Friday, May 05, 2006

Anti-Gay Bigots Load Up To Shoot Down South Bend Ordinance

The Christian hate groups are loading up their shotguns to shoot down South Bend's proposed human rights ordinance to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But just like a similar attempt by these groups in Indianapolis, their dogs won't hunt.

Pitch-hitting for Eric Miller and Advance America is Patrick Mangan and the Citizens for Concerned Values. Mangan recently caused a dust up in South Bend over a local performance of the play, "The Full Monty." The book-burning Mangan is now taking another page out of the Miller/Advance America playbook. Mangan's group has set up a website,, to inform (or disinform) South Bend residents on the potential impact of ending discrimination against gays and transgender persons. Mangan warns South Bend residents:

Did you realize that extending a special protected class status could lead to the persecution of all faith based organizations and business who refuse to hire homosexuals in any position. How could a Church or a faith based school or day care center comply with such an order? Why should any employer be forced to under the threat of devastating lawsuits?

Like Indianapolis' HRO, the proposed South Bend ordinance exempts religious organizations, but let's not confuse folks with the facts. But that's just for starts. A recent press release from Mangan warns of the health care costs associated with the spread of syphilis, and "the practice of homosexual sex is a key part of the rise." The cost to the health care system if $13 billion Mangan proclaims. "May I humbly submit that those are 13 Billion reasons not to try to give special status and therefore special rights to homosexuals and others practicing high risk sex," Mangan said. He goes on to talk about the shortened life expectancy and other health risks involved with practicing homosexuality ala Ginny Cain.

Seemingly contradicting his own contention against the ordinance, Mangan says in another press release, "It is also completely unnecessary since all men and women already have protection from discrimination under the current civil rights laws." He adds, "It is also a legal folly to try to create a special class based entirely on sexual practice and behavior."

As Mangan sees it, "The central issue of debate, which by the way is far from settled in our nation, is in fact whether or not homosexuality is the result of behavioral inputs, a psychological disorder, a choice, a natural state of being or an abomination." That answer is not available as "a scientific conclusion" the real estate agent assures us, ignoring the conclusions of every major medical organization in the world. It is "a moral belief" pure and simple as Mangan sees it. If you outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, you're impeding on his First Amendment right to religious freedom he contends.

The rantings of anti-gay bigots like Mangan, Miller and Micah Clark are really wearing thin. What Mangan doesn't understand is that the views he expresses are really no different than those expressed and acted out by the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana 8 decades ago against South Bend's large Catholic population. Changes in these views will come with the passing of time, but it's happening a little too slowly in Indiana.

1 comment:

Marla R. Stevens said...

Lesbians have the lowest incidence of STDs of any sexually active population, including married heterosexuals. By Mr. Mangan's "logic", lesbians ought to be eligible for higher rights status than Mr. Mangan (presuming that he is hetersexual and male).

Of course, this ignores that rights are rights and not privileges and that civil rights protections are not the rights themselves but a way of assuring that those who have been denied them in the past and may well still be in peril of that have the means necessary to secure them -- in other words, get a leg back up to the playing field off from which they've been knocked and a reasonable assurance that it will remain a level one.

The special rights argument at its core frames being subject to discrimination as a privileged, desirable state, a very strange notion, indeed.