Monday, May 08, 2006

South Bend Tribune Tells One Side of Gay Rights Ordinance

The South Bend Tribune's Jamie Loo has a lengthy story on South Bend's proposed human rights ordinance, which adds "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to classes of persons protected from discrimination--from the perspective of the anti-gay bigoted leader of No Special Rights, Patrick Mangan.

The first part of the story goes on and on about the tragedy of the Boy Scouts in San Diego being legally blocked from leasing a public park. The scouting group, which discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, was successfully challenged on federal equal protection grounds. So you've got an organization that has done tremendous good for the youth of America who are getting open persecution because they don't allow gay leaders," quoting [Tom] Uebbing. Loo adds, It's the potential infringement on constitutional rights along with businesses and schools that No Special Rights is concerned about."

It's all about special rights Mangan explains to Loo. Mangan, a real estate agent, explains to Loo that "courts don't recognize homosexuality, gender orientation or identity as a protected class because it's behavior-based." "Being homosexual or bisexual is a choice, he said, and if the courts recognized 'behavior-based uniqueness,' under the law it would open the door to protection for more deviant sexual behaviors."The polygamists could line up and say, 'Well, that's my behavior and I want that recognized in the law,'" Mangan said. "It would be an endless list of behavior bases listed as special classes."

Mangan then goes on to argue to Loo that gays are better off economically as a class ala Micah Clark. "Statistically, Mangan said, homosexuals are well-educated, affluent and have a political voice." "Current civil rights legislation already protects all people." "For example, Mangan said someone who is verbally harassed in the workplace for sexual behavior could look to sexual harassment policies as a remedy."

Uebbing explains to Loo why it is important that an employer be able to fire someone who is gay. Uebbing concedes that "firing a good employee because he or she is gay is an injustice." But, and it's a big but, "if that person's conduct is scandalous, such as 'sexual affection for other members of the same sex and flirtations,' it could affect the job performance of others in the office. In that case, he said excluding that person would be justifiable."

No Special Rights then trots out a clinical psychologist for Loo ala Vincent Alig (Ginny Cain's father) to explain that homosexuality is a "lifestyle" choice, contrary to the conclusion reached by every major medical organization. He said "nobody is born gay and choosing that lifestyle is dangerous." He adds, "Being gay increases a person's risk for medical problems such as sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, depression, anxiety and substance abuse, Sutton said. "This is a human issue," he said. "Anything that would encourage people to live this way would be hurting them and not helping them."

Mangan then shoots the proverbial arrow across the bow to warn city council members who might be planning to vote for the ordinance. "I would hate to be the local elected official who is responsible for turning homosexual activists loose on businesses in St. Joseph County or in South Bend," Mangan said. Mangan complains that "[i]n other cities where similar debates have taken place, people have been demonized and characterized as bigots." Gee, what an interesting thought.

5 comments:

Bilerico said...

To be fair to the newspaper, they also included two other articles today about the HRO. The article you refer to is one half of a "both sides" piece - one that featured NoSpecialRights and the other profiled South Bend Equality. Both pieces were equally long and had another article at the beginning that talked about both sides. To say that the Tribune only told one side isn't true. To see the other articles visit:

Civil Rights or Special Rights and look on the right side for the two links to each side's article. The article you refer to is the bottom one listed. South Bend Equality's profile is right above it.

Advance Indiana said...

Sorry--I didn't have time to get to the other side before work called this morning. I've updated with a new post on the other side of the issue.

Anonymous said...

Sadly these arguments are the same ones trotted out in every city. For instance, in Lafayette's repeal of sexual orientation arguments and later fights, there were suggestions that IF they passed protections, "gays and lesbians would flock to Tippecanoe in droves." Now, I, for one, am still waiting for these droves--- would be nice to meet some gay refugees from Martinsvilee and Kokomo. :-)

Anonymous said...

"No Special Rights then trots out a clinical psychologist for Loo ala Vincent Alig (Ginny Cain's father) to explain that homosexuality is a "lifestyle" choice, contrary to the conclusion reached by every major medical organization. He said "nobody is born gay and choosing that lifestyle is dangerous." He adds, "Being gay increases a person's risk for medical problems such as sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, depression, anxiety and substance abuse, Sutton said. "This is a human issue," he said. "Anything that would encourage people to live this way would be hurting them and not helping them." "

So then, if sexual orientation is a choice, all of the people who are against this should be able to tell you when they chose to be heterosexual. If it's a choice, then every one of them should be able to be sexually attracted to a member of the same sex. I, for one, don't want to live in an Indiana that say, "Be like me, or else."

Becca said...

I've been out of the loop; did the amendment pass, or has the vote happened yet?