In its original form, SB2252 would have added homosexuals to North Dakota’s list of protected classes against whom employers and landlords cannot discriminate. The bill was amended in committee to remove homosexuals from the list of protected classes and state simply that North Dakota doesn’t condone discrimination against homosexuals.
The amended version of the bill was voted on by the state Senate today and defeated by a 20 – 27 vote. Democrats quickly moved to bring back the original version of the bill, and that was defeated as well by a narrower 21 – 26 vote.
Here’s the video of the debate:
I’m very supportive of gay rights, but here’s why I oppose adding them to the list of protected classes (and why I oppose creating protected classes under the law int he first place): We have freedom of association.
It’s this notion of free association that leads me to support gay marriage. I feel that homosexuals have a right to associate themselves sexually and emotionally with whoever they wish, and I think that right to association extends to social contracts like marriages. I don’t think the government ought to be dictating who we can and cannot associate ourselves with.
But the freedom of association is a two-edged sword. It doesn’t just mean you have a right to associate, but also that you have a right not to associate. Gay rights activists in favor of this law are actually being quite hypocritical when they argue that businesses don’t have the right to choose not to associate with them. If gays want society to recognize their right to association, shouldn’t gays also recognize the right of others to associate (or not associate) in accordance with their conscience?
I detest discrimination based on arbitrary and bigoted notions about race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc. I would gladly boycott any business engaged in that sort of discrimination. But I won’t support laws making attitudes an opinions I disagree with illegal.