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Federal Agencies Split on Whether Civil Rights Act Protects Against Anti-Gay Discrimination

The Department of Justice argues that sexual orientation isn't covered unless Congress adds it.

Rainbow flagsRightFramePhotoVideo / DreamstimeThe Department of Justice and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are at odds over whether sexual orientation is covered by the bans on sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC believes, and has repeatedly argued over the past few years, that discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is already covered within the Civil Rights Act. They present this argument despite the fact that most people treat these categories as separate and that at the time of the passage of the act, legislators were most certainly not attempting to protect gay or transgender people from workplace discrimination.

In a brief filed yesterday for a workplace discrimination case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District, the Department of Justice contradicted the EEOC, telling the court that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is specific and different from discrimination on the basis of sex and is not covered under the Civil Rights Act.

Court precedents have made it more complicated to separate out what the law means when it talks about sex discrimination. A Supreme Court precedent set in 1989 established that discrimination on the basis of "gender stereotyping" counts as sex discrimination. So punishing a male employee for being feminine or a female employee for being masculine can be forbidden.

Efforts to use this concept to oppose discrimination against people for being transgender began prior to Barack Obama's presidency, but his administration ultimately supported the idea. The idea that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act already covers transgender discrimination is what prompted the Obama administration to oppose North Carolina's controversial "bathroom bill." The administration also argued that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars sex discrimination, also requires public schools to accommodate transgender students by allowing them to use the gender-separated facilities (restrooms, locker rooms) of their choice.

Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice has already withdrawn the guidance to schools that was sent under the Obama administration, stating that federal courts are still split on the underlying issues.

This week the Department of Justice weighed in on that workplace discrimination case, which hinges on whether Title VII covers sexual orientation. The department's attorneys argue that it does not. They argue that Congress has the authority to decide whether to add sexual orientation as a protected class, has had numerous opportunities to do so over the years, and has not. "The theories advanced by the EEOC and the Seventh Circuit lack merit," they state. "These theories are inconsistent with Congress's clear ratification of the overwhelming judicial consensus that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination."

It remains to be seen whether this argument from the Justice Department will influence the outcome of the case. In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled, 8-3, that the Civil Rights Act does prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a form of sex discrimination. As I noted at the time, these cases seem likely to end up before the Supreme Court eventually.

Read the Department of Justice's brief here.

Photo Credit: RightFramePhotoVideo / Dreamstime

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  • Citizen X - #6||

    Enough about your problems, man.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    These euphemisms must stop!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Sessions is determined to live out every '80s movie villain trope, isn't he.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    What was Jane Fonda, chopped liver?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    aborted Keebler elf

    I really shouldn't have been taking a drink of my soda when I read that. I just almost spewed soda all over my keyboard.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    You know who else was your father?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anakin?

  • Juice||

    He's just a yokel goober who's found his way into a very powerful position.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He's by far the worst part of the Trump administration (to date, anyway).

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If Session hears your insult he's going to challenge you to a downhill ski race.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    If i don't win, he's gonna shut down the community center!

  • BearOdinson||

    As most of us agree, the portions of the CRA that forbade govt discrimination were good. But listing protected classes, and more importantly, extending that to private businesses was wrong.

    Having said that, if we are stuck with it, than it is absolutely up to Congress to decide what is or isn't included. Title VII of the CRA of 1964 covers race, religion, color, sex or national origin. Since then, Congress has added pregnancy, age and disability to the list.

    The word sex used in this context is very clear. There are 2 sexes for the human species: male and female. That is it. This obviously isn't "sexual preference" since (even in the left's own paradigm) whether a person is biologically male or female doesn't automatically lead to a particular sexual preference. Same is true for "gender". The left even acknowledges the difference between sex and gender.

    Therefore, the plain meaning of the law is covered employers can't arbitrarily choose males over females. (or vice versa if it was applied equally).

  • BearOdinson||

    It is actually very simple. For those libertarians who argue for the plain meaning of the words in the Constitution, as opposed to the "living document" approach, then we need to apply the same standards to laws passed by Congress.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I would say that argument would apply to many progressives as well, since they argue that rights do not exist unless the government explicitly grants them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If Congress only passed laws that were within the their enumerated duties listed in the Constitution, there would probably be not much of a need for that.

