Home / General / Equal Rights Are Not “Special Rights”

Equal Rights Are Not “Special Rights”


Via Sullivan — who notes that on the odious anti-civil rights bill the National Review is now to the right of the Kansas Republican Party — one of the moldiest of conservative canards:

Laws that create special privileges [sic] based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech [sic] and the free exercise of religion [sic].

Over to you, Justice Harlan:

My brethren say that, when a man has emerged from slavery, and by the aid of beneficent legislation has shaken off the inseparable concomitants of that state, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws, and when his rights as a citizen or a man are to be protected in the ordinary modes by which other men’s rights are protected. It is, I submit, scarcely just to say that the colored race has been the special favorite of the laws. The statute of 1875, now adjudged to be unconstitutional, is for the benefit of citizens of every race and color. What the nation, through Congress, has sought to accomplish in reference to that race is what had already been done in every State of the Union for the white race — to secure and protect rights belonging to them as freemen and citizens, nothing more.

The argument that securing basic rights non-oppressed classes can take for granted constitutes “special rights” hasn’t improved in the past 130 years.

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  • K

    The idea that all churches that do heterosexual marriages should do homosexual ones as well is alright by me, but i do pose one caveat, who really wants to get hitched in a church where nobody wants you there? I mean you can make them do it, but you can’t make them like it. You could threaten to shoot them if they don’t pretend to like it, but that’s how you end up Russia.

    • Warren Terra

      Your level of presumably wilful incomprehension amounts to a kind of performance art.

      You do realize that no one is suggesting churches be required to perform marriages inconsistent with their professed beliefs, right? Or did I somehow miss all those times Catholic priests were forcibly dragooned into officiating the marriages of divorcees over the last several hundred years?

      • Origami Isopod

        I’m still not sure whether it’s performance art or the elevator simply doesn’t go to the top floor.

        • Walt

          I think some clocks have stopped at 4:20.

          • Origami Isopod

            I was thinking meth, myself.

            • Malaclypse

              Yep. Or sniffing glue. Don’t think we can really rule out glue or paint, although I agree meth is more likely.

              • Origami Isopod

                This makes me think he means well but simply isn’t firing on all cylinders.

                • wjts

                  I think you’re probably right.

              • DrS

                Let’s not rule out America’s favorite, alcohol.

        • DrDick

          That elevator cannot even make it up to the basement.

    • The idea that all churches that do heterosexual marriages should do homosexual ones as well is alright by me

      I’m honestly curious: does it hurt when you do that, or are you just used to it by now?

    • I thought threatening to shoot people to make them do what you want was the american way? An armed fairy is a polite fairy.

      • Thanks to the time zones, I get to beat Herr Doctor Bimler to this one.

        • herr doktor bimler

          It’s not the time zones, it’s just that I make more of an effort to conceal my fantasy life.

          • As has been pointed out elsewhere, Tinkerbell is the hottest Disney good character, just as the Evil Queen in Snow White is the hottest Disney evil character. I can’t help it that you are blind to reality.

            • Origami Isopod
              • N__B

                None of those pretty boys gets close to the queen. YMMV.

            • herr doktor bimler

              Tinkerbell is the hottest Disney good character
              I can only imagine what Mrs __B has to put up with.

              • N__B

                She’s a hedgehog married to a polar bear. A good day is one where she escapes being squashed.

      • NonyNony

        I thought threatening to shoot people to make them do what you want was the american way?

        Nonono Aimai – threatening to shoot people to make them do what you want is the American way if you’re a straight, white male.

        If you’re gay and you threaten to shoot someone because they won’t do what you want, well, that’s just like in Russia. Where the gays have taken over and there’s nothing that the straight white males in the country can do about it anymore.

    • Riggsveda

      Let me add my voice to the others here to assure you that there is absolutely nothing in any anti-discrimination law that forces a church to marry someone they don’t want to. If you can’t bother to be well-informed and truthful on an issue obviously so important to you, how can you expect to be taken seriously when you step up to defend your arguments?

      • NonyNony

        The trolls we get around here don’t want to make honest arguments – they want to regurgitate crap that they hear on talk radio or find on twitchy.

        That’s why there’s no point in engaging with them unless you want to mock them. None of them ever come here to post for an honest discussion – it’s all about derailing the conversation with whatever stupid thing they think will piss people off.

        They also have an inability to tell the difference between “pissing off liberals” and “getting liberals to laugh at them”. They do the latter around here a lot, I don’t think a troll has actually succeeded in making anyone mad in years because they’re so pathetic. (Indirectly I suppose Lemieux and Farley both get a bit exasperated because the comment threads here get filled with people mocking trolls instead of engaging in real arguments, so maybe the trolls score that as a win around here?)

      • Haystack

        how can you expect to be taken seriously when you step up to defend your arguments?

        I’m sure this is covered in the Wingnut Online Style Guide. Let me see…hmmm…maybe at the back…nope. I’ll be damned! There’s nothing in here about being well-informed and truthful.

        • So-in-so

          Isn’t that where all caps comes in?

          • Lee Rudolph


    • Malaclypse

      Now, boys, you won’t see this operation performed very often and there’s a reason for that… You see it has absolutely no medical value. No one knows what the purpose of it originally was or if it had a purpose at all. Personally I think it was a pure artistic creation from the beginning.

      • Jonas

        Wow, was that an obscure reference. Well done!

        • i had to google it to undestand it

    • DrDick

      Oddly enough, nobody is actually proposing any such requirement. In reality (as opposed to conservative fantasies), marriage is a completely civil affair concerned the the allocation of specific rights and privileges between two (or more) people. All anyone is proposing is to prevent the state from discriminating against LGBT people by denying them a marriage license and the legal rights that come with it.

