Tuesday, April 26, 2005

2,4,6,8, who do we discriminate?

bigots, have no fear: it's okay to discriminate against gays in indiana. the city-county council rejected by 18-11 a measure that would've extended discrimination protection to include sexual preference and gender identity.

In the end, it was not Republicans who killed the measure -- though all but one, Scott Keller, voted against it -- but five Democrats, who broke with the majority of their caucus to oppose the proposal.

i don't agree with this reasoning; it's the same reasoning that suggested that florida "won" the election for bush in 2000. but elections don't really work that way: all votes are created equal. florida might've been given to bush, but if any number of states had gone for gore, bush wouldn't have won. similarly, those democratic pro-bigotry votes hurt, but if more republicans had voted against, it wouldn't have mattered.

this is not to say, however, that those 5 democrats don't deserve a heapin' helpin' of scorn for caving in to the hate lobby. steve talley, council president, is a black man who should know about discrimination firsthand... but he voted against the measure, claiming there was "no evidence" that gays are being discriminated against? wha-huh? isn't that exactly the kind of argument that was used against jim crow laws back in the day?

same goes for patrice abdullah and sherron franklin, both black democrats who should've known better. (not to let ron gibson or mary moriarty adams off the hook either: their whiteness does not excuse them.)

Some council members later said that religion spoke louder than politics Monday.

"I don't think that I should be forced to compromise my integrity and my beliefs as to what God put here for us to obey and to accept," said Patrice Abduallah, a Democrat who voted against the measure, Proposal No. 68.

In Indiana, similar anti-discrimination ordinances have been approved in Bloomington and Lafayette. Nationwide, more than 100 communities and at least 16 states and Washington, D.C., also have some form of anti-discrimination statute in place for private employment, according to a national gay-rights group.

In Indianapolis, though, some said a campaign by the opposition eroded support.

"The onslaught of misinformation has been almost numbing," said Council Democrat Jackie Nytes, the proposal's sponsor. "I am surprised that people feel as swayed as they do by the clear misinformation."

For example, supporters said, some council members were being told the measure would affect churches.

"religion spoke louder than politics"? which commandment is "thou shalt hate gays" again?

fortunately (for me, at least), my councillor, jackie nytes, was actually the sponsor of the bill, so i can vote for her with pride next time 'round.

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