    The whole Civil Rights Acts would be unconstitutional.

    You cannot force people to bake cakes for people they don't want to.

  • BearOdinson||

    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states "on the basis of sex". Not on the basis of sexual preference. Not on the basis of gender.

    Sorry, you can't say that gender (or sexual preference) is different from sex in one minute (when discussing whether or not gender dysphoria is a disorder or not), and then argue that sex means gender and sexual preference in regards to civil rights legislation.

  • BYODB||

    Pretty much this. The arguments of these groups imply that they are not in fact a protected class since they have divorced gender from sex and the law does explicitly say sex. You can't have it both ways.

    I'm absolutely not saying that it should be a reasonable basis to discriminate against someone because of their sex, gender, or whatever since they all have human rights. So far, anyway, since no one has claimed to identify as an animal without agency yet. Well, at least not in the U.S. that I'm aware of. There was the girl in the U.K. that claimed to be a cat. Should we be allowed to discriminate against people who self-identify as animals? You decide, I guess.

  • Robert||

    Yabbut the way they analyze these cases, if it mattered what the sex of the person in question was, that's discrimination on the basis of sex. So if the girl who likes girls is disfavored in a way that a boy who likes girls wouldn't be, that's discrimination on the basis of the sex of that disfavored person.

  • damikesc||

    The word sex used in this context is very clear. There are 2 sexes for the human species: male and female. That is it. This obviously isn't "sexual preference" since (even in the left's own paradigm) whether a person is biologically male or female doesn't automatically lead to a particular sexual preference. Same is true for "gender". The left even acknowledges the difference between sex and gender.

    Therefore, the plain meaning of the law is covered employers can't arbitrarily choose males over females. (or vice versa if it was applied equally).

    Agreed. I don't like the idea of unaccountable judges passing legislation themselves.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The part you're not-addressing is the Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989) SCOTUS precedent that extended "sex discrimination" to include "gender stereotyping".

    You need to argue that
    (A) Price Waterhouse should be overturned
    or (B) that discriminating against a man because he doesn't behave how you think men are supposed to behave (that is, have sex with women) isn't gender stereotyping.

  • MarkLastname||

    A) Price Waterhouse should be overturned for a host of reasons.
    B) Is 'people shouldn't have sex with members of their own sex' gender stereotyping? One can argue with equal validity that it (or a whole lot of other types of discrimination, including dress codes, the very existence of sex-specific bathrooms (isn't it gender stereotyping that only men use urinals?)) is or that it isn't, because it comes down to debating semantics anyway. Which is a splendid argument for just not having the government keep extensive catalogs of what motivations are kosher or not kosher for any and all activities.

  • ||

    Therefore, the plain meaning of the law is covered employers can't arbitrarily choose males over females. (or vice versa if it was applied equally).

    It seems weird in that I should know the answer to this*, but how do pornographers get away with this? They factually hire women (and men) to have sex as women (and men) in arbitrarily disproportionate amounts based specifically on sex, gender and expected sex/gender rolls.

    So, as a sortof twist to the whole gay wedding cake thing, should/n't we be forcing gay porn producers to hire straight and lesbian women?

    *I have some pretty good ideas, but nothing that I would consider even trivially passing legal muster.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm not entirely sure on the proper section/sub-heading levels, but in CRA (1964) Title VII, under "Unlawful Employment Practices", you're looking for section "e", it specifies that it is not unlawful to discriminate in "[...] those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise [...]"

    In short, if having a dick is an actual part of the job, then it's okay to require folks have dicks.

  • MarkLastname||

    IOW, the law can be interpreted pretty much arbitrarily depending on what the judge feels is 'reasonable.' Like how female only gyms isn't really sex discrimination.

    And a big reason why anyone who thinks to himself these days, 'ya know, what we really need is more laws' is mentally ill.

