If Businesses Or Landlords Are Discriminating Against Gays, Why Not Name Names?


The North Dakota Senate voted down a bill which would have added gays to a list of protected classes (races, genders, religious affiliations, etc.) under state law. Now activists in Grand Forks are going to ask the city council there to pass a local version of the law.

I find these sort of efforts a little tiresome. State law already allows employers and landlords to fire/evict people (absent a contract, or discrimination against an already existing protected class) for any reason they wish. And, if we’re to be the sort of society which supports the right of people to choose who they want to associate with, that’s as it should be (except for the protected classes part).

But what caught my eye wasn’t so much the effort itself, but what Rep. Corey Mock, Assistant Leader for the Democrat minority in the state House, said in support of it:

The recent defeat of a bill to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation statewide has some Grand Forks residents headed to Tuesday’s City Council meeting looking for a similar local law.

“We wanted to start the movement in Grand Forks as soon as it ended in Bismarck,” said UND law student Tim Heise, 33.

He and other members of One ND, a group fighting against discrimination, will ask the council to pass a law like Senate Bill 2252, which was aimed at employers, landlords, hotels, banks, and local and state government agencies.

Heise, a Republican and father of four, said he is inspired by his gay aunt, who faced discrimination during her time in the military.

Council members voted 6-1 two weeks ago to pass a resolution in support of SB 2252.

“It’s the least we can do as a city,” said Rep. Corey Mock, a Democrat from District 42. “People are getting fired and evicted because of who they love.”

I’ll take Rep. Mock at his word, but his comments make me curious. If he knows of companies firing people because they’re gay, if he knows of landlords evicting people because of their sexuality, why doesn’t he speak up about it?

I think there are some social issues that are best left to society to solve. I think we’ve moved (thank goodness) to a society that is more accepting of gay marriage, to the point where gay marriage is being recognized under the law in more and more states, because of society’s changing attitudes. I think issues with employment/housing discrimination should be solved the same way.

In fact, I’m skeptical as to just how much of the sort of discrimination Rep. Mock is describing is actually happening. But if it is happening, let’s do something about it. Let’s name names, so that the perpetrators can be subjected to the boycotts and public shaming they deserve, but let’s not pass more laws.

Especially not when those laws do more to put money in the pockets of overly-litigious lawyers than to address social ills.

Update: Via email, Rep. Mock says he won’t name names:

Given the sensitivity of the issue, I cannot provide the names of those who were either evicted or fired in Grand Forks as a result of their sexual orientation. (In the most recent case that was bought to my attention, the individual has found new housing but is always at risk of losing employment or housing as a result of their sexual orientation with no opportunity for recourse.)

It gets rather hard to support this sort of policy when we don’t have any specific as to how much of a problem it really is, and those who say it is a problem can’t or won’t give us details.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Drain52

    If they’ll name names I’ll be the first one to boycott that business.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I’l be right next to you.

    • RCND

      And that would be much more powerful than any law could be

    • Rocky

      Your boycott, if made public, may have the unintended consequence of increasing sales for that business. But follow your conscience. It’s probably an academic argument anyway because there are no specific examples.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      I hope you realize that in many cases the charges of discrimination are bogus.

    • Davo

      Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Catholic Church, Mormon Church, etc.

  • Clint F

    At the committee hearing for SB2252, the chair repeatedly asked for people with specific information. All they came up with was whiny little teary-eyed anecdotes and emotional pleas, but no actual discrimination.

    I have the audio of the meeting – Pete Haga, representative of the City of Grand Forks, spoke in favor of SB 2252. So this is no surprise. While he alluded to actual discrimination, he did not cite a single specific documented case of this actually happening.

  • Roy_Bean

    I’m curious, the Catholics and the Mormons both have gender specific roles for men and women within the church. Is it OK to discriminate against the whole gender but not a subset of the gender? Is it OK to say that no women can be Pope as long as you don’t say that just lesbian women can’t be Pope? Could a business apply the same standard? What about Men’s Night at the local golf course? It seems that when you start to apply the Roman tradition to law it soon becomes unmanageable.

    • ec99

      One would think the adherents to a religion already know about discrimination based on doctrines and would be ok with seeing it’s “God’s will”.

  • zipity

    How dare you ask them to back up their extremely serious charges with actual real world examples?

