate, I always blame the communicator. It would be hypocritical for me to say otherwise here.

        1. Some men you just can’t reach. I don’t like it any better than you men.

            1. This was on the other night.

              “I WILL get your mind right…”

    3. Hey Scott, I’m with you on the notion that being discriminated against sucks. I wouldn’t like it, for example, if I went into a business that serves awesome soul food and I was told they wouldn’t serve me because I wasn’t black.

      Would I want a law prohibiting that discrimination? Hell no. I’ll take my business elsewhere.

      And if I went into a firm run by someone (insert some random non-white ethnicity), and it was very obliquely implied that being of a different ethnicity from the owner meant that my job application would be roundfiled no matter how qualified I was, would I like that? Of course not.

      Would I want a law passed outlawing that behavior? Hell no.

      If I went into a gay bar with a girlfriend in tow, and I was told that I couldn’t enjoy dancing to the awesome music and mingling, because we were a straight couple (never has happened, btw, always been welcome, but this is a thought experiment), would I feel a bit hurt? Yeah.

      Would I want a law forcing the business owners to let us into their establishment? Hell no.

      And so on. So I’m not seeing how striking down an “anti-discrimination” law that infringes on free association is “not expanding freedom in any meaningful way”, even if that means allowing icky people to act icky … and the rest of us to shun them and refuse to do business with them.

      1. “if I went into a business that serves awesome soul food and I was told they wouldn’t serve me because I wasn’t black.”

        wow, there’s a viable business model!

    4. Scott,

      If the state of Arkansas can’t do this, how can the Federal Government have the CRA and not include gays under its protection? It is either okay for a government to say “all this except for gays” or it is not. If it is not, then I don’t see how you can have a CRA that doesn’t protect gays anymore than you could have one that didn’t protect white people or Jews but did everyone else.

      1. Gays are not the only excluded group.

        1. So what? You could never ban discrimination for any reason or it would be impossible to hire anyone. You can only ban discrimination based on a set number of factors. The question remains why does sexual orientation have to be one? And if it doesn’t, why can’t Arkansas make it clear that its cities can’t do this?

          1. Federalism. The feds have said that X, Y, and Z are categories which may not be discriminated against. States are then free to allow (ALLOW, not enforce) discrimination against U, V, and W. It may be unfair, it may be a stupid idea, but it’s the right of a state to allow employers that freedom if they so choose. Under the notion of federalism, different states will end up with a different mix, but a state cannot have a libertarian approach (an employer being able to pick and choose however he damn well pleases) because the federal law has to first be repealed or found unconstitutional.

            1. Sure. But that just means Arkansas is free to pass this law. Arkansas has a right not to protect gays from discrimination and is exercising its right here.

              1. I do not disagree. I oppose the law and think it’s stupid, but I think the whole “protected classes” thing is stupid.

                States have more sweeping authority to overrule municipalities than the federal government has to overrule states. Or so you’d think from that dusty old document in the National Archives.

    5. It is not expanding freedom in any meaningful way.

      Does a law adding an additional category of protected class restrict freedom in any appreciable way? If not, why do you oppose anti-discrimination laws? If so, how is saying you can’t do that not preventing a restriction of freedom?

    6. It is deciding which categories freedom of association applies to and forbidding cities from making their own categories. It is not expanding freedom in any meaningful way.

      This is incredibly odd logic.

      It’s like saying that if we have a discrimination regime where there are laws banning freedom of association (i.e. antidiscrimination laws) on the basis of race, religion, gender, and sexual preference – and I manage to get a law passed clawing that back to race only, that it wouldn’t constitute an increase in freedom.

      Any reduction in the reach of antidiscrimination laws AT ALL that is anything less than a total ban would always constitute “deciding which categories freedom of association applies to”. And when that decision is “fewer” that’s an increase in freedom.

      1. Yes. And more than that, if you managed to get the laws regarding gender discrimination repealed but failed in getting the race and religion provisions rolled back, according the Scott and Jesse that would not only not be a win for freedom, but also would be you “targeting women”.

        1. I don’t think that is fair to jesse. It could easily be targeting women if we had legislative history that supported that.

          1. So what if you were? Why does that make it any less of a win for freedom? It is only a loss for freedom if you think freedom only includes the right to do things you approve of.

            1. Targeting women doesn’t make it a loss for freedom, but you seem to be implying that it would be impossible to push for such a law and actually be targeting women.