  • WakaWaka||

    Expanding the definition of 'protected class' outside of the written legislation doesn't sound like a good precedent. And certainly not a good way to reduce the size and scope of government or end these never ending 'culture wars'.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    True dat. But the people crusading for expansions don't give a rat's rear about limited government. In fact, the culture that they're promoting has the government at its very core.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I'm far more interested in whether wooden eye and cleft lip protections can be found in existing civil rights laws. Along with Tourette's symptom, goddammit.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Enough about your problems, man.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Have some empathy, white boy!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    This comment has done more to ruin my day than Simple Mikey threatening to beat me up in the Peak Oil thread. Congratulations, i guess.

  • gah87||

    You mean the clarinet player in the Star Wars bar scene?

  • Rhywun||

    cleft lip blowjob

    Worst artist/album/track title ever.

  • Lester224||

    If discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not discrimination, then your boss could just decide you are gay and fire you (?). How do you prove to him or her that you are not gay if you just happen to like musicals.

  • WakaWaka||

    It would be chaos as if your boss could fire you for any reason. Do we really want to live in a free market?

  • ||

    Is an employee who likes musicals automatically immune to sexually harassing women? Asking for a friend.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The fact that most such discrimination is based on perceived orientation, rather then confirmed orientation, is part of why arguments that it's actually sex discrimination on the basis of gender stereotypes has had sway in some courts.

    In short, if someone discriminates against you for being gay, but they only think you're gay because of how you act, what they're actually doing is discriminating against you for not behaving as they think a man/woman should act.

    Take it or leave it, but that's the gist of the argument.

  • esteve7||

    i love these horror stories. Your boss would fire you for being a shit employee and shouldn't care who you prefer to sleep with.

    In California we already have this anyway, since everything here is a protected class

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Protected classes except: gun owners, people who want the Constitution followed, Libertarians, straight people, white men....

  • Tony||

    When will straight white men finally get a break in this country?

    But you're definitely not whining or playing the victim. And definitely not in the most absurd way imaginable.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    White men don't need to be protected.

    Nor do black men, brown women, Libertarians, etc.

  • esteve7||

    lol, so pointing out a fact is playing the victim now? pointing out that CA actively discriminates against white males and asians is heresy in your book

  • MarkLastname||

    This is how we know Tony doesn't have a point, he demurs with a non-sequitur made of straw.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Your boss has the right to fire you for whatever reason strikes his or her fancy. You don't have the job as a matter of right but as the result of an agreement between you and your employer.

    The fact that government acts like a criminal enterprise whenever it imposes itself in that relationship, at yiur behest or not, is something completely detached from the fact above.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Pray the gay away!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Once you go gay...well, your gay now too.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...at the time of the passage of the act, legislators were most certainly not attempting to protect gay or transgender people from workplace discrimination.

    Weeding out the unintended consequences of legislation? Do we really want to head down this slippery slope?

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Federal Agencies Split on Whether Civil Rights Act Protects Against Anti-Gay Discrimination Against People Making The Choice With Whom They're Willing To Trade.


    There. MORE ACCURATE.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Being gay is a mental disorder and against natural order.

    Should we care? Mostly no, but I refuse to allow more and more protected classes be created. This shit is ridiculous.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Your opinion on the cause of homosexuality or its moral implications is irrelevant. What is at stake is people's freedom.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Not just "MY" opinion.

    Its also listed in the DSM.

    Not to mention if everyone was gay and refused to use science to have babies, it would be the end of the human race.

    If everyone was straight and had babies, it would be just fine for the human race.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Homosexuality has been taken out of the DSM.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, like 40 years ago.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I didn't say homosexuality, which has been removed.

    Gender dysphoria is still listed. People confused about their gender.

    Its not politically correct to say that gay people have mental issues that cause them be confused about their gender.

    Gay men have other effeminate actions they do. Gay women have other masculine actions that they do.

  • Rhywun||

    OK, I don't know what the hell you're talking about now... but just to clear up one of your misconceptions - the vast majority of gay people have no confusion over their gender whatsoever.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So, gay men want to have sex with women?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That's not what gender dysphoria is. It's not does someone act they way someone else thinks they should, it's do they feel dysphoria between their mental state and their biological sex.

    Did you just here the phrase and then extend it to mean what you wanted to? Because if you're going to make arguments from authority, then at least represent the authority correctly.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And now, let's just go quote the organization that publishes the DSM directly:

    "gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition."

