December 4, 2008

From the Desk of Phil Burress
President of Citizens for Community Values

Citizens’ E-Courier · December 4, 2008

CityBeat advertisers back in the news…and court

“[S]omeone needs to stand up for local people who engage in these types of businesses. They need to have outlets for promoting their admittedly alternative goods and services, and CityBeat is proud to be one of those outlets.”
CityBeat Editor John Fox, CityBeat editorial June 11, 2008

Prostitution trial begins
Ex-‘Army wife’ accused of running network of brothels
Cincinnati.com · Wednesday, December 3, 2008

COVINGTON – The lives of South Korean prostitutes is being told this week in what is normally a staid federal courtroom. “I will try my best to respect the decorum of the courtroom,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Dusing said during opening arguments in the trial of an alleged madam. “It is not going to be pretty testimony, but it does go to the core of the case.”

To read the entire article click here: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20081203/NEWS0103/812030376/0/NEWS01

For additional background on CityBeat’s ads click here:  http://www.ccv.org/downloads/pdf/Courier808.pdf

Special rights legislation:  A wolf in sheep’s clothing

It can’t be said of the homosexual lobby that they give up easily.

In the final lame-duck days of Ohio’s legislative session on Thursday, December 4th the House Committee on State Government and Elections will hold a hearing on HB 502. If eventually passed, the bill will insert “sexual orientation” language into every one of Ohio’s civil rights codes and regulations targeting employment, housing, and public accommodations, affecting virtually every business enterprise, including childcare and churches. From what we can tell, no one would be exempt from this massive expansion of our anti-discrimination laws.

CHURCHES, BUSINESS OWNERS, LANDLORDS…ALL OHIOANS BEWARE

Although this particular bill (along with most every other piece of pending legislation) is going nowhere this session, it will most certainly be back. It is without a doubt the #1 priority of the homosexual lobby in Ohio. When it returns in early 2009, CCV wants you to be prepared to make a reasoned defense of why this is bad for society and the business climate.

Arguments in support of bills like these often suggest that they support egalitarianism, that they indeed advance civil rights, and are attractive to the corporate world.

However, when one surveys these types of laws across the nation at the local and state levels, we see a much different picture. By creating new civil rights protections in this bill based on someone’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, or transgenderism, we are actually inhibiting business, and we are running counter to more than a half-century of civil rights laws, thereby inflicting gross inequality upon traditionally protected classes.

First, business is inhibited by non-discrimination laws protecting sexual expression because they create added corporate liability. While companies have the authority to regulate inappropriate behavior in the workplace, these types of laws across the nation have prevented companies from prohibiting it. Several examples demonstrate this problem:

  1. A former employee of Shell Oil Company was awarded $5.3 million in actual and punitive damages after the company terminated his employment for leaving in the copy room copies of sexually explicit materials detailing “house rules” for “safe sex” practices at a homosexual party he had hosted the previous weekend.
  2. A California company was forced to settle a lawsuit for $1 million and lay off several employees after it was sued under a similar non-discrimination California law for failing to promote a man who came to work dressed as a woman. Only after the lawsuit was filed did the company learn that the man was not a woman.
  3. A court in Pennsylvania said a company violated a similar law in that state when it refused to permit a male employee to go to work in a dress and shower with his female co-workers.

Secondly, business is also inhibited by these laws because freedom of contract and freedom of expression for corporations is limited. For example:

  1. The owner of the Rochester Athletic Club in Minnesota was sued for refusing to extend “family” membership to a lesbian couple and a daughter of one of the women, even though the club offered the family rate to one woman and the 11-year old child.
  2. A New Mexico photographer declined to take pictures for a lesbian commitment ceremony, stating she only photographed traditional marriages. The lesbian couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Department of Labor, Human Rights Division claiming that the photography company had engaged in illegal sexual orientation discrimination by a public accommodation.
  3. The Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home (KBCH) is a faith-based ministry that contracts with the state to provide residential care for abused and neglected children. When KBCH terminated the employment of an employee who was openly involved in a homosexual relationship, contrary to the religious teachings of the institution, the terminated employee filed suit for wrongful termination and violation of the Establishment Clause.

Thirdly, in an attempt to stop discrimination based upon someone’s sexual expression, this type of law actually create an environment of religious discrimination within the workplace. Employees have even been terminated for expressing their religious beliefs outside of the workplace.

  1. In 2006 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that members of a Christian employees group for the city of Oakland, CA could not use words like “marriage,” “natural family,” or “family values” in email correspondence or on posters in city offices where a wide variety of groups are allowed to post. The court decided that such words were akin to hate speech because they made homosexual city employees uncomfortable.
  2. In 2009, the University of Toledo (Ohio) suspended Crystal Dixon, an associate vice president of human resources because she expressed her own opinion in a guest editorial in a local newspaper (not the school’s) that choosing homosexual behavior is not the equivalent of being black or handicapped. Here’s what she wrote,

“Human beings, regardless of their choices in life, are of ultimate value to God and should be viewed the same by others. At the same time, one’s personal choices lead to outcomes either positive or negative.