  17. The bottom line here is that the State of Arkansas has decided it does not want to extend the protection of anti-discrimination and public accommodation laws to gays and that it further wants a single state wide rule saying so. It doesn’t want a mix of these laws being extended to gays in some cities but not in others.

    If you operate on the assumption that public accommodation laws are bad, I cannot see any objection to Arkansas doing this.

    1. If you operate on the assumption that public accommodation laws are bad, I cannot see any objection to Arkansas doing this.

      I’m sure you can’t, John.

      1. Okay then Jesse, explain to me why the CRA, by not including gays, isn’t just as bad? The feds are protecting everyone but gays from discrimination?

        I don’t see how the state of Arkansas can keep gays from getting this protection without repealing the entire body of discrimination law. All you are and Scott are saying is that any discrimination law that doesn’t include gays is wrong.

        Of course no state could repeal its discrimination laws. The courts would never let them. Please explain to me how Arkansas is supposed to not extend public accommodation law to gays?

        You claim you don’t support it. Okay, tell me how that happens considering that the other laws are not going anywhere.

        You are basically claiming that any state that doesn’t want to extend this to gays must repeal all of its discrimination laws or forget it. Since that is not going to happen, how can you claim you don’t support these laws?

        1. The feds are protecting everyone but gays from discrimination?

          Not true. There’s lots of other “classes” who are not protected.

          1. Yes there are. That is my entire point. Unless there is something about gays that makes them different, the states are free to pass laws that specifically exclude them. They are free to “target them” all they like.

            1. They are free to “target them” all they like.

              Strongly disagree. There’s a difference between “targeting them” and “not getting in the way of private transactions where they may be targeted by non-state actors.”

        2. You are basically claiming that any state that doesn’t want to extend this to gays must repeal all of its discrimination laws or forget it. Since that is not going to happen, how can you claim you don’t support these laws?

          IANAL, but passing a law specifically because you don’t want gays included, and not including gays as one of many possible classes which could be included seems like a big difference.

          1. If the state is free not to protect gays, why can’t they pass a law saying gays are not to be protected? How are they supposed to not protect gays if they can’t pass a law saying they are not protected?

            1. I’ve posted this elsewhere, so forgive me. But I wanted to clear this up.

              I broke the initial story last year and work for an Arkansas news organization, so I feel I need to give you guys some much-needed background on this situation:

              This state law is in response to a city code passed in Fayetteville last year called the “Civil Rights Ordinance,” which made it a criminal offense for a business to discriminate against someone based on perceived sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity and other factors.

              Basically, if someone felt offended at a local business because of their sexual orientation or the like, they would create an official complaint with the city attorney, and the city attorney would decide whether to fine the business as much as $600 per offense and place them on a list.

              If they didn’t pay the fine, they were arrested on suspicion of failure to pay fines.

              As you can imagine, a lot of business owners—not just bigots—didn’t want their livelihood in the hands of someone who might ruin their business by making a single complaint to the city attorney.

              So the voters voted it down in a referendum, and the state government passed this law to make sure such insanely unconstitutional ordinances never happen again.

              1. Yes. It is the state saying “no we are not going there”. That is all this is.

  18. Ann Coulter(a hack to be sure) made a good point about ‘libertarians’ a time ago

    We’re living in a country that is 70-percent socialist, the government takes 60 percent of your money.[sic] They are taking care of your health care, of your pensions. They’re telling you who you can hire, what the regulations will be. And you want to suck up to your little liberal friends and say, ‘Oh, but we want to legalize pot.’ You know, if you’re a little more manly you would tell them what your position on employment discrimination is. How about that? But it’s always ‘We want to legalize pot.’

    1. Fuck off, sockpuppet.

      1. It’s kind of sockpuppet^2 since, you know, Ann Coulter is trying to troll libertarians there.

        Yeah, ’cause, you know, we’re always forgetting to hassle the left about taxing and spending.

        Meanwhile, every time Obama tells the establishment Republicans to raise the debt ceiling, the only question they ask is, “How high?”.

        1. Only “safe” issues are debated, nothing that would offend the local Dean of Diversity.

          If libertarians understood how their economic policies would effect people they would change their tune. It’s one thing to criticize government spending if you think it consists of the government throwing a bunch of money into a pile and lighting it on fire. It’s another thing to take away a Black woman’s food stamps.