    And so by their definition as well, most gay people do no feel his distress, and thus don't meet the qualifications you are stating.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No? Its all no distress with every gay person, ammirite? I have to meet a gay person who does not have distress about being gay.

    Being a male is: biological chromosomes 'XX', mannerisms or a combination of both, and procreates with female 'XY'.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You've never met a gay person who wasn't distressed over not being the opposite sex? Have you never met a gay person?

  • Rhywun||

    So, gay men want to have sex with women?

    *head-desk*

    No, most gay men are men who happen to be attracted to other men. They don't "feel like a woman trapped in a man's body" as the saying goes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They don't "feel like a woman trapped in a man's body" as the saying goes.


    Is that the official diagnosis?

    They are male chromosomes 'XY' but do not want to procreate with female 'XY'.

    They are not men and not women. What would call that?

  • Hail Rataxes||

    I'd call it...a sockpuppet.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Right. Sure. If you ignore all the gay folk that have biological kids anyway, without the interference of "science". Unless getting drunk is "science" now? I mean, you do know that most gay folk aren't gold-stars, right?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know talking about gay people being abnormal gets some of you all upset.

    I could really care less about who is abnormal. We live in a society where our human population levels will be fine for centuries, baring a huge catastrophe.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "If [completely ridiculous hypothetical] was true, i'd be right, so i'm right!"

    You've been setting a pretty low bar for intelligent comments, but this one tunneled far enough under the bar that lava came out.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are a far lower bar for comments.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That doesn't even make sense.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know you cannot possibly see the bar for decent comments because you are usually so low that you know exactly what the Earth's mantle is made of.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Did... did you just try to put me down with a line that hinges on you not knowing that there's molten rock inside the earth? Jesus, dude. Now i sort of want to give you a glass of milk and a toy dinosaur or something and tell you it's going to be alright.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Aw, poor Citizen does not know that the molten core is made up of molten metals.

    It creates our magnetic field too genius.

    I would hand you a cup of milk but you might be too stupid to know how to hold it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yes, the core is made of molten metals. It's also not relevant, because the mantle - which YOU brought up - is a completely different layer. You're trying to look like you know things and it's backfiring pretty badly.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    But you said rock and that is WRONG!

    You think you are so smart correcting other people but you are not.

    Admit it.

  • ||

    Its also listed in the DSM.

    Reading through this I know this argument is going to tank. Not only because homosexuality specifically was removed and has been reintroduced but also, and more importantly, the DSM should mean fuck all with regard to legislation.

    The DSM was created as an acceptance/rejection tool for soldiers in WWII and, to this day, doesn't include plenty of mental disorders with strong statistical links to producing lots of human deaths. It is, and always has been, a horseshit dictionary produced by an amalgamated field of pseudosciences. Both Robert's Rules Of Order and Hoyle's Rules Of Games are longer standing, more consistent, and more generally useful.

  • ||

    and has been reintroduced but also

    I should have or meant to say has been *varyingly* reintroduced. Homosexual activists declared psychiatry a sham and homosexuality itself was pulled out but things like 'sexual orientation disorder' and 'ego-dystonic homosexuality' perpetuated or were even introduced.

    Point being, all the stuff up to the inclusion of homosexuality was a total sham, a tool of social engineering and, buried layers deep in irrationality and magical thinking, modern omission of *some* things originally included as a sham is somehow scientific proof but other omitted things are just plain old omissions.

  • Rhywun||

    LOL who made you God?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And GOD hates gays too.

    I am not religious but that is another reason.

  • Rhywun||

    Ah, you're not God, you're Fred Phelps. Got it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He's dead.

  • Rhywun||

    Or is he...?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Is that you Fred "Rhywun" Phelps?

  • Rhywun||

    LOL not bloody likely

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ditto here.

    Praise Jesus for that.

  • Tony||

    Being a cousinfucking retard is a choice, however.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I don't have any cousins.

    What else you got?

  • Tony||

    Oh? Do genes have trouble successfully combining in your family?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You have genes?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Did you just lose in an argument with Tony?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It would have to be an argument to lose it.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    There are many, many fake libertarian whiny-ass bitch boys at the new and not at all improved Reason, but Shackford might well be the worst of them all.

