Saturday, November 07, 2009

Discrimination Ordinance Passes

The Kalamazoo discrimination ordinance was passed 62%-38%.

This is less than the 74% won in Kalamazoo by Barack Obama in 2008, the 72% won by Governor Granholm in 2006, or the 70% won by State Rep. Robert Jones in 2006. This shows that such ordinances remain a minority position nationwide. Nonetheless, it is disappointing that a majority of Kalamazoo voters voted to discriminate against those who disagree with them on 'gay rights'.

Just getting the ordinance on the ballot was a victory. The opponents were outspent more than 10-1. The supporters likely spent more than half a million dollars on their campaign.

Support for the ordinance was unsurprisingly heaviest around Western Michigan University, topping 80% in several precincts. The ordinance lost in three precincts. These are 10 (Spring Valley area), a largely white middle class area, 17 (Milwood), a largely white working class area, and 11 (Eastside), a largely minority precinct. Aside from being on the east side of Kalamazoo, they don't have much in common.
Map of Discrimination Ordinance Vote

The ordinance got 60-70% in the Northside precincts. Were voters confused by the ballot language?
Discrimination News
The ballot language of the ordinance itself is misleading. It makes it sound like the ordinance would ban 'discrimination' based on all manner of factors, including race, gender, and religion. But this is in the existing law. What is new is 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity'. Will voters be confused by this?

1 comment:

Matt said...

"[I]t is disappointing that a majority of Kalamazoo voters voted to discriminate against those who disagree with them on 'gay rights'."

Abstract entities like businesses and rental facilities are not protected by the Constitution, and therefore, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against them.

Conversely, individuals may harbor any discriminatory views they choose, and those opinions cannot be intruded upon by voters. This is basic Constitutional law. The "those" in the above quoted statement does not refer to individuals but to abstract entities.

If I were a manger of a firm and chose to not hire a WMU College Republican based on their political views it would be unconstitutional. But, as an individual, it is my legal and Constitutional right to say that the College Republicans are probably the most idiotic organization ever known to man.