          1. I am pretty sure they would be doing that black woman a favor taking away her food stamps.

            Libertarians are often guilty of being cultural progressives. They however are not guilty of downplaying the effects of the welfare state and the harms of dependence.

            1. This guy is guilty of being Murrican, however.

            2. Harms of dependence? Pff. I used to buy that stuff but then I realized how ridiculous it is. You know what you get when you take away food stamps from a Black woman who makes 11,000$ a year? She makes 11,000$ a year and has to spend more of that money on food. It won’t magically make her smarter or more entrepreneurial. She knows that, which is why she votes for the Democrats.

              1. You are a fucking moron if you don’t understand dependence. Poverty is a moral condition not a monetary one. Giving poor people money does nothing to get them out of poverty. If it did, we would have long since solved poverty.

                In fact, we have spent more money on the war on poverty than in all of our real wars combined. What the experience has shown is that giving poor people money, by enabling them, makes them worse off.

                Ultimately, people like you loath poor people. You must or you wouldn’t want to harm them so much.

    2. Yeah, just like this article is about legalizing pot.

      Shorter troll: “derp”

  19. All, right, Arkansas, if the bill passed, would say this:

    (a) Here is a list of protected classes, like race, religion, etc. Government and private businesses can’t discriminate based on membership in these protected classes (eg, don’t discriminate against blacks or Mormons). If you discriminate based on one of the protected classes, you’ll incur sanctions under state law, and local governments can add their own sanctions if they wish.

    (b) However, local governments cannot add to this list as far as private businesses are concerned. Thus, businesses can discriminate on any basis not included in our list. So you can discriminate against gays, since sexual orientation isn’t on the list, you can discriminate against Red Sox fans since sports preference isn’t on the list (that I know of), etc.

    (c) EXCEPTION: Local governments can protect *their own employees* from discrimination. Thus, they can protect their own people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, sports-team preference, clothing style, and on and on.

    I suspect the courts will strike this law down under Romer v. Evans, since it allows Mormons and blacks (for instance) to lobby for protected-class status under local law, but doesn’t allow gays to do so, yada yada. I’m not endorsing this reasoning, I’m simply giving a realistic assessment on how the courts tend to view this sort of case.

    Thus, Scott Shackford and others can breathe easy, this law probably won’t last long.

    1. You are probably right that Scott is going to get his pony. Now tell me how the CRA survives the same sort of challenge. If gays are a protected class, and clearly they are in your scenario, how can the feds choose to protect some protected classes and not gays?

      1. Maybe I’m missing something, but if that reasoning holds, how can they protect gays and not Red Sux fans?

        1. That is just it. This is what I have been trying unsuccessfully to explain to people on here for months on the Gay marriage threads.

          Equal protection doesn’t mean the government can’t discriminate against anyone for any reason. Generally it means that whatever distinction the government makes has to have a rational relationship towards a legitimate government end.

          For something like choice of baseball team, the rational relationship would apply. So if people wearing Red Sox gear at Yankee stadium was causing riots, the City of New York could discriminate against Red Sox fans by banning Red Sox gear at the stadium. That discrimination bears a rational relationship towards the legitimate state end of keeping the peace.

          If there were race riots at Yankee stadium, the city or the state couldn’t ban black people from the park. The reason for that is that certain kinds of discrimination gets a higher level of scrutiny. Racial discrimination gets the highest. It gets strict scrutiny, which means it must be in response to a compelling government interest and as narrowly tailored as possible to meet that interest. Gender discrimination gets intermediate scrutiny, which I won’t bore you with describing.

        2. The whole gay marriage issue is where does sexual orientation fall on that continuum. Is being gay like being a Red Sox fan and the government can discriminate against you as long as doing so is somehow rationally related to a legitimate government end or is it like being black?

          That is the heart of the issue and the issue no one here seems to understand or want to address.

      2. “Now tell me how the CRA survives the same sort of challenge.”

        I don’t know what rationale they’ll select to uphold the CRA in such a case, but of course the gay lib types don’t exactly base their case on reasoned argument – vicious invective, lies and projection are more their style.

        Which gets us to a key difference between racial discrimination and sexual-orientation discrimination:

        Rev. Martin Luther Kind invoked rational arguments – even citing St. Thomas Aquinas – to make his case against racial discrimination, and he famously called for love even toward his segregationist opponents.

        This doesn’t exactly seem like the approach of the gay lib crowd. Somehow, they get more incoherent and angry at their situation than a civil-rights leader leading an entire people out of the bondage of an overt caste system.

