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[REPOST] An open letter to the defender of anti-gay rights


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This was originally posted on Hawkbit's blog on 9/29/18.


You just couldn't leave it alone, could you?



Now outside of the live format, I have a much more in-depth response.

If your argument is that "the government shouldn't be the thing to protect you from shit", the whole point of having laws is to protect you from shit. That's partially the reason why assault, rape, and murder are illegal. Now, I'm not comparing this case to those things, but guess what?

It's not an argument to bring up "government" as a pejorative. Or rather, in your case, it's not an argument to constantly repeat the mantra "the government points a gun at your head". That's what you think it is. You think that you can just say "THE GOVERNMENT! THEY POINT A GUN AT YOUR HEAD!", and then say "yep, that's it! Obviously, whatever side the government is on is incorrect and tyrannical! Case closed, discussion over!" What I also find funny is that, in the context of making this broader argument about how the government should stay out, you admit that the government passed the Civil Rights Act to combat Jim Crow laws in the South. Yeah, that's the point, isn't it?

The question of "should someone be able to deny a black person a cake, or anything, just because they're black?" formed the crux of the debate about the Southern position in the days of segregation, and in the days of Jim Crow. Their justification was "no, it's our freedom to deny people for any reason we want, and if someone is black, we don't have to serve their kind!" I would ask how this situation is any different. Your response, as of now, is that they were only specifically talking about race in this era.

Which, no, they weren't. But let's just say they were, for the sake of your argument. Guess what? There's still no way for you to argue your way around the principle of that. The principle of what they were discussing in the era of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts is the same principle that applies today, when it comes to gay people. That, of course is "should you be able to deny people service for arbitrary characteristics that they're powerless to change?" If I were to randomly decide that I don't serve people with blue eyes, people would look at me, thinking that that's the dumbest thing they've ever heard in their life. "That person can't help it. Why would you discriminate on such a silly basis? That makes no sense."

The thing, Chris, is that nobody's saying that, if, for example, someone comes into a store and starts knocking over shelves, you should be forced to serve the asshole who's causing havoc. You're well within your rights to kick that person out. Their destruction of store shelves is not an arbitrary characteristic that they can't change. You can kick them out for that. The real crux of the issue is "should you be able to deny service to somebody for arbitrary characteristics that they can't change?", and the government decided "no, you can't." That's what a protected class is!

Then, the fact that you had to bring up "should a non-Christian baker be forced to bake a cake with a Christian message" shows how you don't understand the issue by any stretch of the imagination. Your choice of religion is not something you're born with. Your choice of religion is not an arbitrary characteristic that you're powerless to change. You choose what your faith is. If someone from the Taliban decided to come in your store, you're well within your rights to refuse them as well. But if someone with blue eyes, brown skin, an attraction to the same sex came in, that's not something they can change or help. Therefore, they're a protected class, and they should be protected by law, and yes, the person should have to serve them.

It's such a sloppy dodge to say "well, at the time of the Civil Rights Act, they were just specifically talking about race." First of all, they weren't, and second, even if they were, the principle of that case still stands. If you admit that the principle of "you should serve somebody if they have an arbitrary characteristic that they can't change" applies for black people, why wouldn't that be the case for gay people as well?

By the way, for someone who claims to be so against identity politics, do you know who actually is playing identity politics in this case? Whoever would reject service to a gay person. That's them playing identity politics. That's them saying "I don't like gay people, so I'll single you out because of your identity." You're siding with the people who play identity politics. You know who's not? The gay people who want to be served, simply saying "treat me like you treat everyone else." That's what they're asking for. So, you're playing identity politics if you side with the people who reject service based on identity.

Whether you like it or not, you have to understand what a protected class is. You have to understand that your bringing up of "the non-Christian baker vs. the Christian" in this context is ridiculous. Being of a certain faith is not an arbitrary characteristic you can't change. Being black, white, or gay, all arbitrary characteristics you can't change, whether you want to accept that fact or not.

To really show how backwards this "it's freedom to deny service to people based on arbitrary characteristics" ideology is, all you have to do is imagine just a slightly-extreme scenario to realize what your true beliefs are on this issue. Back in the day, if a black family had a car breakdown in a predominantly-white area of Mississippi, imagine if they walked for 4 miles in 95-degree heat to a gas station, only to have the gas station employees tell them "we don't serve your kind." Then they try to go to the diner next door, and the diner does the same. They can't get food, a drink, gas, it's 95 degrees outside, and no one will help them.

So, guess what? If you're sticking by your principles on this issue (which, I'm quite convinced that you don't have real principles by this point), you'd say "#FREEDOM! They have the freedom to deny those people." I would guess that most people, even most conservatives, given the facts of that situation, would say "you know what? You should have to serve them in that situation." That's all anyone is saying. When it comes to gays? Exact same philosophy.

You shouldn't be legally allowed to reject service based on arbitrary characteristics is the driving point here. That's why we have protected classes, for people who've been historically discriminated against. Beyond that, the principle of "you shouldn't be legally allowed to reject service based on arbitrary characteristics" is what matters, and that's the correct principle, at least to people who actually care about living in a modern civilization.


EDIT: DS Guy read this blog and responded to it via Twitter. View the entire resulting crapfest here: 

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