    When your greatest ambition in life is to become an officially designated permanent victim... I swear I can't think of anything sadder and more pathetic than that. It's just sickening.

  • Tony||

    Lol. You think adding gays to the list of protected classes will be the death of civilization, or you'll have to bear the great burden of absolutely nothing changing in your life, or whatever, and someone else is a pathetic wannabe victim.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "I am gay and I need the government to protect me".

    Call 911 for a whambulance.

  • Tony||

    I just wonder how many government checks you get each month.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    100 checks.

    Do you want to know for what?

  • Tony||

    Each one of your fraudulent disability claims?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Well, now that's silly.

    You should know that our welfare state would not hand out 100 disability checks to the same person.

    Want a hint?

  • Domestic Dissident||

    "Please legally designate me an official permanent victim so that I can sue somebody."

    -Scott Shackford

  • Citizen X - #6||

    SIMPLE MIKEY SMASH! SIMPLE MIKEY RAGE! SIMPLE MIKEY HATE REASON BUT HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO GO

  • EscherEnigma||

    What are you talking about? Shackford is reporting here, but in his opinion pieces he regularly comes down against non-discrimination laws that include gay people.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Shhhhhhhhh. He's gay, don't you understand? Cuck. Kek.

  • EscherEnigma||

    As I've said before, I'm confident enough that America is a better place then it was in 1964 that I'd be okay with getting rid of all the parts of the CRA, and other laws, that apply to private businesses.

    But until we actually do that, I find it absolutely abhorrent that I can walk into the shop of any given butcher, baker or candlestick-maker and have them tell me "my holy book literally calls for your death, get out", then have them follow me back to my (hypothetical) comic-book shop and have me be legally prohibited from saying "your holy book literally calls for my death, get out".

    Free Association for religious fuck-wits, but none for me? Yeah, not acceptable. Let us either all be bastards to each other or require us all to politely smile.

    So you want to call me a statist slaver and so-on? Go for it. But if you want me to actually care, you also need to give a practical path forward that's better. And given your track record in not convincing anyone to give up on non-discrimination laws, even at the height of the "non-discrimination laws violate my freedoms" craze? Not looking good for y'all.

  • Tony||

    It should be easy enough for people to say, if we must have anti-discrimination law, sexual orientation (or "sex" interpreted as including sexual orientation) should be included on the basis of fairness. Otherwise it's deliberately treating gays as a class apart from everyone else against whom it's OK to discriminate. In which case I want my tax dollars back.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You should have though about getting your tax dollars back before you voted lefty.

  • Tony||

    You should have thought about the damage to your brain before you started main-lining Tucker Carlson.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Is that a lefty icon?

  • Rhywun||

    I would rather slowly move towards that society where people routinely choose to deal with each other out of their own interests, than be forced to do so by our betters now.

  • Tony||

    What if it's Bumfuck, Alabama, and there's only one cake shop in town?

  • Rhywun||

    I would shop in another town or use Amazon. Why would I want to give my money to someone who obviously doesn't want it?

  • Tony||

    Why should I have to pay taxes that fund the salaries of cops who can drag me out of a shop because the owner is a bigot?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So a gay owner baker who refuses to bake an anti-gay cake is a bigot?

  • Tony||

    Actually religious people are already protected from this same kind of discrimination. Let me know when they start agitating to repeal that right.

    And courts have distinguished between the service of making a cake and the addition of text to the cake.

  • Tony||

    Correct. I think it makes sense though.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Burning a flag does not require text to make it protected speech. Dancing naked for tips does not require text to make it protected speech. Why does making a custom cake require text to make it protected speech?

  • Tony||

    The fact that someone owns property does not afford him with unlimited rights to do as he pleases.

  • Tony||

    By that you mean he has the right to have taxpayer-funded goons violently expel people for their sexual orientation, color of skin, etc.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Any reason at all.

    Now you are getting it.

  • Tony||

    So if we're simply arguing over which sides gets the taxpayer-funded goons to do their bidding, why is your preference more small-government than mine?

  • Tony||

    The property in question has an "open" sign on the front door with the expectation that anyone can come off the street and procure services. We're beyond property rights now and talking about the rights of the customer.

