LGBT as a protected class

Discussion in 'Civil Liberties' started by Befuddled Alien, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    In another thread, the question was posed: So LGBT is a personal life style choice — so what?

    Rather than hijack that thread with a long tangent, I thought it better to start a new one.

    It seems the question of whether or not sexuality is a personal life style choice or something that is inherent is really a question of whether we, as a society, should be allowed to discriminate based on that property or not. If something is a choice, we seem to be ok with discrimination. If something is not a choice, we seem to be more inclined to protect it from discrimination.

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin (including membership in a Native American tribe). The EEOC has taken that list and generally expanded it to include these items:

    Not OK to discriminate
    - Age
    - Disability
    - Genetic Information
    - Harassment
    - National Origin
    - Pregnancy
    - Race/Color
    - Religion
    - Sex

    Local state and city laws can be even more protective but not less. This leaves us with many things that it is ok to discriminate on however.

    OK for discrimination
    - Height
    - Physical abilities
    - Physical appearance
    - Weight
    - Health
    - etc, etc, etc

    The question then becomes: Why does sexual orientation or preference belong on one list and not the other? This is why the question of "choice or not" becomes so important. Generally the courts have decided that there must be a good reason for discrimination when these have been challenged. Where good reasons have been shown they have generally held up.

    BUT ... a lot of people would argue that 'religion' is just as much a matter of 'choice' as is sexual preference. People change religions all the time. They change for personal whims, for marriage, for family, and sometimes they just lose faith altogether.

    So my question is this: What reason is there for having LGBT rights on the 'ok for discrimination' list that would not also apply to religion?
     
  2. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    The US constitution prohibits discrimination by the government. The government should get out of the business of regulating discrimination by private individuals.
     
  3. Belch

    Belch Well-Known Member

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    How so? A progressive tax system is inherently discriminatory. The military has always discriminated against women, children, senior citizens, the handicapped, etc. It discriminates between the states based on population, and it discriminates between countries based on the ability to have a treaty with one country, and not with another.

    I could go on, but to say that the federal government isn't allowed to discriminate based on the constitution is flat out absurd.
     
  4. Pred

    Pred Well-Known Member

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    Completely protected


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    Case law defines what is and is not unconstitutional discrimination by the government. All which has nothing to do with my point that government should get out of the business of regulating discrimination in the private sector.
     
  6. Belch

    Belch Well-Known Member

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    So you want to get rid of stare decisis?

    I'm fine with that.
     
  7. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    That's great that you think that the civil rights act of 1964 should be repealed ... but how exactly does that answer the actual question I posed?

    "Why is something done?" and "Should something be done?" are two entirely different questions.
     
  8. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    Religion is a matter of 'personal lifestyle choice' one can adopt one's religious faith, renounce one's religious faith or change one's faith, based on little more than a whim, a desire to express that whim and a pattern of behavior or statements in one of several ways, both in a formal religious ceremony or outside of it, yet it can be defined as both a protected class (legislative civil rights) and a suspect class ( judicial notice of historic cultural animus) It sure does not require any genetic markers or physical attributes to contribute to the delineation.

    I say some magic words about Jesus being reborn etc , and I am a Christian. I take some classes and impress a rabbi, I am a Jew. I renounce all religion and Gods, I am an atheist. Nothing biological about it. These are choices that the law protects from discrimination.

    I choose to spend each Sunday in a Mosque, I am a Muslim. I choose to spend the same time humping my same sex lover, I am gay man.

    Nope choice or nature, the law protects select demographic groups from discrimination either in private business conduct or governmental conduct.
     
  9. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Bizarre interpretation of my post. I want government to get out of regulating discrimination between private individuals and businesses.
     
  10. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    With government out of that business, there is no need for the lists of favored classifications, so which list they are on becomes irrelevant.
     
  11. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    Right ... so it doesn't actually answer the question I asked at all.
     
  12. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    Of course it does. It doesn't belong on either list because the government has no business deciding who are their favorite classifications of people worthy of higher levels of equal protection.
     
  13. MMC

    MMC Well-Known Member

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    Special like, huh?
     
  14. yguy

    yguy Well-Known Member

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    Forgotten the free exercise clause, have you?
     
  15. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    In what bizzaro world does "It doesn't belong on either list" answer the direct question of "What reason is there for having LGBT rights on the 'ok for discrimination' list that would not also apply to religion?"
     
  16. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    No. What makes you think that? And more importantly, how does your comment relate to the question asked?

    For a refresher for anyone reading along ...

    Free Exercise Clause refers to the section of the First Amendment italicized here
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."