    Don’t you know it’s all about “feel-good” legislation? And heaping law-upon-law and regulation-upon-regulation?

    We have to have more laws and regulations, otherwise how are we to continue the ever expanding bloat of Government jobs?

    People have for years bemoaned the eventual Mega-Corporation that will dominate/employ everyone.

    They just didn’t realize it would be the Government…

  • headward

    They did not name any businesses because it did not happen. Why would a business fire somebody that is a good worker for them just because they’re gay? Businesses are there to make a profit and it’s tough enough in ND to get workers. Making them a protected class can make it tougher for businesses to hire them because they would afraid that if the employee is a dud, termination could be met with a lawsuit even their job performance is less than standard.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say it never happens. There are mean, bigoted people in the world, and I’m sure some do make decisions like that. And they probably cover those decisions with excuses.

      But I don’t think it happens very often, because you’re right, the profit motive supersedes bigotry.

      • Thresherman

        I tend to think that much of this exists in the bigoted minds of those who say they are protecting gays. Not to say it never happens, but many of these people WANT to believe it happens and happens often in order to justify their emotional need to hold the opinions that they do.

        Normally if this is a problem there will be litigation and the proponents could cite it, but since they do not, it tends to have the odor of political grandstanding rather than addressing a real and pressing need.

      • Frank

        People operating in the free market, exercising their right to freedom of association, are just plain mean. Yep, that’s it. And that’s all it is.

        • sbark

          The left always thinks we should trust the tyranny of a very few in govt to be compassionate?
          I’d much rather trust the millions in the free market, sure there might be a few bad apples, but the majority will exhibit tolerance past a point they probably need to.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      I’m sure that in a lot of cases that are named that no discrimination took place. People get fired and when they do they never consider it their fault. Instead they blame other people for making the mistakes or even for being discriminated.

      On the other hand there are probably a few jerks out there. But in many cases the “victims” are mature enough to move on with their lives figuring that they are better off somewhere else.

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    Homosexuals have no business trying to co-opt the minority and civil rights status of blacks or other groups.
    A black guy is obviously black. A woman is obviously a woman; an Arab or a Haitian is obviously so. Discriminating against them based soley on these surface issues is wrong.
    But a homosexual cannot be identified for purposes of discrimination in the same manner.
    Now if some guy shows up at a Landlord’s door cross-dressing in women’s clothes does that individual truly deserve the same “protection” as a black individual? Some would say yes I suppose and our culture is in a lot of trouble.

    • goodgolly23

      Racism defined. Looking at a group of people as a whole vs looking at them as individuals. Since when is it morally right or justified to put one group of peoples rights over those of someone else? These groups and your philosophy can’t answer this because it can’t be done. There should be no ‘granted’ rights via government. All people are equal, we don’t need any laws in the private sector regarding rights for gays or anyone. If government wants those rules that is fine. But again, on persons rights should never over-ride another persons rights.

  • whowon

    Enough with this insanity. I have a gay daughter who is appalled by all of this nonsense. We already have plenty of laws that are meant to protect ALL of us, she has never been discriminated against or have any of her gay friends. More PC garbage that the left thinks is another “worthy” cause.

    • Davo

      Young, gay, and narcissistic? What an odd combo! :roll:

      • whowon

        Only truth in your statement is gay.

  • Davo

    Ending legalized discrimination of gay people would encourage more gay people to come out of the closet and be honest about who they are and who they love.

    • Frank

      We hear the constant drumbeat of gay activists complaining about discrimination against homosexuals because of “who they are and who they love.”

      Let’s examine that.

      “Who they are”

      Why in the world would anyone define their entire personhood on one aspect of their behavior? I’m a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, employee, manager, bowler, fisherman, football fan, etc. but don’t define myself as only one of those things. People are complex creatures. We have many roles.

      There is no hard scientific evidence of genetic homosexuality. Scientists and researchers have frantically searched for decades to find a gay gene, to no avail. Even the APA admitted in 2009 there is no gay gene. There are several behavioral studies which have failed to determine the cause of homosexuality.

      That leaves personal identification based on feelings as the only way to determine who is gay. It simply doesn’t pass muster without scientific evidence. As Rob likes to say, simply believing something doesn’t make it true.

