The bigotry that dare not speak its name

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At various points over the past two years, Georgia proponents of so-called “religious liberty” legislation would try to make the argument that their crusade had nothing to do with gay people or gay marriage or anti-gay discrimination. State Sen. Josh McKoon, the poor man’s Williams Jennings Bryant from Columbus, was a particularly ardent pitchman for that approach, piously arguing that all they wanted to do was write the same religious-liberty protections into state law as existed on the federal level.

The claim was dishonest to its core, and in other settings — sermons, statehouse rallies and occasionally in committee hearings — McKoon’s allies made their real target clear as day.  McKoon himself, when challenged to accept simple language stating that his bill could not be used to justify anti-gay discrimination, gave the game away by refusing to do so.

And of course, we now have the anti-gay legislation passed recently in Mississippi and North Carolina as further confirmation of the real goals of the movement.

In North Carolina, the Legislature and governor used a one-day special session to pass a bill stripping local governments of the power to adopt ordinances that protect gays against discrimination. The move gutted an ordinance recently passed by Charlotte, just as McKoon’s legislation would have gutted such ordinances here in Atlanta and Savannah. The North Carolina law also gutted anti-discrimination laws in Raleigh, Asheville, Greensboro and Chapel Hill and in Mecklenburg, Buncombe and Orange counties.

The move has produced a predictable economic backlash against North Carolina, with LionsGate transferring a TV project out of state and PayPal canceling an expansion project that would have brought 400 good jobs with an annual payroll of more than $20 million. Other companies are likely to follow suit, and there’s no telling what the final impact will be.

And the very state leaders who created the crisis are now attempting to deny responsibility for it.

“If (Charlotte Mayor) Jennifer Roberts, (Attorney General) Roy Cooper and the far-left political correctness mob she’s unleashed really care about the economic future of her city, they’ll stop the misinformation campaign immediately and start telling the truth about this common-sense bathroom safety law before more damage is done,” House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Republican leader Phil Berger said in a press release this week.

The tone of that statement is telling, as is the description of the new state law as a “common-sense bathroom safety law.” Moore and Berger know quite well that the law in question does far more than address which bathrooms can be used by transgender citizens. The specter of transgender citizens donning drag as a ploy for sexual predation in bathrooms is ridiculous, but they prefer to cling to that ridiculous argument rather than admit the much larger scope and intent of the bill. It is the bigotry that dare not speak its name.

In Mississippi, meanwhile, legislators approved a bill that explicitly allows individuals, government employees and private businesses to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual preference. Under the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” the state is prohibited from taking action against anyone who discriminates against gay people, as long as that discrimination is motivated by a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” against homosexuality.

The law is clearly insulting, but it’s the gratuitous nature of the insult that makes it so appalling. In Mississippi, as in Georgia and North Carolina and other states, it is already perfectly legal under state law to discriminate against gay people. They can be fired, demoted, denied service at a restaurant or barred from housing rental or purchase, and state law gives them no recourse to complain.

These bills amount to an effort to make such legal discrimination really really really legal, and to ensure that no local government intervenes. To repurpose appropriate rhetoric, they confer “special rights” on those who fear, hate or dislike gay people, and who need reassurance that they will continue to be able to act upon those impulses.

Reader Comments 0

1399 comments
Corey
Corey

When the Chaz Bonos of the world are forced to use bathrooms based on the gender on their birth certificates will women and girls flee screaming, "there is a man in the ladies room?" Did the law makers take this into consideration? 

KUTGF
KUTGF

New restrictions in the federally funded food stamp program have begun affecting hundreds of thousands of needy families throughout America, as revived rules designed to incentivize people looking for work result in the loss of benefits for 500,000 to 1 million people in 21 states. The Department of Agriculture program, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, implemented a rule Jan. 1 that reinstates a three-month time limit for those receiving benefits who don’t have children or a disability and haven’t found a minimum 20-hour-a-week job, a requirement that was previously suspended thanks to recession-induced unemployment levels. ...