    The Free Exercise Clause reserves the right of American citizens to accept any religious belief and engage in religious rituals. The wording in the free-exercise clauses of state constitutions that religious “[o]pinion, expression of opinion, and practice were all expressly protected” by the Free Exercise Clause. The clause protects not just religious beliefs but actions made on behalf of those beliefs. More importantly, the wording of state constitutions suggest that “free exercise envisions religiously compelled exemptions from at least some generally applicable laws.” The Free Exercise Clause not only protects religious belief and expression; it also seems to allow for violation of laws, as long as that violation is made for religious reasons. In the terms of economc theory, the Free Exercise Clause promotes a free religious market by precluding taxation of religious activities by minority sects.

    Constitutional scholars and even Supreme Court opinions have contended that the two religion clauses are in conflict. E.g., Thomas v. Review Board, 450 U.S. 707 (1981). As mentioned previously, the Free Exercise Clause implies special accommodation of religious ideas and actions, even to the point of exemptions to generally applicable laws. Such a special benefit seems to violate the neutrality between “religion and non-religion” mandated by the Establishment Clause. McConnell explains:

    "If there is a constitutional requirement for accommodation of religious conduct, it will most likely be found in the Free Exercise Clause. Some say, though, that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause for the government to give any special benefit or recognition of religion. In that case, we have a First Amendment in conflict with itself—the Establishment Clause forbidding what the Free Exercise Clause requires."​

    Historically, the Supreme Court has been inconsistent in dealing with this problem. When the Court leans toward more accommodation for the Free Exercise Clause, there is greater conflict. When the Amendment was drafted, it applied only to the U.S. Congress; state and local governments could abridge the free exercise of religion as long as there was no similar provision in the state constitution. In 1940, the Supreme Court held in Cantwell v. Connecticut that, due to the Fourteenth Amendment, the Free Exercise Clause is enforceable against state and local governments.

    None of that answers the question posed - What reason is there for having LGBT rights on the 'ok for discrimination' list that would not also apply to religion? ... To reply that, essentially, "religion is on the list, because it's on the list" does not get us closer to a reason.
     
  17. yguy

    yguy Well-Known Member

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    What I quoted, obviously.

    Free exercise of religion is a constitutionally enumerated right, whereas engaging in sexual perversions is not.
     
  18. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    So ... your answer was to a rhetorical rephrasing of a question posed in another thread?! Duly noted. We can safely drop that tangent now then as that is not an intend question but merely a rephrasing after giving some explanatory context. My question is not that rephrasing.

    My question is at the bottom. I'll repeat it here for clarity: What reason is there for having LGBT rights on the 'ok for discrimination' list that would not also apply to religion?
     
  19. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    Now I think that you are the one who is confused. Do you know the difference between the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act? Why was religion specifically included in the Civil Rights Act if it was already protected in the Constitution (as you allude)?
     
  20. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    Your question has become irrelevant for employment discrimination as the EEOC under Obama has declared that discrimination against LGBorT is discrimination on the basis of gender.
     
  21. dixon76710

    dixon76710 Well-Known Member

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    I see no such allusion. Drafter of the civil rights act likely felt it was more important to prohibit discrimination against people for exercising a constitutionally enumerated right, than it was to prohibit discrimination against people for exercising their particular sexual preference that is not an enumerated right.
     
  22. yguy

    yguy Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you do.

    :yawn:

    Doesn't matter. What matters is that the free exercise clause is sufficient to lay bare the asininity of your question.
     
  23. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    No .. it clearly isn't

    This is all irrelevant to the question ... it is answering Q:"Why is one thing on list B and another, similar thing on list A?" with the answer: "The similar thing is already on list A, so it's different" ... That is a true statement to say they are on different lists - but irrelevant to the question asked
     
  24. yguy

    yguy Well-Known Member

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    But you're not talking about similar things. You're talking about an unalienable and constitutionally enumerated right on the one hand, and acts of perversion on the other. You could just as sensibly claim Audie Murphy is similar to Jeffery Dahmer because they both killed people.
     
  25. Befuddled Alien

    Befuddled Alien Member

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    That's the point I am attempting to make here .. They absolutely ARE similar things. The fact that one may be protected (By the Civil Rights act, not the constitution) is a statement that it is ON the list. It is not a reason for WHY it is on the list.

    Contrast it with the other things that are protected by the civil rights act - race, color, sex, and national origin. Religion is not like the others on this list. The difference between religion and the others on this list is that religion is a personal choice, the others are unchangeable things we are born with.

    It is a frequent response to proposed LGBT rights that "adopting that lifestyle is a choice so therefore it does not deserve the same protections as race, color, sex". Proponents say that it is "Not a choice. People are born that way. So they do deserve the same protections as race, color, sex".

    I am not advocating for or against these arguments. I am only pointing out that I have heard no good argument for excluding LGBT rights from the list that would not also be a reason for excluding religion from the list.

    I have heard lots of bad arguments (It's just a lifestyle choice ... It is not natural ... It is a mental illness not fact ... my god says it's wrong... etc). All of these things could also be said of religion. Could they not? None of these things could be said about race, color or sex.
     

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