Saturday, July 19, 2014

My orientation made me do it

Narcissists have found the silver bullet to innoculate themselves against civil society’s requests to assimilate and adjust: non-discrimination.

Before Arizona’s failed SB1062, which would have protected people’s property from being forced to accommodate exhibitionists, activists, and sundry unsavories, there was San Antonio’s narcissist ordinance. Assuming the city of San Antonio still wants to enforce the law—which in the past it hasn’t—then, on the reasoning that you’re entitled to do whatever you want if you attribute it to your “orientation,” there’s a case here:

The first ‘public accommodation complaint’ has been filed under San Antonio’s year old gay, lesbian, and transgender Non Discrimination Ordinance, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

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City officials say this is the first complaint that goes to the heart of what the NDO was passed to avoid, discrimination against gay individuals in so called ‘public accommodations,’ or businesses that are open to the public.

Two women are filing a complaint against a south side ice house and dance hall, which allegedly evicted them because they kissed on the dance floor.

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The complaint says the ice house, ‘unlawfully denied Complainants the advantages, facilities, and/or services offered to the general public because of Complainant’s sexual orientation.’

No, they didn’t.

If we understand sexual orientation as innate attraction, nothing Sanchez Ice House did discriminated against the women for their sexual orientation.

Let’s assume the women are what we call “gay.” They were gay when they walked into the ice house, they were gay when they ordered drinks, and they were gay when they took to the dance floor. At no point were they discriminated against for being attracted to whatever they are attracted to.

How could the ice house owner identify what his customers are attracted to? How could the women themselves? Trained psychologists need hours of one-on-one time to unravel their patients’ pathologies, and even they get it wrong sometimes. (The subversive in me wants the case to go to a hearing of some sort, so everyone witnesses the foolishness of adjudicating matters like this.)

The women’s sexual orientation did not compel them to kiss. They are not beasts, enslaved to instinct. They wanted to kiss and willed to do so. For the proprietor of the ice house, whose property he may dispense with as he wishes, that was too much.

What if they went further? What if the women grinded up against each other on the dance floor and groped each other? Does the ice house have no recourse to devolving to obscenity?

Not according to Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in Lawrence v. Texas:

The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.

There Kennedy goes, transferring constitutional protections of the person on a specific act of the person. In the end, what does it matter whether the activity is private or public? The greater point Kennedy makes is a person’s conduct, good or bad, is congruent with his right to life.

It’s said that our actions define us, but before that happens we define our actions. Matthew J. Franck expands on that in Public Discourse:

What distinguishes some persons from others where “sexuality” is concerned is not a different nature, as though “heterosexual” and “homosexual” were distinct human types or “identities,” but different desires, propensities, and, finally, behaviors. The choice to engage in particular sexual behavior is a matter of free will about which moral judgments can be made.

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