      • The fact that they won’t admit this, even when they know from personal experience that marriage is purely a state matter, tells you they’re just bigoted dickheads. The fact that this gains traction with allegedly pro-equal rights folks has always irked the shit out of me.

        If they said “You can’t let gay people go to state parks because that could violate religious freedom!” everyone would recognize it as lunacy.

        • Malaclypse

          If they said “You can’t let gay people go to state parks because that could violate religious freedom!” everyone would recognize it as lunacy.

          That seems possible, but I’m not certain I’d bet that way.

          • DrDick

            I definitely would not bet on that.

          • Hannibal Lecture

            State Park employee controls gate at which payment is made. Is only employee there (this is pretty common). Sees what they think are gay people trying to enter, refuses to serve them and therefore allow them into the park because Leviticus.

            This is exactly what Kansas and Arizona (and most wingtards) are proposing — gay people should not exist, or if they must exist, they shouldn’t be visible. So anyone is allowed to treat them as if they should not exist because Leviticus.

            • So-in-so

              Besides, on being turned away from a few parks and such, they might go home and “decide” not to be gay anymore. Then they each marry a nice girl, have 2.5 children and live the American dream. Or something like that. Win-win!

            • sharculese

              Plus a lot of state parks allow you to rent cabins inside the park. Imagine a gay couple booking their lodging in advance, only to show up at the park and having the person at the desk refuse to hand over the key to a one-bedroom cabin to two dudes. It.. does not seem farfetched.

    • rea

      It’s actually a bit useful to have the troll articulate this nonsense, to give us an opportunity to refute it. Like a straight man with a comic.

      Freedom of religiontrumps antidiscrimination laws in core religious functions. When the Baptist church is hiring a new preacher, it can legitimatelyreq

      • rea

        Wow, that got garbled.

        When the Baptist church is hiring a new preacher, it can legitimately require all appplicants to be Baptists,even though in most contexts,religious discrimination in hiring is illegal. Similarly, the government can’t require the church to allow anyone to marry in the church who can’t get married under the laws of the church. However freedom of religion doesn’t mean they get to impose their rules on everyone else–just because the Baptists won’t allow you to marry in their church doesn’t mean they get to stop you from marrying at the church down the street, or at city hall.

        • Breadbaker

          Of course, the obvious flipside corollary is ignored. In states that expressly forbid same-sex marriage, they refuse to give civil effect to the solemnization of marriages that some clergy perform out of their own sincere religious beliefs. I won’t be waiting for the people who claim this is all about freedom of religion to explain why that doesn’t violate the First Amendment rights of such clergy.

  • R. Porrofatto

    I’m so confused. Didn’t the Kansas legislature go out of its way to ban Sharia law?

    In addition to accommodations, services and the like, the law also enables individuals and businesses to deny “employment or employment benefits” (Sullivan makes a point of calling this out), which seems even more insidious than all the rest, if that’s possible. The power to discriminate against anybody is something that the Kochists want in order to eviscerate one of the few remaining avenues redress that citizens have against employers, i.e., the only class worth protecting.

    • So-in-so

      Muslim Sharia law only, the Christian version gets thumbs up all around. When do the stonings begin?

    • DrDick

      Same in my native Oklahoma. Thank Cthulhu I left 16 years ago.

      • DrDick

        Actually, that should be 27 years ago. I have been in Montana for 16 years.

        • BigHank53

          That’s okay–it’s not all that uncommon to wander around in amazement for a decade after one escapes from Oklahoma.

  • ChrisS

    Do you think they have a contest for the best defense of the right wing? Do the Koch brothers offer up an Applebees gift card and say, “Ok, this here is a doozy, but you have 24 hours – the goofiest but somewhat plausible defense wins. Go!”

    • Kurzleg

      When you stop and think about it, this is as likely an explanation as any.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I have speculated more than once that many National Review articles are written on a bet — you know: Hey, Lowry, two large says you can’t write a thousand words on how a billion-and-a-half dollars for marriage lessons is “conservative”!”

      • ChrisS

        As usual, Roy early to the joke and writes much more eloquently.

        IMO, Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is exhibit A for this.

    • Origami Isopod

      The gifts vary. The NRO staff gets $50 gift cards to Applebee’s or Bob Evans. JenBob’s holy grail is the Golden IHOP Card for Years of Faithful Service. Right now he’s still in the Dollar Store BOGO Coupon bracket.

      • DrS

        He’s at the Cracker Barrel…and he loves it

        • Origami Isopod

          While Barrel o’ Crackers is certainly the ideal milieu for JenKnob, I think he prefers a place that specializes in tasty, tasty pancakes.

    • witless chum

      Liberals always say things like this, because we apparently want to bend over backwards to think that the National Review crew could actually do better if they tried. While I’m willing to grant that’s a possibility, I don’t tend to go there first.

      I guess it speaks well of people that do, trying to see the good in people and walking on the brighter side of life and all.

      • ChrisS

        I don’t know. But tomorrow, the some industry could buy a congress critter (R) who would say, “you know what, the bible tells me that the earth is flat. And based on that knowledge, I think we need to spend a billion trillion dollars in my district to defend ourselves against sea monsters from the end of the world.”

        24 hours later there would be a NR article on how we really don’t know that the earth isn’t flat, some say that NASA is a hoax, sea monsters do exist, liberals aren’t interested in having a fair & civil discussion, and please donate now so that we can continue the good fight.

  • wengler

    The old variation of ‘but white people can’t go to the black schools’.

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