The SNAP changes won’t help anyone, Rebecca Vallas, managing director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, tells Newsweek .

“It’s not just a cruel policy, it’s a stupid policy,” she said.

“It’s premised on the idea that somehow making jobless people hungrier is going to help them find work faster. What it’s really going to do is push hundreds of thousands, maybe millions looking for work into deeper hardship, and for no good reason.”
_____________________
Remember the days in this country when we thought letting people go hungry was a bad thing. 

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@KUTGF incredibly, breathtakingly, terminally stupid. We have 3 times the amount of food available than the amount dispersed by food stamps. 

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

rimsky 

 CIA Director John Brennan told NBC News in an exclusive interview that his agency will not engage in harsh "enhanced interrogation" practices, including waterboarding, which critics call torture — even if ordered to by a future president.//////

Good job Director.

---

I think I would hold on the praise here for a bit. Since Michael Hayden made the first comments about this in connection w/the NSA several weeks ago, it's been clear that there has been a concerted effort underway at image repair on the part of the military/intelligence apparatus of the state, following two years of almost unrelenting bad press (Snowden revelations, CIA torture). 

Especially given the notorious histories of these agencies and their, at best, casual relationship to the truth and towards law and order, I think a healthy does of skepticism is in order here.

rimsky
rimsky

A noteable feature of the London mayor campaign has been the praise heaped on Labour’s Sadiq Khan by Jewish media commentators. Following a hustings held by Jewish News last week, the paper’s online editor Jack Mendel applauded himfor having “worked overtime” to win the backing of the capital’s Jewish community despite a “mounting list of problems” with the Labour Party. “In my professional dealings with Sadiq Khan he seems to get the problem,” Mendel enthused. By contrast: “Tory hopeful Zac Goldsmith seems to simply be lying low.”///////

A Muslim getting Jewish support over a Jewish candidate shows Londoners are sophisticated voters.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@rimsky  Zac Goldsmith, son of the odious Sir James Goldsmith, was a "non-dom" tax exile up until the end of 2009.  He managed to avoid paying any taxes on the 200MM sterling he inherited from his father.  He was also involved in HSBC's tax avoidance schemes through Switzerland.  He picked a bad year to run for Mayor of London.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

In an effort to supposedly stop fraud, he commited fraud

rimsky
rimsky

CIA Director John Brennan told NBC News in an exclusive interview that his agency will not engage in harsh "enhanced interrogation" practices, including waterboarding, which critics call torture — even if ordered to by a future president.//////

Good job Director.

Peachs
Peachs

@PaulinNH @rimsky George Bush the first, came from this, CIA, pool of talent, under Nixon of all people, to be president of the United States.  Same site com spun off Cheney too...


He made his son president by tipping the scales, with another son being governor, and his ex chief of staff running the show in Fla and the Supreme Court. This stuff makes House of Cards look like a Sesame Street, production. 


And then when he couldn't get a mandate, he lucked out with 9/11.  60 Minutes last night tied even more of this together, showing that the Saudis were sponsoring, the entry into this country, of the very terrorist who caused 9/11 ,and have had their proof sealed in the security of the capital building itself, witnessed by senators who have seen it. 



breckenridge
breckenridge

Another day, another prominent rock star canceling a show to protest a controversial new law in a Southern state. Bryan Adams, a Canadian musician, announced Sunday night that he was canceling a scheduled concert in Mississippi.

Thank you, Shady Deal, from saving us from this stupidity as well.

Peachs
Peachs

Why do we even need Wall Street in this computer age?  

Peachs
Peachs

Trump is very similar to the 2008 crash, in his business practices. 


He gets multi million dollar non recourse loans or bonds, sucks huge about of money from them, in construction and management fees and then becomes to big to fail, and continues to suck unearned and unproductive money out of the projects, that eventually get foreclosed on, screwing the investors and bank depositors, and sell for half the price it took him to build them, deflating the value of healthy projects in the same neighborhood.  

rimsky
rimsky

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump told “Fox & Friends” Monday that he won’t be receiving votes from two of his children in the New York primary on April 19.

