Archive for Monday, September 26, 2011

Protected class?

September 26, 2011


To the editor:

A recent Journal-World article demonstrates the mayor of Lawrence standing for what amounts to an attack on part of what Americans should stand for. The article, “City to consider ‘gender identity’ as protected class,” demonstrates what modern tolerance looks like, which is intolerance. The mayor said: “Part of what we’re trying to do is send a message of tolerance” and “Lawrence is a tolerant community.”

This is not a message of tolerance; it is a law enforcing a political agenda. If this law is passed, Lawrence will not tolerate “justice and liberty for all,” but only for a “protected class.” The mayor is trying to force his intolerance on others under the guise of tolerance and make Lawrence intolerant of liberty and justice for all.

Will churches be forced to do this? Will all employers have to do this or risk being sued? The mayor is throwing the city and its taxpayers under the bus with this piece of legislation, which will open the floodgates to lawsuits and the great expense of “fixing” public bathrooms. Is there really a problem with large amounts of discrimination which justify such a radical approach?

The mayor is no longer pursuing liberty and justice for all, but instead for a “protected class.” He is evidently tolerant of a few, but also being very intolerant of the rest. This law will not make Lawrence look tolerant, but rather intolerant of justice and liberty for all. Is he mayor of all or a “protected class” only?


Gandalf 6 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps decisions to rent should be based on credit history and references only. Not personal predijuices.

imastinker 6 years, 5 months ago

Are you really advocating that the landlord not use their judgement at all in deciding to rent to somebody?

Why would the landlord even know if this person is transgendered? This is a useless argument that accomplishes nothing. If they don't want people to find out don't tell them.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 5 months ago

This is the same augment they used against "Simply Equal" in 1993.

devobrun 6 years, 4 months ago

Everybody discriminates all the time. We make choices on the basis of many things. Being non-discriminatory is to not be.

It is the basis of the discrimination that is being called to question. You can refuse rental to people who have pets. It is legal. You can not spend your money on, or not attend an event because you don't like the people who do.

You can refuse service to loud, boisterous, naked people.

But laws that limit discrimination are based on historical prejudices. And those prejudices work both ways. You can't refuse a person service on the basis of skin color. But when a person of color is refused service because he is drunk and roudy........are you a racists? Can you be prosecuted? Tough call isn't it?

Not in our world. You are a racist. And the more versions of protected people we get, the less likely any discrimination occurs.....and the less we exist as individuals. We cannot discriminate against anything that a person who is protected does......

And the worst part of it is that young people of protected classes learn this. They come to believe that they live by different rules. And they are not better for it. And the world is not a better place for it. Gangs know it.
I haven't heard of gay gangs yet, but they probably exist....or are soon to come along. Not because they are violent people, but because they can. They are protected, baby.....use it or lose it. Violence isn't some evil thing, it is learned. And as soon as people figure out that they can get away with it, they will. Protected class means privileged class and that means trouble, whether that privilege is from mommy and daddy's money, or some designation by the government.

Stop the privilege. Treat everybody like the low-life that we are and we'll all be better for it.

Protected people? Heck, people should be protected from their own behavior, more than being protected from other people.

Keith 6 years, 5 months ago

Did the newspaper edit this letter to remove any form of logical argument from it?

Richard Smith 6 years, 4 months ago

Logic: If you think tolerance is protecting one small, indefined group of society at the expense of all others, then you are being intolerant of the rest.

If you are only protecting the liberty and justice (so called) of a small group of indefined people, then you are throwing away liberty and justice of the rest.

Disagreement with a position does not mean that the other position has no logic, but it does display the blindness of those who want to defend a position with no logic.

esteshawk 6 years, 4 months ago

How is providing special protection to a segment of population at the expense of others? Seems kind of what the US is all about, providing rights to all, not just those that fit the majority opinion.

Abdu Omar 6 years, 5 months ago

They must have removed logic from it. I am sorry, but my reading of this makes me confused as to the point. I didn't read an article about what the Mayor is doing so I guess that could be the problem, but usually I am well read. So explain to me why we need a "law" that prohibits intolerance?

