Wednesday, 19 February 2014

"If I Can't Ruin People's Freedom, How Can I Know I'm Free?"

I profoundly dislike Andrew Sullivan.  He's the living definition of a man who doesn't give a shit about anyone's problems until they become his own, and he has a nasty sideline in smearing those he disagrees with as liars and traitors.

Still, when something lands in the areas he actively cares about, he can do a fine job.
The law empowers any individual or business to refuse to interact with, do business with, or in any way come into contact with anyone who may have some connection to a gay civil union, or civil marriage or … well any “similar arrangement” (room-mates?). It gives the full backing of the law to any restaurant or bar-owner who puts up a sign that says “No Gays Served”. It empowers employees of the state government to refuse to interact with gay citizens as a group. Its scope is vast: it allows anyone to refuse to provide “services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits” to anyone suspected of being complicit in celebrating or enabling the commitment of any kind of a gay couple...
If you want to taint the Republican right as nasty bigots who would do to gays today what Southerners did to segregated African-Americans in the past, you’ve now got a text-book case. The incidents of discrimination will surely follow, and, under the law, be seen to have impunity. Someone will be denied a seat at a lunch counter. The next day, dozens of customers will replace him. The state will have to enforce the owner’s right to refuse service. You can imagine the scenes. Or someone will be fired for marrying the person they love. The next day, his neighbors and friends will rally around.
If you were devising a strategy to make the Republicans look like the Bull Connors of our time, you just stumbled across a winner.
As always in these cases, this law fails the SpaceSquid Sin Standard: if you want to deny access to homosexuals, you have to do it with all forms of sin.  And not even sin currently being carried out - there is exactly zero chance this law was written because of a pandemic of people having their dirty gay sexy-sex on lunch counters and restaurant tables.  And if you want to keep people out because they have sinned, and because they will sin, then... what are you left with?

It is long past time we gave up trying to humour these people.  Considering homosexuality a sin bothers me, but hell, it's your life, to fill up with as much pointless fretting as you want. Considering a homosexuality as so great a sin as to require legislation to guarantee you can be a dick to people?  That's all on you, pal.  You could choose to focus on the people who kill, or who hoard their wealth, or who bear false witness - starting with the arseholes who drafted this bill, perhaps - but you don't.  You decided your time was better spent raging against people who do the least harm, but who also happen to have the least power.  You deliberately chose the "moral stance" that would be easiest for you, and most harmful to the people you bully.

Fuck each and every one of you.  Sullivan is right.  You're Bull Connors with a crucifix.  You are the last rampage of the dinosaur who just watched the sky darken and doesn't understand why.  You are the coward who realises making his life better would be hard, but making other lives worse would be easy, and has chosen accordingly.  In thirty years all you will be is mocked; in a hundred you will be forgotten forever, mourned only by those who can no longer use you to make the world worse.

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