Both Eric and Ivanka Trump waited too long to register to vote, missing the cutoff and quashing any chance they had to cast a ballot for their famous father.//////

Doesn't it strike remotely funny.  Two of his kids have no clue about what is going around them.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@rimsky Dandy Don will tell them everything they need to know. Same with his supporters.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@rimsky  Voting, like paying taxes, is for the little people.  Real movers and shakers just deal directly with the Rep. and Sen.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@rimsky Looks as if his kids do in fact know what's going on. They didn't want to vote for their dad and have an excuse for not doing so.

rimsky
rimsky

Eight Senate races the Ds can take the fight to Republicans;

Florida

Maryland

Ohio 

Nevada

Illnois

Arizona

Wisconsin

Pennsylvania


Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky this is where i think Sanders could help more than Hils, he gets the voters out. 

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@PaulinNH @rimsky Is Ayotte going down? Is that gonna flip? Are you sure? I mean you would know. Most analysts are saying that one is the bellwether.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@St Simons he-ne-ha @PaulinNH @rimsky  Ayotte will go down.  Hassan is fairly popular but the big issue is going to be the top of the ticket on the R side - the NH electorate doesn't go for "god squadders" like Cruz.

Peachs
Peachs

So much of the world is spin.  I was watching a movie last night on D-Day, where Ike was lecturing Patton on his ,publicly made, bigoted remarks to the press. 


It has become Eisenhower's conclusion, that Patton was fighting a war, without a clue what was going on with the Jews in Germany, just wanting to play soldiers, screw the reason.  

rimsky
rimsky

The BCC said that its research suggested that key indicators, such as sales and orders, as well as confidence and investment, were "at a low ebb".

It said the economy faced a number of "global and domestic uncertainties".//////

Camerron's austerity is not working.

RandroidWillBoy
RandroidWillBoy

@rimsky


We may find out that his personal investment strategies also were not working..

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I urge readers of this blog who subscribe to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to read Paul Krugman's column in today's AJC, which is entitled (in the AJC): "Sanders' Self-Righteousness Borders on Intolerance."

bu22
bu22

@MaryElizabethSings In order to prove what shills MSM has become for Hillary? Talking about "serious character and values issues" while supporting Hillary!?  Pretty amazing and amusing.  Talking about "but imposing a standard of purity"-I thought Dems claimed that was only Republicans.  Its just unreal how pretty much all the media has dropped the slightest pretense of objectivity or integrity to stop Trump and MSM has gone on full offensive with zero objectivity or integrity to help Hillary stop Bernie.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

I'm imagining a cranky old professor pounding his fist on the table and growling "Borders on self-righteousness!!!!".

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@PaulinNH @Donnie_Pinko 

Thanks, I'd seen that, but hadn't read it yet.. 

A key point:

The call to break up the banks is not some socialist clarion call to end capitalism. (Well, it might be from Bernie, but not from everyone.)

Exactly. There's nothing 'socialist' about it. Indeed, it's strict capitalist orthodoxy. 

Peachs
Peachs

@Donnie_Pinko @PaulinNH the survival of the fittest has lost its meaning in this country mainly because lobbyist like over bearing parents, protect the unproductive, they have their's so who cares about the rest, 1%. 

Peachs
Peachs

@PaulinNH @Donnie_Pinko Krugman is drunk!  The AIG doing credit swaps, the systemic nature of Wall Street, the credit ratings companies prostituting themselves.  


Countrywide was just a manufacture's ref. selling what Wall Street pooled, and, Wall Street,was suppose to be the security to the investors, that this would be vetted. 


These guys are crooks, Sanders points it out and if you didn't believe it before, now Clinton comes along with this delusional economist verifying her lack of understand, or willful misrepresentation, to hide the bodies. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Peachs @PaulinNH @Donnie_Pinko


Bernie points out the obvious with passion, and it is good that he is doing that.  However, Hillary knows the ins and outs of specifics regarding banking, hedge funds, etc. - which it will take to make significant change.