There was progress in the march toward equality for all Americans this week, in the beautiful peaceful equal states of Iowa and Vermont, but up in North Dakota, they are taking a different tack.
Last week the North Dakota House of Representatives argued that outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbian North Dakotans would protect behavior that can be changed and which God abhors. Then they voted down Senate Bill 2278 fifty-four to thirty-four.
The bill would have added sexual orientation and transgendered persons to the list of classes protected by the state’s Human Rights Act from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Repugnant Robin Weisz, chairman of the House Human Services Committee that heard the bill and recommended its defeat, said, “I don’t think it’s needed. I believe it has consequences that aren’t in the best interests of this state, that do intrude on the rights of others who are also protected under this great constitution.”
Yes, he said that laws to protect a particular group of citizens is not needed. Must be because the particular group is a bunch of filthy queers, eh, Robin?
Democrat Corey Mock, one of six who sponsored the bill, noted that 20 other states already have laws barring discrimination against gays and lesbians: “There is not a person in this chamber that is not related to or friends with someone that would be affected by Senate Bill 2278. That means people we know and love may be evicted, denied services or terminated because they are gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered with no regard or consideration of merit.”
Republican Kathy Hawken, one of several bill supporters, noted how North Dakotans of all kinds came together in recent days to help others hit by or endangered by flooding: “I’m relatively sure on one was checking the sexual orientation of the volunteer sandbaggers in Fargo. It simply didn’t make a difference. People were just people. It has been said that this is a choice, [r]eligion is also a choice but yet that’s protected. T make our constitution work, protection must be put in statute. Right now we can and do discriminate on our citizens based on sexual orientation.”
Oddly enough, North Dakota has a Human Rights Act that protects North Dakotans from discrimination based on their marital status. Marital status? Now that's a choice.
And of course, the Bible thumpers and religious wingnuts came out to spread hate masked as the word of God, all the while forgetting that God is not hate.
Repugnant Wes Belter, who apparently has a direct line to God: "It does violate what God wanted for this world.”
Robin Weisz also argued that the North Dakota constitution already gives gays and lesbians all the same rights that all citizens have to free speech and voting, to hold office, “and have their day in court and everything else is protected the same as everyone else.”
But to pass a bill protecting gays, lesbians and transgendered people’s rights to jobs infringes on employers’ rights to freedom of thought and expression in their own businesses, he said. “Then their rights would supersede my rights,” he said.
Hey asshat? It doesn't supersede your rights as an employer, it just makes it illegal to fire someone simply because they are gay.
It makes it illegal to evict someone simply because they're gay.
It makes it illegal to treat the LGBT community as "less than."