As a black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo’s Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’ Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman. I am genetically and biologically a black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle.”

After refusing a job transfer, Ms. Dixon was fired for what many believe was simply expressing her own private religious beliefs outside of her work environment.

Finally, and likely most importantly, when we create new civil rights protections based on someone’s sexual expression, we are subverting the civil rights standards established by our court system.

Historically, civil rights protections have been afforded to those classes of persons:

  1. who display immutable characteristics,
  2. who have historically been the subject of economic disenfranchisement, and
  3. who have traditionally been the victim of political powerlessness.

[See High Tech Gays v. Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office, 909 F.2d 375 (1989), where the court stated: “To be ‘suspect’ or ‘quasi-suspect’ class, one must (1) have suffered a history of discrimination; (2) exhibit obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group, and (3) show that they are a minority or politically powerless, or alternatively show that the statutory classification at issue burdens a fundamental right.”]

When considering creating new civil rights protections for a group, we must first realize that the rule of law is meant to be something very clear and visible for all citizens to see. It provides guidelines and parameters for all to live by. The problem with laws based upon someone’s sexual expression is that they are trying to create boundaries with something that is fluid and changeable.

It is no doubt the subject of intense debate as to whether one’s “sexual orientation” is immutable or unchangeable. Today’s current scientific thought disagrees that there is a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality. The reality is such that many within this group transition in and out of their “self-identified” sexual expression. At a minimum, whether one’s “sexual orientation” is immutable is certainly unsettled.

Therefore, when taking sexual expression into consideration in the creation of law, you would be creating instability and inconsistency in law.

Secondly, when considering creating new civil rights protections for this group, we need to realize that homosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, and gender-confused individuals have not demonstrated a history of economic disenfranchisement. According to Online Partners (owners of Gay.com), their household income is significantly more than the average household in America. They are twice as likely to have graduated from college, to be professionals and managers, far more likely to travel domestically and to foreign countries.

And thirdly, when considering this big change, no one today would attempt to claim that those who identify themselves by their sexual expression have been shut out of the political conversation in this state or country. Consider how many now serve in elected office, the amount of money in the multiple-millions of dollars that their political organizations raise each year to support their candidates, and what kind of support they enjoy from most every major news and media outlet.

“Sexual orientation” and “gender identity or cross dressing” should not be equated with race, color, gender or national origin. Those who identify themselves by their sexual expression have never been counted as 3/5 of a person, forced to drink from separate water fountains, made to ride at the back of the bus, or denied the right to vote.

Homosexual political activists are trying to hijack our civil rights laws and create a new class based on someone’s unverifiable private sexual behavior. It would create bad law based on moving standards and boundaries. And it would simply be bad for business in Ohio.

READ IT FOR YOURSELF

House Bill 502 actual language: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_HB_502

House Bill 502 bill analysis: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/analysis.cfm?ID=127_HB_502&ACT=As%20Introduced&hf=analyses127/h0502-i-127.htm

House Bill 502 excerpts and pertinent notes:

House Bill 502 adds sexual orientation to the covered characteristics that can be the basis for unlawful discriminatory practices under the prohibitions of the existing OCRC Law (R.C. 4112.01(A)(11), 4112.02(A) to (H), and 4112.021).  The bill defines “sexual orientation” as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, or transgenderism, whether actual or perceived (R.C. 4112.01(A)(22)).

The bill also adds sexual orientation to the covered characteristics in the provisions of existing law that require the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to do all of the following (R.C. 4112.04(A)(7), (9), and (10)):

  1. Make periodic surveys of the existence and effect of discrimination on the basis of most of the covered characteristics on the enjoyment of civil rights by persons within Ohio;
  2. Prepare a comprehensive educational program, in cooperation with the State Department of Education, for Ohio public school students and all other Ohio residents that is designed to eliminate prejudice on the basis of most of the covered characteristics, to further good will among the groups with the covered characteristics, and to emphasize the origin of prejudice against those groups, its harmful effects, and its incompatibility with American principles of equality and fair play;
  3. Receive progress reports from state agencies and entities and from political subdivisions and their agencies and entities regarding:  (a) affirmative action programs for the employment of persons against whom discrimination is prohibited by the OCRC Law, (b) affirmative action programs for the employment of persons against whom discrimination is prohibited by the OCRC Law, or (c) affirmative housing accommodations programs developed to eliminate or reduce an imbalance of a covered characteristic.