      “Who they love”

      Sex and love are two different things. We use the term “make love” when we really mean “have sex.” I can love my buddy and even give my life for him, but don’t have the slightest urge to stuff my sausage into his orifices.

      That being said, people will do as they please and things will work out. We don’t need more laws on the subject.

      • ec99

        Excellent point on self-identification. I believe only gays maintain the se of their partner as their priority in who they are.

        As for innate behaviour I’m not so sure. Granted, no DNA discovery yet. But there is more there than meets the eye when attraction to the same sex is immediate. It doesn’t happen to be a social statement. If you’re in a bar, and a beautiful hetero couple walks in, and your gaze goes to the one of your gender, something is acting on you.

        • Frank

          Indeed something is pulling their chain. It may be a multitude of complex environmental factors, or it may be a conscious choice. There’s a group of lesbians that started a website called gay by choice. It infuriates the genetic homosexuality theorists. The gals have been threatened and harassed, but they stand by their statements. I can respect the fact that they take responsibility for their decisions rather than hide behind some unscientific theory.

      • Davo

        “Why in the world would anyone define their entire personhood on one aspect of their behavior? I’m a son, brother, husband…”

        Closeted gays are *not* allowed to identify as a husband. Under ND law, they could be fired for keeping a picture of their partner at their desk. They have to be on guard in every conversation they have with a colleague, lest they slip up and mention the gender of their lover. They can never invite their partner for work functions. They have to be careful to never be seen in public at any events in which their co-workers might attend. They have to lie, to themselves and to others, constantly.

        This is a bad thing. We should stop it.

        • JoeMN


          People are discriminated against every day, for an infinite number of reasons.

          A model could be discriminated against because of that big wart on her nose
          A habitual drunk driver denied the truck driving position

          A person with claustrophobia could be denied the job of tour guide in a cave.

          A hetero would likely be denied a position at a magazine for homosexuals.

          Gals discriminate against guys when choosing a mate.
          Ect, ect
          The utter chaos you prescribe as a solution would lead to outright tyranny.
          After all, why are homosexuals MORE important than the rest of these folks ?

          Some things are best left to society to figure out.

          Discrimination by government is another matter altogether.

          Yet even here, very few argue when police discriminate against a gang of thugs running from the liquor store which was just held up as “suspect” over the 80 year old grandmother with her walker just across the street.

          (Unless it’s the TSA of course)

  • Thresherman

    In the Update

    “Given the sensitivity of the issue, I cannot provide the names of those
    who were either evicted or fired in Grand Forks as a result of their
    sexual orientation. (In the most recent case that was bought to my
    attention, the individual has found new housing but is always at risk of
    losing employment or housing as a result of their sexual orientation
    with no opportunity for recourse.)”

    The reasons for eviction or job loss can be numerous. The unwillingness of Mock to share more information on the situations makes me think that there is more involved here in the evictions and job loss than just sexuality. In fact, regulations like those Mock is proposing have been used to make certain groups immune to eviction or job loss no matter what their behavior or performance is.

    • ec99

      The politician’s greatest friend and default position: “Trust me.”

  • ND in MD

    If this passes the GF Council, may be we can then get them to pass a law mandating an additional pint of milk to GF school children.

    • ec99

      Anything Gershman can spend taxpayers’ money on, he will.

      • camsaure

        Except Gershman doesn’t sell milk, maybe he can mandate giving them all a beer, that would help enrichen himself some more via the taxpayers. (sort of like the Alerus center)

  • Guest

    It’s funny to watch all you hacks decry that these facts be backed up with exacting evidence when there’s even less evidence for election fraud to justify draconian election laws you support.

    • Thresherman

      An excellent example of a nitwit using a lot of words to say exactly nothing.

  • Jeremiah Glosenger

    Representative Mock is either intentionally lying with an agenda or not familiar with North Dakota law. Our state employment discrimination law forbids discrimination against an employee based upon that employee’s engagement in any activity outside of work that is legal (including homosexual sex); therefore, they do in fact have recourse if this is actually happening to any significant extent (which I highly doubt).

    • camsaure

      I would guess it is both, you are right.

  • tony_o2

    Where’s my protected status for being straight?

  • don

    What’s the reason gays have a high rate of suicide? Who cares LOL

  • sbark

    Heidi must be saving the actual examples for her next election……..