        1. I don’t see how gays are a special group that gets special protection when it comes to marriage that groups like Polygamists don’t get but then are treated just like baseball fans when it comes to equal protection in every other context.

          I have spent months trying to explain to people on here what the implications of courts mandating state recognition of gay marriages under the equal protection clause. I have yet to find a single Reasonoid, sans you, who is anything but utterly unfucking trainable on the issue. They just refuse to get it. They can’t even seem to grasp the idea that “equal protection doesn’t mean the government must treat everyone the same”. It goes right over their heads.

        2. the gay lib types don’t exactly base their case on reasoned argument – vicious invective, lies and projection are more their style.

          You have no idea why Jesse didn’t like you telling him he’s less fit to raise a child than any insane criminal, do you?

          1. Oh, my mistake, you said that all the married straights except the criminally insane should have priority over Jesse. Well, that’s mighty white of you.

            1. What a gracious apology!

              In any case, thank you for immediately confirming the very comment you were replying to.

              1. Confirming *my* 3:18 comment with your 3:31 post.

                At least you didn’t double down on your error. Very white of you.

              2. Are you enjoying your martyrdom? “St. Eddie: people were mean to him on the internet.”

                1. Heh heh, I’m certainly enjoying your tears.

                2. You joke warty, but seriously that is what it comes down to. Either not giving a shit or actively being hostile towards Jesse getting a marriage license from the government is okay or it isn’t. If it is, okay, then it is. If it is not, then we need to protect gays just like we protect blacks and women.

                  1. Ah, John, you missed Playa Manhattan’s meltdown over the weekend, where he called me “evil” and declared he “despise[d]” me, then said *I* was a hater.

                    He also thought it would be a good idea to bring up my brother’s suicide, which, in some way, combined with my single, chaste lifestyle and my membership in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, explains why I don’t want the government to recognize SSM.

                    This is what these people actually believe!

                    1. Ah fuck him. People whine about me being nasty on here. I am no worse than a lot of people.

                      I wasted an entire evening trying to explain the equal protection issue to Fransisco. I don’t see how it is that hard of a concept to grasp. He is totally unable to do it.

                    2. Well, to be fair, John, you *can* get nasty, but at least you never threw my brother’s suicide in my face. So you have that going for you.

                    3. GKC,

                      I didn’t say I wasn’t. But I am never any nastier to anyone than they are to me. I only get nasty when they start it. And when I am wrong I back off. People just whine about it because they think it is okay to be nasty to me and not expect me to come back at them.

                    4. Right now, in comparison to the way some people here talk, you’re looking in comparison like Mr. Rogers singing about world peace.

                      No offense.

                    5. Don’t let it bother you. People only get nasty when you have a point. People are amazingly polite and forgiving when you agree with them or their position is strong. They only get nasty and personal out of weakness.

                      Ultimately, gay marriage is going to be a net loss in freedom and Libertarians realize that, even if they won’t admit it. They have let their cultural allegiances get the better of them. And they get very angry when people point that out.

                    6. Eddie, go ahead and point out where I said “brother” or “suicide”. Why do you try and cloak yourself in victimhood? Are you ashamed of your beliefs? Afraid they won’t stand on their own merits?

                      Let’s make this really simple and see if you are willing to stand by your beliefs.

                      True or False. All I’m looking for is a “True” or a “False”. No bullshitting, no word games. Can you handle that?

                      1) Government force should be used to prevent gays from getting married or calling themselves married. TRUE OR FALSE

                      2) Government force should be used to prevent gays from participating in homosexual acts. TRUE OR FALSE

                      Simple enough questions, right? Just looking for a one word answer to each.

                      Ball’s in your court.

                    7. Are fucking retarded Manhattan?

                      The answer to both of those questions is of course no. Why the hell would anyone support that?

                      Neither of those issues has anything to do with government marriage. Gays are and should be free to get married. That however does not mean the government has to recognize their marriage or force anyone else to.

                    8. John, you must have missed the thread where eddie revealed what he actually believed.

                    9. Also John, make sure to ask him about divorce law. You’ll love his answer.

                    10. Playa’s not lying, John. The exchange he’s talking about was insane. Eddie is a nut, pure and simple.

                    11. “make sure to ask him about divorce law”

                      Go ahead, my answer will horrify you!

