Like most of America, our community in Salt Lake City is comprised of citizens of different faiths and values, different races and cultures, different political views and divergent demographics.
Across America and around the world, diverse communities such as ours are wrestling with complex social and moral questions. People often feel strongly about such issues. Sometimes they feel so strongly that the ways in which they relate to one another seem to strain the fabric of our society, especially where the interests of one group seem to collide with the interests of another.The issues before you tonight are the right of people to have a roof over their heads and the right to work without being discriminated against. But, importantly, the ordinances also attempt to balance vital issues of religious freedom. In essence, the Church agrees with the approach which Mayor Becker is taking on this matter.
In drafting these ordinances, the city has granted common-sense rights that should be available to everyone, while safeguarding the crucial rights of religious organizations, for example, in their hiring of people whose lives are in harmony with their tenets, or when providing housing for their university students and others that preserve religious requirements.
Right. After all, giving protected status to, say, blacks encouraged them to be on their best behavior.
Except . . . oops, it didn’t. The ink was barely dry on the 1964 Civil Rights Act before the image of peaceful protestors in their Sunday best was shed in favor of running amok.
This should have been expected. Before the Civil Rights movement, minorities gained acceptance by assimilating to majority social norms, not by expecting the majority to provide them special accommodations. I would argue that homosexuals have benefitted from this assimilation; indeed, from what I understand, gay men have an overall positive reputation, “gay pride” marches notwithstanding. They are regarded as conscientious tenants, for instance, and have in fact secured an above-average economic status for themselves.
But no straight man wants to be around a fag.
Unfortunately, anti-discrimination laws clear out this middle ground. Although I can’t find the exact text of the ordinance before the Salt Lake City governing body, I infer from the description that it prohibits discrimination against gays but has some kind of religious exemption. I’m guessing that any lawyer would advise his clients that if they want to avail themselves of this exemption, they must at a minimum publish the policy in advance. A lawyer would probably advise against saying to a potential employee or tenant, we’ll be happy to take you on irrespective of your sexual preference, but: don’t be a fag, i.e. don’t make your dysfunctional sexuality an issue for those around you.
The homosexual lobby is very coy about defining what constitutes the essence of “gayness”. Sometimes they speak of their condition as an orientation or predisposition; at other times they dismiss the argument that prohibitions on sodomy and same-sex marriage apply to everyone equally. But operationally, it’s apparent to me that gayness is about behavior; ergo, the protection of gayness in the law makes attempts at regulating behavior at best suspect and at worst flatly forbidden. The incentives with respect to assimilation are thus inverted: the more you act like a fag, the greater the protection you enjoy.
Nothing good will come of this, and its disappointing that the LDS hasn’t the wit to see that, religious exemptions to contrary, such ordinances undermine the very ground from which they hope to defend Biblical moral standards on sex and family.