    Oh, you don't think they should get any rights, because reasons.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Gay people can't force people to bake them cakes!

    And that's like they have no rights at all.

    Why are you declaring hunting season on the gays?

  • Tony||

    Black people can't force people to make them a sandwich. Why don't they just go to the nearest non-racist town? It's probably only 1,000 miles away or something.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    The entire town hates gays, and won't make them a sandwich!

    Why do you want to starve the gays?

  • Tony||

    Which is tautology. It's not self-contradictory though, which is a step up from most libertarian rhetoric. But it's not his own private house, it's a type of property government classifies differently for these purposes, because there was and is a real social problem to be solved. You for some reason think the social problem that should take precedence is that business owners aren't allowed to violently expel blacks and gays as much as they might want. Hence, asshole.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The customer has no right to obligate the business owner to accept a contract by merely walking in.

  • Mickey Rat||

    You know you do not require police to remove a trespasser by force?

  • Tony||

    You require an exception from the right people have to be free of molestation--an exception granted by government, enforced by government goons.

    (Property is really problematic when you're trying to pretend to be against government force.)

  • Tony||

    You have no right to shoot someone... unless they step over an imaginary line that is drawn by government.

  • Tony||

    I'm not the one pretending to be on the side of the angels against the government.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    This is what I don't understand: why are we making this just about cakes?

    All over this country (and especially the south) gays are starving because grocery stores won't sell them food. They have no place to live except in their own segregated communities. They can't walk the streets in safety. They're forced to eek out an existence in the Gayish Ghettos.

    Why? Because we're still debating in this country whether or not sexual orientation defines a protected group.

    And we all know that, without that, we descend into the slavery holocaust. QED.

    Why are we only talking about gay wedding cakes, when an entire class of people is being exterminated?

    You guys are assholes.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Government does not create property, it merely recognizes its existance and status.

  • Mickey Rat||

    A trespasser is by definition molesting the property owner, who has the right to resist that molestation.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Because forcing everyone to do something whether they want to or not is just the same as letting them choose! Because they're both...things... you're deciding.

    Everything is equivalent, so I always win!

  • Mickey Rat||

    Maybe. But that is not an argument for a property owner not having extensive tights to refuse service to anyone for most any reason. It is the equivalent of stamping your feet in a temper tantrum.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Tony:
    "Why should I have to pay taxes that fund the salaries of cops who can drag me out of a shop because the owner is a bigot?"

    The answer is "civilization and society", right?

  • Tony||

    I'll answer for you:

    It's not. Your stupid ideology has only ever used "small government" as rhetoric. What it's always been about is protecting powerful interests against the interests of the less powerful (business owners vs. minority customers, for example), and that means using as much tax money and as many government goons as your heart desires to that end. Why? God fucking knows. Because you're all assholes?

    What a fucking fraud. Glad I could clear that up.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Everyone here is an asshole... except Tony!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Incomprehensible Bitching|7.27.17 @ 4:01PM|#
    Everyone here is an asshole... except Tony!


    Well hell, I thought we called him Tony the "Asshole" Asshole.

  • Tony||

    I brought them up because they are necessarily implied. You would very much like to hand-wave that implication away, and I'm not permitting you to do it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You guys, Tony's over his head and wants to get out of the argument. You can tell because he's starting to make up definitions of concepts he doesn't understand and invent motivations for people who won't shut up and agree that he's right.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony|7.27.17 @ 4:00PM|#
    Black people can't force people to make them a sandwich. Why don't they just go to the nearest non-racist town? It's probably only 1,000 miles away or something.


    You cannot find a non-racist sandwich shop less than 1000 miles away?

    Damn, you got some wacky definition of what a racist is.

  • Tony||

    These laws only exist because the South was a cesspool of racist terror for centuries. Maybe they should have tried harder to be decent human beings, and we wouldn't be having this debate.

  • Tony||

    Which appeared as from another galaxy against the wishes of the white majority, of course.

  • Tony||

    Which is precisely the arrangement you're endorsing. If people aren't protected from discrimination, business owners are free to discriminate. That means "enforcing trespassing law" on their asses, with the help of taxpayer-funded goons if you so desire. It's all de jure, it's just not imposed on all businesses.

