Yes, Anti-Gay Discrimination Does Happen

I noted recently that there’s a battle going on over a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance in the town next to where I live. The bigots are using their whole stockpile of standard arguments — ZOMG, men will wear dresses to rape your daughters in women’s bathrooms! — including claiming that there is no discrimination to combat. One wonders, then, why they bother fighting such an ordinance if it won’t actually prevent anything. But the fact is, they’re wrong about the extent of discrimination. Here’s our old pal Gary Glenn:

“To date, homosexual activists have failed to produce a single example anywhere in Michigan, and we doubt the results will be any different in Greenville,” Glenn stated. “Thus, if the report from a city resident is accurate, you are being asked to adopt a discriminatory solution to a non-existent problem.”

Glenn stated the AFA hopes the city will focus on “pressing challenges,” instead of putting energy into considering a non-discrimination ordinance.

Notice the bizarre framing — preventing discrimination is discriminatory. And besides, there is no discrimination anyway. But The Bridge, a news outlet in Michigan doing excellent work, reports that this simply is not the case:

Equality Michigan recorded 17 complaints of employment discrimination the first six months of 2013, Siferd said. They include a bisexual woman who quit her job at a health club after harassment by the owner of the club. In another case, a young gay man quit a fast-food job after receiving harassing text messages and pornographic photos by a relative of the manager.

Other organizations, including the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union, report similar findings.

In 2012, the ACLU said it had received 40 discrimination complaints in Michigan over three years, most related to employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers. Complaints included reports of individuals being fired, harassed, suspended and denied promotions.

In 2007, the Michigan Fair Housing Centers documented “widespread” housing discrimination when it compared treatment of 120 same-sex couples with 120 couples posing as heterosexual married couples.

Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Legal Project, which lobbies for equal protection for the LGBT community, believes the number of complaints represents just a fraction of actual discrimination.

“If you know the law doesn’t cover you, why would you complain?” Kaplan said. “A lot of times I have to tell people there’s no remedy.”

Add to this the recent study by Department of Housing and Urban Development, which found that housing discrimination against gay couples is very significant. Anti-gay discrimination is quite common, a fact that is denied only by those who advocate for such discrimination.

"You're right. He does seem to have a grudge against the economy, and want to ..."

Hannity Shows the Usual Right Wing ..."
"Who would've thought? The one method the Republicans have never tried! These liberals, I tell ..."

Davis May Face Gay Man She ..."
"I’m surprised he didn’t execute all eight turkeys pardoned by Obama."

The Vileness of Christian Right Support ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • zenlike

    If there currently no discrimination going on, as the bigots claim, then this law will change nothing, yes? So why do they throw such a hissy fit over it?

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Shorter Glenn:

    “Hey, if the damned fagg-, um que–, er, buttsechser–,– well you know WHO I mean– would just STFU and stay in their little GAYtto bars and other places where WE don’t have to worry about their GAYcooties, it would be fine.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=153100784 michaelbrew

    Well, of course, not letting gay people rent from you or work for you isn’t discrimination. It’s just the Free Market© at work. Besides, once you start requiring employers and landlords to let gay people work and rent, next thing you know they’ll be required to offer the same to dogs or motorcycles.

  • markr1957

    And yet the same people do support voter ID laws to prevent the 1 in 100,000,000 possibility of voter fraud. Hmmmmm.

  • lofgren

    One wonders, then, why they bother fighting such an ordinance if it won’t actually prevent anything.

    If there currently no discrimination going on, as the bigots claim, then this law will change nothing, yes? So why do they throw such a hissy fit over it?

    Sorry but these are terrible arguments. A useless law is a bad law. In this case if there is no discrimination to combat, the law could certainly be abused by people with nefarious intent. In addition it is impossible to predict how a law will change and be reinterpreted once it is established.

    If there really were no discrimination going on, then fighting this law would be worthwhile.

  • exdrone

    Glenn stated the AFA hopes the city will focus on “pressing challenges,” instead of putting energy into considering a non-discrimination ordinance.

    After all, Michigan has not passed its anti-Sharia law yet.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    At first glance, the numbers seem low. But Michigan has no statewide anti-discrimination laws regarding sexual orientation or gender expression. The Michigan constitution states (since 2004) forbids anything that might be construed as recognition of same-sex marriage, civil union or domestic partnership. State law bans most public institutions, including local governments, from offering any kind of benefits to married, unioned or partnershipped same-sex couples.

    With so very little recourse under the law, there is no incentive to report discrimination and harassment.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “If there really were no discrimination going on, then fighting this law would be worthwhile.”

    If the moon was made of green cheese Kraft Foods would be mining it.

  • dan4

    @5 “If there is no discrimination going on, then fighting this law would be worthwhile.”

    Yes, because things never change. If there is no discrimination going on presently, that that automatically means there will be no discrimination in the future.

  • F [is for failure to emerge]

    “Shut up, gay people! There’s no discrimination against you!”

    Yeah. I think their very argument proves the opposite. Legislation that protects all minority groups seems to be necessary thing in this world. And sometimes you need a specific law for a specific group (or groups) because no one is getting it otherwise, and/or putting the broader laws to use in individual cases isn’t working so well.

    Majority rules, but minorities must see all their rights maintained equally.

  • lofgren

    If there is no discrimination going on presently, that that automatically means there will be no discrimination in the future.

    Yeah, we should all just drop everything until we pass laws against any form of discrimination that might possibly exist someday. Don’t like cheese? There’s a law to protect anti-cheesers, on the off chance that our society deems you an outcast some day in the far flung future.

    Seriously, this logic just proves my point.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    @11:

    That’s a nice strawman ya got there.

    So, what you’re saying is that you don’t believe that there is any discrimination going on. So, you’re too fucking stupid to tie your own shoes, or, you’re just being a shit stirrer–not much of a distinction.

    There is no doubt that discrimination exists; there is also no doubt that some forms of discrimination for instance discrimination based on immutable characteristics such as sex, epidermal melanin content, age, sexual orientation and the like are illegal in the U.S. Religion, which IS a matter of choice for anyone not severely cognitively impaired or intellectually deficient is ALSO protected.

    Religion wasn’t always protected. My grandfather and his brothers got run out of a small town in MN back in the 1880’s or 1890’s because of his Catholicism.

    You think anti-discrimination laws are unnecessary? Take those laws off the books and see how it affects you, your non-white wife and her family. Here’s a wildly unscientific guess, life would be less fun for all of you if you live in a number of the former confederate states–and if you’re not SLC Morons you’d be shit out of luck in Utah and some other western locales.

  • Michael Heath

    lofgren @ 11 writes:

    Seriously, this logic [dan4’s post @ 9] just proves my point.

    Not even close. Do you really need to have someone explain that just because one person’s argument is supposedly fatally flawed, that doesn’t by default mean your argument is proven correct?

  • dan4

    @11: Right, because the possibility that someone might be fired someday for being gay is about the same as the possibility that they might be fired someday for not liking cheese (*rolls eyes*). Give me a fucking break.