Just about 5 years ago, Tucker Carlson hosted Jerry Falwell and Rachel Maddow (which pretty much makes it a party) on his show when the topic of the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court came up. At the time, some conservatives were upset that Roberts had done some pro-bono legal work arguing against a Colorado law which allowed employers and landlords to exclude gays from jobs and housing. Carlson asked Rev. Falwell about Roberts’ activities but seemed surprised by Falwell’s reply:
CARLSON: Jerry Falwell, I notice you wrote a piece supporting Mr. Roberts. Are you rethinking that?
FALWELL: Oh, not at all.
You know, I—if I were an attorney, I‘d certainly fight for the right of gays or anyone else to be employed or be housed wherever they wished to be housed. I may not agree with the lifestyle. And I don‘t. But that has nothing do with the civil rights of that member of our—that part of our constituency.
John Roberts would probably have been not a very good lawyer if he had not been willing, when asked by his partners in the law firm to assist in guaranteeing the civil rights of employment and housing to any and all Americans.
CARLSON: But wait a second. I thought conservatives are always arguing against special rights for gays. And the idea is that…
FALWELL: Well, housing and employment are not special rights. I think—I think the right to live somewhere and to live where you please or to work where you please, as long as you‘re not bothering anybody else, is a basic right, not a—not a special right.
MADDOW: I think—I‘m happy to agree with you on this.
And I am also happy to agree….which I did in this Christian Post article out today about proposed rules from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, coming out in the Federal Register on Monday, which add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing regulations which bar discrimination in housing decisions
However, if you read the article, you will find that Bryan Fischer does not agree any of us.
However, some Christians are apprehensive of the proposed housing rule. Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for American Family Association said, “This really isn’t about housing, this is about government endorsement of homosexuality.”
He contended that “homosexuals, on average, have higher levels of education and wealth than anyone else.” By that rationale, Fischer stated that alleged discrimination against homosexuality is not the true reason for the proposed rule.
The CP reporter, Stephanie Samuels then properly notes the field research from Michigan which confirms actual discrimination.
According to research cited in the HUD proposal, a 2007 study of housing discrimination found disparate treatment based on homosexuality in 32 out of 120 fair housing tests it conducted.
The study was conducted by Michigan fair housing centers. Testers posed as gay or lesbian home seekers. “Homosexual” testers received more unfavorable treatment on issues such as whether housing was available, the amount of rent, application fees, and levels of encouragement as compared to testers posing as heterosexual home seekers.
However, research really doesn’t matter to Mr. Fischer because he has it all figured out.
Fischer contested the need for this federal legislation. He asserted that homosexuals do have the same rights as everyone but this policy and others were based on “imaginary” fears.
Even if concerns of sexuality-based discrimination were true, Fischer stated, such issues within the homosexual community did not qualify as civil rights issues.
“There is no validity to the civil rights issue. Race is immovable, but homosexuality is a choice,” asserted Fischer.
Mr. Fischer has suggested that one cannot support gays and be a conservative. If John Roberts and Jerry Falwell cannot be considered conservative then we need new terms. Or, perhaps just one for someone to the right of Roberts and Falwell.
Just a note about the article, when Ms. Samuels quotes me as saying, “…Christians can use the Bible to legislate those who don’t believe in it,” she probably intended to write “Christians can’t (or shouldn’t) use the Bible to legislate those who don’t believe in it.” Also, I did not say that one may “go against the Constitution” due to a compelling state interest. I did say that the limitation of personal rights may be considered if there is a compelling state interest.