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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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December 19, 2005

Anti-Discrimination

State Sen. Finkbeiner is in the spotlight regarding an anti-discrimination bill for homosexuals. For today's story, click here. It is too bad that this whole issue is framed as being pro-gay or anti-gay, because that is not the only way to look at it. I oppose protecting gays under anti-discrimination laws not because I oppose gays, but because I oppose anti-discrimination laws.

Basically, I think the only institution that should be forbidden by law to discriminate is the government, because the government represents us all. Ironically, the same liberals who want to ban discrimination by law insist that the government practice "affirmative action," which is a variety of the thing they want to ban unversally.

I think the government should be color-blind, religion-blind, gender-blind and sexual-orientation blind, by law, at least in most instances. (I'm not for women in the Marines, and I'm not arguing for single-sex bathrooms. But these are exceptions.). I think the private institutions should mainly not discriminate, but that it should be their decision. They should decide who to hire and fire. If a Mexican restaurant chain wants to hire all Mexicans, it should be its business, legally. If a gay bar wants to hire only gays, that should be allowed. We should all be free to criticize, or to boycott, that restaurant chain or that bar; but the decision should be its own. Most important, at an individual level, a person should be absolutely free to "discriminate" by race, sex, religion, creed, sexual orientation, or whatever. Freedom of association means freedom not to associate--for whatever reason you want. Speaking up for the freedom of association is not an endorsement of other people's reasons for not associating. It is simply an endorsement of their rights.

Respond to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at December 19, 2005 01:37 PM



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