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.