Proposed Kalamazoo ordinance would ban discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals
KALAMAZOO -- A proposed Kalamazoo city ordinance aimed at protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals from discrimination will be introduced Monday before the City Commission.So Christian bookstores would be forced to hire crossdressers. This proposal would take away everyone's right to hire or not hire whomever they please. This is a violation of the freedom of association.
"There is not one law on the federal level or state level that protects against discrimination for sexual orientation," said Terry Kuseske, head of the Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality's political action committee.
The proposed city ordinance, dubbed the "Equal Rights Ordinance," would protect against discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations. The ordinance would apply to both the private and public sectors, although there would be some exemptions. Churches would be exempt and so would individuals who are seeking to rent out part of a residence in which they are living.
Violations of the ordinance would be referred to the city manager and could be punished with a fine of no more than $500 plus costs of the action.
The city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County have previously adopted an Equal Employment Opportunity statement that says sexual orientation should not be considered in hiring employees. The protection outlined in the statement, however, is limited to employees of city or county government and applicants for jobs within city or county government.The gay rights movement is not about freedom or tolerance and it never has been. It quickly moved from changing government policy to restricting private behavior. How long will churches and private citizens be exempt if this proposal is passed?
"I would be shocked if it didn't pass," City Commissioner Barbara Miller said. "When Terry first told me that the LGBT community were not a protected group, at first I laughed because that is absurd in 2008."Why aren't people protected from discrimination on the basis of left-handedness, or chess-club membership, or musical ability? It's 2008! Of course there are almost infinitely many things that should not be a basis for discrimination. You can't put all of them into a law.
And there is no need to. If someone refuses to hire you or rent to you, go somewhere else. If you would be a good employee or tenant, someone else will be happy make money from you. Anyone who discriminates irrationally only hurts himself. There is no need to take away his freedom.
This ordinance will not only take away freedom, it will hurt business. It opens up one more front for lawsuits, whether or not they have any merit. It will only help to further drive business and jobs out of Kalamazoo.
One category of people not likely to be protected against discrimination in Kalamazoo anytime soon are people who want to be free to hire and rent at will.