                    12. Playa,

                      What John said. Which is also what *I* said: (1) FALSE (2) FALSE.

                      FALSE as in, “most of what Playa Manhattan says is FALSE.”

                      Now, as to your trying to back away from your own actions, I mentioned in H&R that my brother committed suicide. Then you said on H&R that some unspecified “family tragedy” explained why I hated gays. You know, Playa, some members of H&R are actually engineers, they can apply basic logic and understand what your reference to a family tragedy means.

                      But hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, so by trying to back away from your own statements, you’re acknowledging that you wish you hadn’t tried to throw my brother’s suicide in my face.

                      And I will simply add that if *someone* had to commit suicide, it shouldn’t have been my brother, it should have been…someone else.

                    13. “wish you hadn’t tried to throw my brother’s suicide in my face.”

                      Again. I didn’t. YOU WOULD DEFINITELY KNOW IF I DID.

                      Project on to me all you want. You’re the evil one and you know it.

                    14. No, playa, you’re backtracking more than a Hanna Barbera character (though with less interesting sound effects), but you did indeed attribute my views to a “family tragedy,” after I had already disclosed on H&R that my brother committed suicide. I appreciate that you backhandedly acknowledge the wrongfulness of your behavior, by falsely denying it.

                      You provide enough projection to supply ten drive-in movie theaters. You call me “evil,” “the evil one,” and say you “despise me,” and *then* you say *I’m* a hater. You stimulate yourself to a climax about your tolerance for all sexual lifestyles, and say I lack such tolerance, but then mock the single, chaste lifestyle.

                      Are you aware that single, chaste warrior-monks, like the Knights of Malta, helped preserve Christendom from conquest by the Ottomans? In other words, if it weren’t for these single people, you’d be a Muslim, bowing to Mecca five times a day while your wife (who would not be permitted to work outside the home) wore a tent for a dress.

                    15. You would be a Muslim, of course, because you are a coward, lacking the courage of the Ukrainian Catholics whom you mock – many of whom were killed or sent to the Gulags for maintaining their faith in the face of an atheist Soviet regime.

                    16. Also,

                      HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!

                      This was priceless.

                    17. Ah. This all makes so much sense now. Just wow.

                      And let’s not pretend that you’re celibate by choice.

                    18. Indeed, I am.

                      And I perceive that you haven’t tried to back up any of your claims, once challenged.

                      No amount of ALL CAPS threats will be able to make up for your lack of substantive criticism.

                      All that you and your SSM allies have is invective, lies, and threats. Without these, you would pretty much have no arguments at all.

                    19. No, you’re not. And you know it. You’re a smart guy, you’re well aware of how many….barriers… there are to you not being celibate. But your ex post facto rationalization of that is priceless.. YOU”RE A KNIGHT OF MALTA because you can’t find a woman.

                      Your responses today, all of them, confirm exactly what I already knew about you. But I don’t really care. Live your life the way you want. I don’t want to debate you. I’m not interested in your ideas. Say you want, express your opinions, preach, whatever. BUT, listen carefully here: if you fuck with my friend because of the way he was born, you and I are going to have a big problem.

                    20. “if you fuck with my friend because of the way he was born, you and I are going to have a big problem.”

                      I tell you what: Why don’t you take your fucking threats and shove them right up your fucking ass?

                      Your intervention on behalf of your “gay friend” (as you, hipster-like, called him) is only going to harm him.

                      Frankly, the only beef I have with jesse right now is that he seems to have let you off the leash and won’t intervene to pull you back, which would be in his interest *and* yours.

                      I saw the photo of your wife which you were kind enough to share with me, and I’ve banged hotter women than her.

                      I’ve already made you back off your original accusations and crawl away with your tail between your legs. You don’t want to fuck with me again.

                    21. And to be clear: I don’t in any way blame the gay community for jesse’s conduct. And I don’t blame jesse except to the extent he enables you.

                    22. OK. This can’t be real. You feel wronged by Jesse’s conduct????

                      Where are the hidden cameras?

                    23. First of all, weak. I’ve seen your picture. You’re, to put it charitably, sloppy. I’m pretty sure that there’s something in the 10 commandments about lying. I’m a confident man. I carefully think my life decisions through, and I’m happy with those decisions. If you think you can get under my skin by (falsely, obviously) claiming that you’ve banged hotter women than my wife and mother of my children, then you’re wrong. And that’s putting aside the statistical impossibility that what you say could ever be true in the first place.