  • Tony||

    Sure, and I think it has proved prudent to limit the theoretical "property right" of public accommodation business owners in order to actualize the right of customers to be free from discrimination there. The rights arrangement you prefer just doesn't produce any social benefit.

  • Mickey Rat||

    And now you are arguing the fascist view of property rights in all but name.

    "Social benefit", by whose measure?

  • Tony||

    I'm not a total moral relativist so I think social benefit can be more or less objectively ascertained.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Which is precisely the arrangement you're endorsing. If people aren't protected from discrimination, business owners are free to discriminate. That means "enforcing trespassing law" on their asses, with the help of taxpayer-funded goons if you so desire. It's all de jure, it's just not imposed on all businesses.

    So, by this logic, if a person operates a business on the internet only, and refuses to make gay paraphernalia, that's OK, because no one has to use the police or enforce trespassing law.

    OK. Glad that's settled.

    Or, you could try arguing honestly.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "So, by this logic, if a person operates a business on the internet only, and refuses to make gay paraphernalia, that's OK, because no one has to use the police or enforce trespassing law."
    Legally or morally? Legally, that's "OK", but not for the reason stated, but because online-only businesses aren't public accommodations.

    Morally, it's no different then a brick and mortar, so whether it's "ok" or not is up to you.

  • Mickey Rat||

    No, it just did not allow for there to any dissent among the business owners, which was a violation of thier property rights as well.

    That is the tyranny of absolute majority rule.

  • Tony||

    Are we talking about absolute principles or are we talking about differing arrangements depending on how society behaves? As in, if 90% of business owners are racist, do we need these laws in order for black people not to be nearly totally excluded from commerce in their community? Or are they shit out of luck because property rights always and forever trumps?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Because market forces pressure even the racist to not forgo customers absent a law requiring them to.

  • Tony||

    What about the market force of: if you serve blacks, we'll burn your establishment down?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Because not baking a gay wedding cake should be just as illegal as arson!

  • Mickey Rat||

    That is arson and blackmail (vigilante government). Those sound like crimes.

    Has nothing to do with "market forces".

  • EscherEnigma||

    Why would I want to give my money to someone who obviously doesn't want it?
    Because it hasn't been "obvious" ahead of time in a single case so far? The closest you can get where there was any expectation of it being "obvious" was the lesbians that went to a dress-maker in Philadelphia recently who also hit the news four years back for refusing lesbians. But even in that case, they would only have known if they'd google-stalked the place ahead of time.

    And face it, modern anti-gay Christians don't have the same conviction of beliefs that anti-black segregationists had in the 60s. They refuse to post "No Sodomites" signs, and consider the notion that they should post such signs to be religious oppression.

  • EscherEnigma||

    @Mmmmmm
    Seriously? You google-stalk every business you patronize to see if they've popped up in any news articles for the last decade on the off-chance they've done something to offend you?

    Dude, some of us have lives.

    And that's ignoring the larger point, which is that in the vast majority of cases, the places refusing service haven't done or said a thing previously to warn folks that they're unwanted. So yeah, "obviously doesn't want it" is a strawman, because in almost all cases it only becomes "obvious" after they've wasted your time.

    @Mickey Rat
    While they're not as optic-friendly as the "wedding cake" stories, there have been plenty of cases where yes, gay folks were refused service, had their orders cancelled, were dropped as clients, purely because they were gay. Pretending this is just about wedding-related services is to ignore what's actually happening so that you can find a more sympathetic argument, aka, a "strawman".

    That said, I think I've made it clear where I am on this. I just want the same protections as the folks whose holy book literally calls for my death. Either let us all be obnoxious trolls to each other, or require us all to smile and take it. But requiring me to smile and take it, while letting them be obnoxious trolls? I'm not going to accept that status quo for the sake of your ideology.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I am forced to bake Muslim wedding cakes because first amendment!

  • Mickey Rat||

    And you continue to conflate disagreeing with the ideological position that a same sex marriage is not a contradiction in terms with refusing to serve someone for merely being homosexual.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Oh, and since when is walking into a shop looking to contract for a service a guarantee that the shopkeeper is obligated to accept your contract?

  • Brian||

    Bumfuck, Alabama?