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Sure, because equal treatment under the law isn't an important thing in America.

funkdog1 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh get over yourself. Ever met any transgendered people? Well, you probably have, you just didn't know it. Look, the only transgendered person who'd be using a public shower would be someone who's had the surgery done and so has become the opposite sex. They'd have all the right "parts". If you're talking about someone who identifies as the opposite sex but hasn't had the sex-reassignment surgery, I can pretty much guarantee they'd not risk behavior such as public showering. Now, they might use the so-called "opposite" bathroom, but they'd go into a stall where it's private and not bother anyone. Transgendered people are not perverts. They're not pedophiles. They're just people.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 5 months ago

Mistrun80's argument always cracks me up. If anyone, transgendered or whatever, really wanted to shower with your ten year old, they would try to do it regardless of city ordinance. I don't envision a bums rush to the nearest public showering facility if an anti-bigotry law is enacted. Just as with health care, it isn't like millions of people are going to make a bee-line to the nearest ER. Get over you fears. It's a lovely day outside. Go check it out.

I DO have one question though. I Lawrence is so tolerant, why the new law?

mr_right_wing 6 years, 5 months ago


From what I've read, this addresses 'public accomodation' so, what would be the point of having seperate bathrooms or locker rooms? Those signs on the doors could be labeled 'discrimination."

We're not just talking about your favorite restruant here either, or just Wal-Mart and Target. We're also talking our high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.

Will these new regulations state you've got to either had the surgery, or have it scheduled, or could a high school guy just wonder into the girls locker room and say that he felt like a woman today and wanted to use the appropriate facility.

People....where do we go from here? Over 10 years ago this would have been thought of as a joke. What happens 10 years from now and later??

No matter how liberal you get, the best you'll ever achieve is a 2nd rate San Francisco wanna-be. Why not just take your gender confusion out there? (.....way...way....out there!!)

deec 6 years, 5 months ago

I'd think all those religious dudes who were raping boys for decades used the same bathrooms as their victims.

funkdog1 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, you'd hate liberal Europe, then. There are plenty of unisex bathrooms over there. There's also the interesting cultural phenomenon over there that when the women's restroom is full, women will simply walk over and use the men's. But that's wacky, liberal Europe, where they don't get all hung up about nudity and peoples' bodies.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 4 months ago

That is why I live here and fully believe this is the greatest nation on this earth.

God bless America!!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 5 months ago

He's gone on the record as saying he wants to do this now because we're a ways away from the next election. It can be passed and the voters will all forget about it by the next election.

He's learned from the mistake they made in Manhattan, this was considered close to the election and the commissioners were voted out of office.

(It makes me feel dirty to actually say anything even remotely good about that town, but.......)

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

Question: Are bigots a protected class?

Kirk Larson 6 years, 5 months ago

Uh, for those who can't get it: We are ALL supposed to be in the protected class. The purpose of the ordinance is to bring transgender people under the same protections that everyone else already enjoys, not to give them any special protections unavailable to the general population.

Katara 6 years, 5 months ago

What is it with the focus on the bathrooms?

What exactly are you people doing in the bathrooms that you think transgender people are going to want to watch?

hujiko 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm all for the marketplace of ideas but sheesh, LJWorld -- shouldn't an LTE actually make some sense? There's no real argument here other than the same poor disenfranchised white christians that feel attacked anytime they disagree with some piece of legislation based on their own morals. This bill doesn't set anyone above anyone else, it doesn't limit the rights of anyone, and it doesn't grant any special privileges. This bill makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their gender identity. This bill is the same as any other that makes discrimination based on sex, race, religion, or some other distinguishing factor unconstitutional. Either everyone is is protected under our constitution, or the whole document is null and void.

It's no longer the 1950s so grow up and shut up and let people live as they please, and if it still bothers you then perhaps you need to work out your own problems first before taking it out on anyone different than yourself.

hujiko 6 years, 5 months ago

It's ironic that Christianity is the dominate religion in the United States, because the first (European) people to settle here in large numbers were Christians escaping persecution back in their home countries. Funny that the oppressed became the oppressors; seems they might have some empathy or something for those that are currently in the same situation today.

I could go on about how Jesus said that we should love our brothers and neighbors, but that's enough cognitive dissonance for today.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 4 months ago

"Love the sinner... ...hate the sin."

