Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The untruthiness (or ignorance) of our state Democrat legislators

Some of you may have seen the video of the business owner asking state senator Jeff Danielson about the impact of adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state's civil rights code. That is the video in which Danielson accused that citizen of being hateful. Danielson and two other legislators (Dotzler and Kressig) denied the predictions of what would happen if those two categories were added to the civil rights law. However, everything predicted has now been affirmed by One Iowa, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization. Either these legislators were ignorant as to what would happen, or they were dishonest, neither of which is good. This is also evidence that the predictions made by the business owner were not just fear tactics, or "hate in [his] heart", or "digust" for people who practice that behavior, as Danielson claimed.

An interesting sidenote is that Danielson asserted that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law for a "whole host of enumerated traits". First of all, there are no enumerated traits in the Fourteenth Amendment. Second, having protected classes in the state's civil rights code actually violates the spirit of the Fourteenth Amendment, as it offers greater protection to some classes of people than to others. I wonder how Danielson--Pro Tempora of the Iowa State Senate--can uphold and defend the Constituion, as he acknowledged he is obligated to do, when he doesn't know what it says and/or understand what it means?

Here's the video with Danielson:

It is too late to do anything about this. Too many of us were uninformed and/or unmotivated to call our legislators. However, it is good to know this information if you ever get into a discussion with someone about this subject. It can be especially valuable come next election time. However, we can't just wait for the next round of campaigns to heat up. We need to do a better job during the time between election cycles (if there IS such a thing as time between election cycles anymore!) of informing the public of the effect of laws that are being pushed by the Dems, or that have already been passed. Let's not be asleep at the wheel if the same-sex "marriage" issue comes up again.

If you haven't watched the video of Chuck Hurley's meeting with the Des Moines Register's editorial board, I encourage you to do so. I know it is long, but it is a great demonstration of where both sides are on this issue, the arguments being used, and the rebuttals being offered.

You can find the complete text from which the below excerts were taken at:

Keep in mind, this is not a proposed law--it is already in effect.

Emphasis below (and comments in parenthesis) is mine.

Dress codes:

...dress codes are not precluded by state or federal law as long as an employer allows an employee to appear, groom and dress consistent with the employee's gender identity.

("Gender identity" is self-identified, and is whatever the individual decides it is at any particular moment)

Restroom usage:

It is still legal in Iowa for businesses to maintain gender-segregated restrooms. The new law does require, however, that individuals are permitted to access those restrooms in accordance with their gender identity, rather than their assigned sex at birth. And, just as non-transgender individuals are entitled to use a restroom appropriate to their gender identity without having to provide documentation or respond to invasive requests, transgender individuals must also be allowed to use a gender-identity appropriate restroom without being harassed or questioned.

(Ladies, don't be surprised if you run into a man who has defined himself as female next time you use a public restroom)

"Harassment" and "hostile work environment":

Workplace harassment is any unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct that either denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity that:

  • Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;
  • (A person could say the workplace was hostile if they knew there was a Christian there who believed homosexuality is a sin. The believer wouldn't even have to verbalize it for the person to claim they are offended having such a person in their workplace.)

  • Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance

  • (An employee could claim that having such a person as mentioned above in the workplace was interfering with his performance.)

  • Employers should ensure their employees are protected not only from other supervisors and coworkers, but also from harassment by third parties, such as service users and vendors.

  • (So employers are not only responsible for themselves and their employees, but also their customers and suppliers?)

    Public accommodation:

    Harassment, intimidation, or other demonstration of hostility

    (This is wide open to interpretation. If a person has Bibles in his business for people to take, would that be considered harassment or intimidation?)

    Does the law apply to churches?:

    Sometimes. Iowa law provides that these protections do not apply to religious institutions with respect to any religion-based qualifications when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose. Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law's provisions, e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public.