May 23, 2010
The Rand Paul reality for gays
Posted by: Chris
Some Republicans are trying to brush it off as the kind of debate you have in you freshman dorm at 2 a.m. Not so for us gays.
The objection raised by Rand Paul, the GOP Senate nominee from Kentucky, to the role of government in the enforcement of civil rights laws in the private sector is very real, and has been raised repeatedly by conservative Democrats and Republicans alike to explain away their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other gay civil rights measures.
Paul has suggested that the marketplace would take care of itself when it comes to mistreatment of minorities by private business owners. Consider this timely example from ABC News, taken from a diner in the New York City -- hardly a bastion of anti-gay hysteria -- where almost no one comes to the defense of two gay couples with children being ejected from a restaurant by a waiter because of no other reason but their sexual orientation...
The libertarian argument against the public accommodations provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, much like the "small government," "pro-business" opposition to ENDA today, is not in and of itself racist or homophobic, but it undoubtedly lends creedence and cover to those who are. And since it's still being trotted out during the civil rights battles of this era, Republican leaders should be called to task for not consigning it to where it belongs -- those late-night dormitory arguments of theory and abstract.
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