                      Jesse did ask me to pull back. And I’m tired of watching him turn the other cheek because of people like you. He’s objectively a better person than you. You don’t get the moral high ground because you’re thumping the (gibberish Ukrainian) bible.

                      Aspie, sociopath, manic depressive, or schizophrenic, I really don’t give a fuck why you are the way you are. You’re incapable of empathy, and that makes you a bad person. Put on a dress and wrap yourself in the bible, but you’re still a bad person doing bad things. Jesus weeps.

                      So, it sounds like we’re gonna have a problem.

                    24. Don’t try and heckle me.

                    25. Did you just??? Hang on. I need a ruling. BRB

                    26. And if you’re offended on behalf of some guy who tells you you’re going too far, allow me to be offended on behalf of the Ukrainian Catholics who suffered and died at the hands of your fellow atheists in the Soviet Union, including the metropolitan who was offered release from the Gulag in exchange for supporting Stalin, but who refused and went back to his hellish incarceration.

                      You and your crazy-eyes wife are simply not fit to wipe the shoes of the courageous, heroic men and women whom you ignorantly mock. The members of the church for which you have so much contempt went through trials which would have had you and the Mrs. running for cover in an instant. They were starved, shipped to Gulags, and otherwise made to feel the true face of atheism.

                      How fucking dare you mock their faith just because someone criticized your politics on the Internet?

                    27. I love this. LOVE IT.

                      Please tell me more.

                      And it’s crazy-eyed hot-assed wife. Get it right.
                      That was her CA State BAR portrait. You remember when you tried to be a lawyer, right.

                    28. Wow, this is productive.

                      Just for jesse’s sake, let me emphasize that my quarrel is with you, not him, and the fact that he tried to restrain your foolishness makes me think a *lot* better of him.

                      You see, at the end of the day, it’s not about what kind of temptations you face – temptations to sex, temptations to lie, etc. – what matters is what you *do* with those temptations – and you made the decision to do all the things you project onto those who disagree with you politically on marriage.

                      You’ve left nothing undone – mocking people’s sexual lifestyle, insulting entire religions, exploiting other people’s family tragedies, and you think that on top of that you can pile further insults and threats.

                      I’ve dealt with people like you all my life.

                      I used to respond to bullies by just keeping quiet and hoping they would go away.

                      No longer.

                      So you can *jack* off all you want at the thought of your own awesomeness, but it’s not going to work.

                  2. If you don’t give a shit, then it doesn’t bother you if he does. If you’re hostile to it, then you should be hostile to it for straights, or else on this subject you’re no more morally upright than poor fallen Eddie here. And blacks and women can protect their own damn selves.

                    1. I like the part where I said “the gay lib types don’t exactly base their case on reasoned argument – vicious invective, lies and projection are more their style,” and you immediately responded with…vicious invective and lies.

                      You have a shred of intellectual integrity, so you were embarrassed enough to admit your error, though I don’t want to give you too much credit since it can be fairly easily refuted.

                      This is why the arguments of the SSM crowd lack credibility.

                    2. vicious invective and lies

                      appropriate

                    3. Jesse,

                      I take it all back, based on your statements here you would clearly make a much better adoptive father than any unenlightened peasant in a straight, man/woman marriage, and I’m sorry I suggested otherwise.

                    4. What a gracious apology!

                    5. Of course – a monogamous gay person like yourself would obviously be a far better adoptive father than some straight guy who has a series of loveless encounters with a bunch of women.

                      Wouldn’t you agree?

                    6. Did I ever suggest that I would be a great candidate for fatherhood? Or did I just think you a bigot for wanting adoption law to presume that similarly situated straight couples, by virtue of being allowed to get married, were better suited than gay couples in all but a very narrow set of circumstances?

                      Jesse: “but a gay couple HAS to wait until you run out of not-criminally-insane straight people before they can take children into their home”

                      Jesse: Put it that, way, yes.

                      Anyway, as much fun as you trying to justify your categorical prejudices with personal attacks is, I’m gonna check out of this thread because like Saturday’s it is long past being productive. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

                    7. Bah, edit button, Reason!

                      Eddie: Put it that, way, yes.

                      Sorry for the typo 🙁

                    8. “personal attacks”

                      Ow, can’t have those!

