Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Creeping Darkness


If we pass anti-discrimation laws that protect homosexuals, it will interfere with our ability to discriminate against homosexuals, and may even lead us to...accept them.

This is the horripilating dystopian vision of Mychal Massie, who sees the Employment Nondiscrimination Act as a huge throbbing penis aimed squarely at his epiglottis.

While the nation's news outlets are riveted on the Jena 6 and O.J. Simpson, an insidious undermining of the workplace advances virtually unnoticed.

That creeping darkness is the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act, or ENDA, H.R. 2015. If the proposed measure becomes law, it will add "actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity" as a category to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It would give special employment rights to homosexuals and the transgendered that would not only harm the integrity of faith-based organizations, but it would specifically undermine an employer's ability to grow his/her business in a productive and profitable way.
It's a stark moment of decision. Will American business follow the road to worldly riches paved by powerhouses of bigotry like Dixie Services, or court bankruptcy by emulating pro-perversion also-rans like The Gap, General Mills, and GlaxoSmithKline?

One of Massie's weirder arguments is that gays aren't sufficiently oppressed (yet) to constitute an oppressed minority, and can therefore be oppressed with impunity:
Homosexuals and cross-dressers may in fact be a lot of things, but an oppressed minority they are not. And I, for one, resent their temerity in suggesting that a rejection of their chosen lifestyle is in any way equivalent to what truly oppressed peoples in this country went through for the right to vote, sit at a lunch counter and/or stay in the hotel of their choice.
Since gays aren't oppressed, we mustn't defend their right to stay at a certain hotel or eat at a certain lunch counter or work at a certain job, because that would be an infringement of the business owners' right to discriminate against them.

After all:
Business owners and companies are in business to be successful, and, accordingly, there are acceptable protocols pursuant to same within the martinet [sic] of said business culture.
Massie claims that gays are incredibly powerful and wealthy and influential, and simultaneously wants us to believe that accepting their money, or their labor, is a one-way ticket to financial ruin. His argument hinges on the idea that if you can't discriminate against gays, they'll come to work looking like "Boy George in Liza Minnelli 1980s drag makeup, complete in his working girl commuter-friendly disco sneakers."

I'm not so sure. The heterosexual lifestyle is perfectly legal, but straight bank managers don't usually show up for work in sheer bustiers and microskirts, or t-shirts that say "you don't have to be a cat to lick a pussy." Massie realizes that his scenario sounds farfetched, so he backs it up with a truly inspired example of petitio principii:
[I[f the examples I have delineated are not intended and expected outcomes of those supporting ENDA, then why is there a need for such legislation?
If Massie hadn't forbidden the comparison, I'd be reminded of the racists who claimed that the civil rights movement existed for no other reason than to give black men access to white women. Since he has, I'm reduced to pointing out that his argument makes no sense at all.

Don't conclude from all this that Massie's a bigot, though. His only real problem with gays is that they force him to dwell obsessively on the ins and outs of gay sex:
In all of the countless discussions and debates in which I have participated, I have never heard it once said that homosexuals are xenobiotic or xenogenetic – the discussions center on the act itself....
I have no trouble believing this, since Massie's the only person I've ever seen throw these words around without knowing what they mean.

I also believe that his "countless discussions" of homosexuality "center on the act itself"; I'm sure there are plenty of gay men and women who think about gay sex much less frequently - and avidly - than the typical WND columnist.

Having shown off his attainments in genetics and ecotoxicology, Massie goes on to reveal himself as a modern-day Zeno:
Organizations and companies that have served the public for decades would be forced into adopting that which they are opposed to, or lose their ability to continue serving the public. Where is the civil right in that?
It's a tough question. But I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that it's implied in the word "public," which refers to a community of citizens whose civil rights, in Thomas Jefferson's opinion, "have no dependence upon our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry."

7 comments:

Toby Petzold said...

It's remarkable that you should post about some ignorant ---and essentially obscure--- bastard's views of homosexuality in the immediate aftermath of Ahmadinejad's absurd statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Is this post of yours intended to underscore the irony of an ostensibly offended, but hypocritical, West chastising a brutal liar from the Middle East on the subject of homosexuality? If so, know this: Ahmadinejad has the authority to murder gay men in Iran, whereas this other turd has nothing. In fact, Ahmadinejad has murdered gay men in Iran. And American soldiers in Iraq. Your choice of topic here exposes you as an intellectually dishonest apologist for anything that "heightens the contradictions."

Phila said...

Is this post of yours intended to underscore the irony of an ostensibly offended, but hypocritical, West chastising a brutal liar from the Middle East on the subject of homosexuality?

Nope. As a matter of fact, I've been pretty busy the past few days, and hadn't heard about Ahmadinejad's statement 'til now, as far as I can recall.

But even if I had heard about it, I don't see why Iran's brutal treatment of homosexuals should stop me from critiquing Massie's article. After all, we're supposed to be the civilized ones, right? Perhaps we should actually protect and expand our freedoms, instead of complacently claiming that they're good enough, given what's going on in countries X, Y, and Z.

They have clitoridectomy and Ebola in the Congo; does that mean I'm not allowed to complain about abused women or asthma-ridden ghettoes in America? Your complaint would be completely idiotic even if it weren't based on a false assumption about why I wrote this post.

More to the point, your preferred solution to Ahmadinejad's crimes against tolerance is to blow Iran to smithereens - fags and all - so your crocodile tears over their plight don't impress me much. You know as well as I do that if we nuked Tehran tomorrow, your faux-humanist concern over the status of Iranian women and gays would vaporize right along with them.

Anonymous said...

"The heterosexual lifestyle is perfectly legal, but straight bank managers don't usually show up for work in sheer bustiers and microskirts[...]"

I think it's time to put out a parody of those fearmongering Family Values videos where inevitably, shots of the most "out" floats at a Pride parade are used to represent the 24/7 reality of all gaydom everywhere.

We can start with any parade of hyper-leathered, hog-bike enthusiasts and their usually barely clad female passengers... maybe moving on to the import tuner car crowd and their pneumatic model idols... or maybe just...Ted Nugent?

The straights! They're coming for your family!

"Won't someone PLEASE think of the children?"

And, um, Toby? This post isn't about Iran. Your points are largely correct, yes, the situation is deplorable -- but it is not hypocritical to point out domestic idiocy when and where it conflicts with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the spirit of the Bill of Rights or accepted legal precedent.

Wasn't it the whole point of the American Revolution to fight superstition, injustice and prejudice? I see no conflict here.

Toby Petzold said...

What a great coincidence then, eh? You, a partisan blogger, managed to pull off a thoroughgoing riff on the subject of the single most discussed absurdity from the single most discussed event of the past 24 hours ---and didn't once refer to Ahmadinejad or his Iran.

Just lots of domestic bigotry. Even if not the widely murderous kind.

I think "emblematic" covers your post well enough.

Phila said...

What a great coincidence then, eh? You, a partisan blogger, managed to pull off a thoroughgoing riff on the subject of the single most discussed absurdity from the single most discussed event of the past 24 hours ---and didn't once refer to Ahmadinejad or his Iran.

Yep. It's all part of my plot to mainstream Iranian homophobia. Shoulda known you were too smart to fall for it.

Since you brought it up, where do you suppose my "partisan" sentiments lie, exactly? Whose side am I on, in your opinion?

roger said...

mmmmmmmmmmm. pneumocephaly.

i come for the tags and stay for the text.

ellroon said...

You made me look up epiglottis.

Can I criticize your post for not addressing Russia's huge untapped oil reserves and the loss of edible fish in the Pacific?

Thanks for the huge laugh and the excellent post. Well done!