Texas AG predicts San Antonio ordinance barring bias against gays, lesbians will result in legal fight

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  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    "But the San Antonio ordinance goes further than those in other cities by preventing appointees and members of city boards and commissions from engaging in bias “by word or deed.” "

    Public, elected officials should NOT demonstrate ANY form of bias while on-the-job. What they do/think/say when not in office is their business; what they do/say/think on-the-job is the PUBLIC's business.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    Lagomorph at 1:57 pm, quoting & responding:
    Chris B: "What liberals fail to realize is there is GOOD reason to 'discriminate' in some settings."
    Couldn't agree more. Public accommodations and employment are among them.

    Whoops. Editing fail. Meant to say, "Public accommodations and employment are NOT among them." At least when, as Contrariusester explained, the criterion for discrimination is arbitrary and does not make a reasonable distinction between classes. When hiring clerical workers, discrimination based on typing speed is reasonable, discrimination based on gender is not. In renting an apartment, discrimination based on credit-worthiness is reasonable, discrimination based on sexual orientation is not.

    No one, not even the most rabid LGBT activist (or BLTG, for that matter), argues that "discrimination" is wrong in all cases for all criteria. That's just silly. In civil rights matters, we're talking about specific types of discrimination (employment, housing, public accommodation, voting, marriage, etc.) for specific criteria (race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.) for which it is within the legitimate scope of government to set rules, prohibit irrational discrimination, and protect the rights of unreasonably disadvantaged classes.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    I can see why one would want verbiage in an anti-discrimination ordinance to make sure public officials know they cannot discriminate in any way in the performance of their jobs - even to the extent of making sure the public officials don't make those they are serving feel uncomfortable or ostracized, but I think the verbiage in this ordinance is a little to vague to be Constitutional.

    @ Chris B: Why does the physical expression of DNA get to be the final arbiter of gender? Why are you so adamant that it be given more power than other human aspects? We don't let the physical expression of DNA be the final arbiter of eye color, hair color, vision, waist size, chest size, hearing, or anything else. Why give it the power to determine gender?

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 9, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    @Chris B --

    "Men should not go into female locker room"

    You don't seem to understand what the word "discrimination" means.

    Separation of locker rooms by gender has sound reasoning behind it -- specifically, safety and privacy concerns. That is not discrimination.

    Employment discrimination does not have any sound reasoning behind it -- unless and until you can prove that homosexual and/or transgendered people are actually less able to do certain jobs than straight people.

    The legal definition of discrimination: "In Constitutional Law, the grant by statute of particular privileges to a class arbitrarily designated from a sizable number of persons, where no reasonable distinction exists between the favored and disfavored classes."

    Notice that word "arbitrary", and that phrase "no reasonable distinction".

    Separation of restrooms is not arbitrary, and it separates the genders in a manner that recognizes a reasonable distinction between them.

    Discrimination in employment is arbitrary, and operates in an area in which there is no reasonable distinction between the classes.

    I hope this improves your understanding of the issue.

    And btw -- I also believe that "in word" seems to go over the line into unconstitutionally restricting speech.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Councilwoman Chan, quoted in article: "I have not heard a single person who said he or she agrees to any form of discrimination.”

    Apparently voting against an ordinance that prohibits discrimination does not constitute "agreeing" with discrimination. The English language is remarkably flexible.

    As a First Amendment near-absolutist, I am troubled by the "in word" part of the ordinance. The article does not present it in context, so it is hard to know the intent of the phrase in the ordinance. Only one legal interpretation is provided in the article. Further, if voting against something is no longer considered disagreeing with it, as Ms. Chan asserts, it seems hard to believe that any prosecution could be made on either the "word" or "deed" parts of the ordinance.

    Chris B: "What liberals fail to realize is there is GOOD reason to 'discriminate' in some settings."
    Couldn't agree more. Public accommodations and employment are among them.

    Chris B: "The BLTG community is just so mixed up these days."
    Given that the conventional usage is GLBT or LGBT, the gay community is not the only thing mixed up.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    What liberals fail to realize is there is GOOD reason to "discriminate" in some settings.

    Let me explain.

    Men should me in male locker room.

    Men should not go into female locker rooms.

    Most sane people agree with this.

    Does this mean that men are discriminated against?


    Men should be treated as men, even if they want to claim they are a woman.

    A man should not be allowed to walk into a ladies locker room, even if he "identifies" as a woman. He's a man.

    The BLTG community is just so mixed up these days.