    How long does it take you to drive there from Tulsa?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They're only putting up a facade to throw off Gaybash Alabama two counties over.

  • lap83||

    "It's Bumfuck, Alabama and there's only one cake shop in town"

    Progs: ugh!!!! But like what if I'm stuck in a poor hillbilly town and there is like nowhere good to shop!!! I will like literally starve or something

    They are the retarded valley girl side of the political spectrum

  • Tony||

    Ever watch Schitt's Creek? Funny show.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    It's the story of my life!

    Except, you know: I just started out poor and unsuccessful.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    No, everyone must have their choices curtailed because some people might choose to be dicks. It is good and just for all of society to be modeled after the most poorly-run first grade classrooms.

  • EscherEnigma||

    As I said in my opening line: as would I.

    As I said in my closing paragraph: if you want me to care, give me a practical better way.

  • Rhywun||

    I don't have a better way. Sometimes life just isn't fair.

  • WakaWaka||

    And people like you make libertarians indistinguishable from Rockefeller Republicans. Watered down progressives

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm not a libertarian and have never claimed to be one. So that's not really on me, is it?

  • ||

    my (hypothetical) comic-book shop and have me be legally prohibited from saying "your holy book literally calls for my death, get out".

    In your hypothetical comic-book shop scenario, are you prevented from throwing them out without any reason at all? What about whimsical reasons like not liking their face or the cut of their suit? Because if it's specifically because you want to interpret their books for them, it seems like you *really* want it to be a your religion vs. theirs situation and you want yours to win.

    I mean, the majority (all?) of these cake baking cases haven't been of the "my book says to murder you" variety and more along the lines of "No." or "I'll bake the cake and someone else can put the 'Adam and Steve' on it." Hell, some of them haven't even been 'outed' as Christians/bigots until the 'facts' get 'triangulated' through social media. Hardly a "I have instructions from God to murder you." situation.

  • ||

    Matter of fact, I'm fairly certain that if they came into your comic book shop and demanded to be sold a religious text (Bible or other) and you said, "No.", "We don't have any.", "I have comic books with depictions of heaven and hell.", "We've only got the Muhammed issue of Charlie Hebdo.", "I can put you in touch with the Gideons.", or "I think you'd be better served by The Christian Science Reading Room down the street." that you'd be perfectly in the clear, legally. Certainly, between exceedingly few and no courts in the country would/could legally compel you to purchase and resell Bibles, pay a fine, or close up shop.

  • MarkLastname||

    I would say, even for entirely strategic purposes, religious people should (and many would) support that reciprocity. It will never happen precisely because protections against religious discrimination are a tremendous bargaining chip. I'm willing to bet that it is progressives more than conservatives that would rather have both than neither (especially since purported (though as often as not spurious it seems) claims of discrimination against religious minorities are a big part of the progressive outrage parade). It can allow the state to moderate what religious institutions are allowed to teach or whether they are allowed to refuse to perform abortions, etc. Special status comes with strings attached. I think religious conservatives should go for it and demand that the whole thing come down. I think you know as well, though, that progressives won't let that happen.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    But it's not his own private house, it's a type of property government classifies differently for these purposes


    The irony-impaired person speaks of tautologies and he comes up with that doozy.

    The government can call the property a duck. That changes nothing. Your argumentation ends up being circular if you define the morality of a policy by relyibg to government's supposed power to define reality. In that case it's easier to say that government is God and leave it at that.

  • Tony||

    You're the only one invoking deity-like rhetorical entities when you declare that property has one definition and it's outside of human control. A definition that existed before the earth itself was formed.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    What I believe is right because it's awesome.

    What you believe is wrong because it's just as valid and equivalent as what I believe.

    Duh.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I miss all the good shit when I'm away on business!

  • Rebel Scum||

    Federal Agencies Split on Whether Civil Rights Act Protects Against Anti-Gay Discrimination

    In a free country I could discriminate as I please. Not that I hate teh gayz, but they can be bitchy.

  • Len Bias||

    On my smartphone, the headline reads "Federal Agencies Split on Whether Civil Rights Act Protects Against Anti-Gay Scott Shackford."

    I, for one, am triggered by the anti-gay Scott Shackford.

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