Just another way to say hate the sinner. Your orientation is not something you do. It's something you are.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 4 months ago

Nope, the Bible is pretty clear:

Romans 3:23

If I'm going to hate sinners, I've got to start with MYSELF.

Now my personal sin? Yeah..hate it.

As far as the "orientation" thing, you and I will never agree on that, so I'll let it go.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 4 months ago

I assume you are straight. Let's say you haven't had sex for years and may never do so 'til the day you die. Does that mean you are no longer heterosexual? Of course not. Your orientation is not what you do, it is who you are. And thus you do not hate what homosexuals do, you hate who they are.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 4 months ago

Forrest Swall, a former state legislator once said, "You are either for Fred Phelps or you are against him". Good to know where you stand.

kugrad 6 years, 5 months ago

I think the argument the author of the LTE is making comes down to this: Those people who choose to be intolerant should be allowed to express their intolerance without restriction. This logic comes up a lot when one relies on religious beliefs to support intolerance. Somehow the religious roots of intolerance are supposed to make it protected from the law. If your religion teaches you to be intolerant toward Black people and other minorities, are your rights violated by the Civil Rights Act? No, because you have no inherent right to discriminate against others. You have no right to refuse to rent to a transgender individual just like you have no right to discriminate by refusing to rent to a Black person. You are equally protected under the law, as no one has the right to discriminate in renting to you on the basis of your religious bigotry. The 20th century happened Mr. Smith. The law no longer sanctions bigotry. Get over it.

Oldsoul 6 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence tolerant? That's the biggest whopper I've ever heard. You cannot even enjoy the public space in that redneck town without being approached by offensive strangers who have been raised to get up in others' business for discriminatory and harassing reasons. Someone needs to point out to these people that they really do not give off trustworthy, competent, or intelligent vibes.The kindest thing idiots can do for others is just keep their mouths closed and hands off. Respect people's space and privacy. Only thinking people have the capacity to be useful and contribute to others, and that hardly describes the majority of Lawrence residents.

Stop kidding yourself you can "help"( Get a clue: you're way dumb) and start asking yourself the offensive, intrusive, and aggressive questions you have the rude lack of awareness to force on strangers, starting with, "Are you o.k".? Braindead checkers cashier has to use a calculator to subtract 9 from 20 , yet she's been raised to go around acting like she's God's Gift. The idea of" help" from someone that stupid is terrifying.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

The brief answer to Mr. Smith's assertion is that the concepts of liberty and justice are not always easy to secure equally.

And that we have decided as a society that it is preferable to preserve justice for all, even if it means limiting the exercise of liberty (ie. absolute freedom).

That means that we limit a landlord's freedom to deny housing to black people, women, Jews, etc. in order to guarantee justice for potential tenants.

Also, it's worth pointing out that these protections also protect the dominant group - in other words, white Christian straight men can't be denied housing for any of those attributes either - I think the reason this gets missed is that those groups very rarely are discriminated against, and so they don't realize that they're protected as well.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 4 months ago

What a silly letter. I guess the far right just has to have someone to hate. There'd be no need for anything like this if we didn't see loons bursting into church to shoot people they disagree with politically, or racist jerks dragging people behind trucks until they were depapitated. Lawrence has always been a more live and let live community, which is why Brownback hates us so much. His type of religious zealot are much more akin to the Taliban than anything truly American.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

I think landlords should decide on credit rating, ability to pay and character, not on hate based fantasy.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 6 years, 4 months ago

These poor oppressed religious types don't seem to have a problem renting, employing to persons who have differing religions or religious views as themselves. A purest may believe that only his religion or practice of that religion is true and that all others are sinners yet usually they don't have an issue with doing business with those persons? Of course, then it comes to Jews and Muslims and suddenly, the 14th amendment goes out the window.

I follow a faith that believes that God made gay people just as they are and that one's sexual orientation is a gift from God. To go against what God made you would be the sin. In other words for a person to go against their particular orientation would be the problem. Trying to force gay people to be straight is the sin.

Transgender persons just want to live their lives usually without drawing attention to themselves. Live and let live, they're harmless.

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