Saturday, September 13, 2008

SB200 Follies

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

- Exodus 20:16 (KJV) - The Ninth Commandment

The patently false smear illustrated above, orchestrated by Dr. Dobson and his propaganda ministry, continues to fester on the body politic like an infected bedsore. Rep. Buescher chose this week to take a long trip down to the level of those who have worked hard to perpetuate this falsehood, and his letter to the Daily Sentinel addressed the issue well.

The responses posted in letter form on the Sentinel's website actually got me thinking a bit, so I took up an invitation to read the entire bill myself. The bulk of the bill is indeed about prohibiting discrimination in housing, and appears to be the primary focus.

There is a good deal more in the bill; It basically adds "sexual orientation" to those characteristics already prohibited from discrimination, i.e. age, gender, religion, race, etc., and includes these protections against discrimination in several other areas such as the extension of credit, the sale of funeral services, and most civil service employment.

The so-called "censorship" aspects of the bill involves language that may indeed be tested deliberately to force examination of the language in court, and that's something I would probably welcome. The language is rather broad, but I don't believe it would prevent someone genuinely in disagreement about the law to express those sentiments in accordance with their First Amendment rights.

What I believe the law targets is more subtle discrimination and/or exclusion, much as is already outlawed by the Fair Housing Guidelines already in place. Where the law currently states that advertising for housing cannot contain discriminatory language, such as "young families welcome" (which implies that older couples are not), the same protections now exist for same-sex couples who may be attracted to a property that advertises itself as "fine urban living for traditional families".

SB200 is by no means a perfect piece of legislation; some zealot somewhere will claim discrimination under one provision or another, and it will eventually wind up in the courts.

One thing that the bill is NOT, and that's a so-called "bathroom bill". All I can say to the GOP is along the lines of "Is that all that you've got?"

Let's get behind a meaningful discussion of the issues at hand, and not waste time with falsehoods. The more that gets done, the more I believe that Bernie will hold his own against such nonsense.

Let's focus our attention a moment on those in the path of Hurricane Ike. Pray for their safety along with wisdom and diligence from our leaders, as we always should.

I'm off to the Independence Film Fest today and maybe Sunday. More later this weekend. Have a good one.

1 comment:

Rebecca Davis Winters said...

Well said. And a good Biblical point to be made.