Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Does ENDA really create special privileges for LGBT Americans?

In its Sunday edition, the Arizona Republic published the following:
The so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act would create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA would severely undermine civil liberties, increase government interference in the labor market and trample on religious liberty.
Instead of focusing on real problems, like their health-care train wreck, Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate are trying to destroy the rest of our civil liberties.
The Senate approved this bill Thursday, without the consent of grass-roots America. Tell your representative in the House to vote no on ENDA.
— Neil Martin, Tucson
I responded, in the comments section:
What CRAP. A claim that has no basis. Create special privileges? Has this bozo (or the editorial board that publishes this tripe) read ANY of the founding documents or the historical records of what it has taken to actually make the promised equality a practical reality for real live people since the inception of our country?
The Arizona Republic REALLY needs to get a sense of what it's civic duty should be for fostering an informed electorate. Publishing obviously groundless claims that propagate hate, perhaps in the hope that some reader will write something to effectively rebut the groundless claims is completely irresponsible.
THIS is an amazing example of how and why the newspaper industry is suffering precipitous decline.
Now, had I first written my response here on my blog, I would more likely have opened with "What BULLSHIT!" Because that is exactly what Mr. Martin's letter is.

It's not simply a matter of a difference of opinion. Martin starts with an assertion that is simply and factually untrue. Who decides on which letters to publish in the Republic, anyway? Why do they appear not to have any standards based on reality?

But let's get real here. What is Neil Martin really getting at? "ENDA would severely undermine civil liberties..." Whose liberties would that be Neil? Other than your right to discriminate (or harass) someone because your pastor told you that Gays are somehow evil? Is that the religious liberty you hope doesn't get trampled on?

In Arizona, because proponents of discriminatory laws (i.e. members of ALEC) have gradually, but most assuredly, taken ownership and control over corporate media, people like Neil Martin are allowed to assert, without challenge, in paper and ink, that ENDA creates a special class of people and/or rights.

Did abolishment of the institution of slavery in America in 1863 create a special class of rights or people? If so, why did it take until the 1960s before the federal government enacted the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act? As evidenced by HB2305 and similar Voter Suppression Bills in other states, even that fight is not yet over. By the way, what were pastors telling their flocks about slaves back in the day? Might there still be pastors in some southern states telling people that slavery was just fine with God?

Challenge your own thinking. Why has it taken until 2013 for the question of prohibiting job discrimination against LBGT Americans to be confronted in public policy or law -- simply because of who they are?

Martin's assertion in 2013 America is just as absurd as it was to suggest giving Blacks the same civil rights and protections as Whites in the 1860s created a special class of people or privileges.

It's just as absurd as prohibitions against interracial marriage (in effect in the Colonies from the 1600s, in the United States from inception until the Supreme Court outlawed the prohibition in 1967). Or against the Color Barrier in professional sports, broken when Jackie Robinson in 1947 became the first Black to play in Major League Baseball.

Did extending the voting franchise in 1920 to American women in every state create a special class of people or rights?

Contrary to what has been taught in elementary and secondary schools nationwide, the history of our country has had an ominous dark side from the very beginning. Rights enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights have absolutely NOT been granted equally, willingly, or from the beginning for all Americans.

The time to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is now.

The United State Senate passed it last week. Both Arizona Senators McCain and Flake voted AYE. Call your representative in Congress and tell them to demand Speaker Boehner bring the bill to a vote.

Track ENDA at the bottom of this page.

1 comment:

  1. Though I agree with your final assertion that ENDA needs to be passed now, almost 20 years after its original introduction by then Senator Edward Kennedy, it needs to be the clean version. Not the one with carve outs for religious bigotry (as mentioned on my own blog).

    As to Mr. Martin's assertion that ENDA somehow provides special rights to us gays, I to call BS. I am so tired of the tripe that "equality under the law" for GLBT persons is somehow special rights not afforded to anyone else. Doesn't he understand that in many states, straights can be fired or not even hired for being straight? ENDA covers everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Oh well, a clean version of ENDA will pass, I just wonder if it will be in our lifetime.