                    9. For some reason – doubtless an honest mistake, I’m sure – you left out what I added to the quoted remark:

                      “Exception: Of course, the gay couple could take in the children of relatives, or other kids who aren’t in the adoption pipeline. I’m referring to people who are in the government’s adoption pipeline.”

                      I mean, you must simply have forgotten about that little qualifier, because you are too virtuous and righteous a person to actually suppress information?

                    10. jesse,

                      The only reason I am angry at youis that you haven’t acted to put your self-declared friend J____ back on his leash, where he belongs.

                    11. You mean James? I’m James, BTW

                    12. Good to meet you.

                      By the way, don’t ever fucking threaten me again. EVER.

                    13. Calm down, Eric.

                    14. Ah, you’re referencing the books I published under the name Eric Longley, while my name is now Max Longley?

                      Is that your meaning, Mr. Heckel?

                    15. Don’t dox yourself, dude. Even I wasn’t going to do that.

                    16. In case you’re having trouble reading the tone here, now is not a good time to publicize your latest work.

                      I’m disagreeing with you here, not trying to ruin your livelihood.

                    17. I mean wow. Just wow. Get yourself under control, man. I would never wish Mary on you.

                    18. To be very clear: I was looking for you to apologize to Jesse. You owe it to him.

                      Things have apparently gone horribly wrong. That was not my intention. No need to throw yourself on the bonfire.

                    19. “Things have apparently gone horribly wrong.”

                      And the passive voice was used.

                      Yes, indeed, James, you’ve made things go horribly wrong.

                      I kept my identity secret to protect myself from the likes of you. But you already know it.

                      And I have a book to promote, a book with my name on it. I was going to wait for the digital edition (cheaper than the print edition), but there we are…

                    20. You uttered threat after threat, revealing my identity one part at a time…then said I’d have a problem if I didn’t yield to your demands.

                      Now that I’ve outed myself, it’s a bit harder for you to pull your blackmail routine.

                      And, no, I will not apologize to *anyone* for having different political opinions.

                    21. The first shot was fired here:
                      https://reason.com/blog/2015/02…..nt_5110370

                      How clever you are! The spelling was slightly different, so you can deny it!!!

                      I don’t care what your political beliefs are. I really don’t. My concern is how you treat human beings that I care about. Not that you would understand that.

                    22. All of this aside, I really didn’t want this for you. I’ll see what I can do to get this thread erased. You’ve worked hard on this, and your work deserves to be judged on its own merits, not…. this

                    23. Eddie (which is what I will continue to call you),

                      I’m sorry. I now believe that I have bullied you. I didn’t want things to go this far. You can thank my crazy eyed wife for this apology. I was ready to go nuclear, but you don’t deserve it.

                      Please take into consideration my comments on your treatment of others who are different than you.

                      That is all

                    24. See, this is why you should always consult with legal counsel!

                    25. I don’t give a shit either way Warty. I don’t personally have a problem with gays but I frankly could not care less that some people do. Gays seem to do pretty well in the world. And no one ever said the world had to accept you. I think the gays and the gay haters need to settle it themselves and keep the law the fuck out of it.

  20. Hatred and inequality raises its head again in Arkansas. In 1957, it took federal troops to integrate nine students (called the Little Rock Nine) into a white high school, inspite of the Supreme Court in 1954 declaring the non-segregation of all schools in the nation. Now, in 2015 those hateful genes have been passed on and now the people of Arkansas can hate again based on their “Biblical conscience.” This hatred can spill into jobs, accommodation, businesses, etc. This bill will be stuck down by the Supreme Court. These so-called “Christians” will reap what they have sown.
    http://stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com

  21. I broke the initial story last year and work for an Arkansas news organization, so I feel I need to give you guys some much-needed background on this situation:

    This state law is in response to a city code passed in Fayetteville last year called the “Civil Rights Ordinance,” which made it a criminal offense for a business to discriminate against someone based on perceived sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity and other factors.

    Basically, if someone felt offended at a local business because of their sexual orientation or the like, they would create an official complaint with the city attorney, and the city attorney would decide whether to fine the business as much as $600 per offense and place them on a list.

    If they didn’t pay the fine, they were arrested on suspicion of failure to pay fines.

    As you can imagine, a lot of business owners—not just bigots—didn’t want their livelihood in the hands of someone who might ruin their business by making a single complaint to the city attorney.

    So the voters voted it down in a referendum, and the state government passed this law to make sure such insanely unconstitutional ordinances never happen again.

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