The Anchorage Assembly last week passed Proposition 64, a bill that bans workplace discrimination based on being a gay. But it passed by 7-4, which means it’s one vote shy of being veto-proof from Mayor Dan Sullivan’s stamp. And some folks are lobbying him to overturn things. Except, um, the deadline to veto the bill was … yesterday?
As you’d expect, the argument against the bill falls into the religious arena. Since homosexuality is one of the last remaining acceptable things to not be tolerant of, if your God tells you to hate queers, you should be legally entitled to do so!
So argues radio show host Dan Fagan: “Personally, I would have no problem hiring or renting to someone who wants to have sex with his or her own gender. But if my value system prohibited me from doing so, I would be out of luck. Because of the gay ordinance I would lose my freedom to practice my own value system and would instead be forced to employ values dictated to me by seven Anchorage Assembly members. There are times when government should override our value systems. If our value system allows us to physically harm others, then the government should step in and lock us up. You say rejecting someone for a job based on the desire to have sex with his or her own gender harms the practicing homosexual. It is true they will have to look for work elsewhere. But do we really want government dictating to employers what behavior they can accept or reject in their potential employees?”
And just so we’re clear, by “behavior” Mr. Fagan means “the butt sex.”
But by far, this is our favorite piece of Fagan’s argument:
What if a prospective employee uses foul language and the seven Anchorage Assembly members hear emotional testimony from habitual swearers complaining about feeling like second-class citizens just because they choose to curse? Should the Assembly pass a law to create a special class of citizens that curse? Those landlords and business owners whose values tell them cursing is wrong will have to hire the foul-mouthed job applicants anyway. Their value system would be replaced by one dictated by the Assembly.
What about gum chewers? Or those folks who say “You bethcha” all the time?
As far as I am concerned, I would never hire anyone who answers the phone, “Yello!” What if the Assembly took special pity on the “Yello” answerers of the world and created special rights for them? I’d be screwed.
Hey gays: Now you’re the same as people who like to swear!
UPDATE: Mayor Sullivan has vetoed the measure,