This article first appeared a little over two years ago. The first paragraph has been slightly revised while the rest is the original. I had not been able to read San Antonio’s “Anti-Bias Law” proposal. Therefore, I requested that the leaders of San Antonio publish the proposed laws and let the public see them prior to taking formal action or further discussion on them. They did and public outcry caused slight revision. The revised laws were proposed and passed. They are, at best, unconstitutional, illogical, irrational and redundant, until the recent Supreme Court ruling.
At worse, they are blatant attempts to discriminate against a broader population to favor the biases of a much smaller fringe or marginal group.
Do you think that local legislation in San Antonio will not affect laws in other communities? A selling point by proponents of these laws is that they have been accepted in other places, like San Francisco.
Following are several points that make even the proposal of these ordinances seem to be outrageous:
Most nefarious actions that result in attempting to influence the public to accept a proposed change must originate as something that seems to be in the public’s best interest. The San Antonio “bias” proposals would seem to be a good thing, on the surface. When you dig a little deeper, you find the proposed laws which purport to eliminate or reduce discrimination, are in fact, efforts to impose discrimination of a larger group than the group the law is specifically designed to protect and promote. The law alleges to protect homosexuals from discrimination. It actually discriminates against anybody who believes and attempts to live as the Bible directs.
Bob Unruh, in a WND exclusive, U.S. City Looks To Penalize Bible Believers, says, “The law creates a penalty for those who exhibit a ‘bias.’”
This idea brings up the Thought Police in Orwell’s novel 1984. Discrimination is bad, can and should be enforced. Laws to enforce bias control are unworkable, inhibit free speech and offer more favor to one group over the majority.The San Antonio "bias" law proposes to legislate thoughts or beliefs and enforce legal and financial repercussions.
There are federal and state (and possibly local laws) governing acts of discrimination. Discrimination is an action, which might include: refusing to serve somebody a meal due to racial views or philosophical differences; denying employment or housing to an individual due to religious beliefs, ethnic background or spoken points of view; or, selective law enforcement based upon racial or other profiling. Refusing to offer voluntary services in which agreement could be considered a violation of the provider's faith is a different category as the refusal is an exercise of free speech. A line of distinction needs to be drawn.
Bias is an attitude. It cannot be quantified, measured or enforced. Discrimination, due to bias can and should be enforced. The proposed San Antonio law fails to define “bias.” Bias or belief is part of human nature. You cannot legislate changes in belief. You can only enforce actions, and attempt to define and illuminate the motives for those actions. After all, these laws are not designed to eliminate “bias.” They appear to be an effort to control those who do not have a politically correct bias.
Believing in the Bible is a bias. Legislating penalties for what a preacher states from the pulpit is discrimination. The law proposes that anybody who exhibits or has exhibited a “bias” can be excluded or dismissed from city employment or denied city contracts. This not only denies the preacher’s free speech, but it is an attempt for the State (City) to control what is said from the pulpit. The law could effectively prevent believing and practicing Christians from serving in city government.
How do you prove bias, except through the practice of discrimination? Discrimination only needs to be enforced? Can you imagine the “witch hunt” atmosphere this law would create? Two companies are bidding for a city contract (let’s say Company Alpha and Company Beta). A friend or hireling of Company Alpha only has to appear as a witness and testify in a public hearing that an employee from Company Beta has publicly stated they do not agree with homosexuality. Company Beta is excluded from the bidding and the contract is awarded to Company Alpha. Do you think when money is involved; fair play and honesty will prevail?
The law cannot, and should not attempt to control bias. It is a blatant attempt to control the beliefs of the majority to conform to the beliefs of a minority. After all, believing that homo sexuality is acceptable and appropriate is a bias. Is that bias included in the exclusion from city government, or is the law meant to open the door only for those who exhibit the politically correct bias?
Jerry is a retired school teacher and a member of All in for Him of LaPorte. He published Woodcutter’s Revival this past year. He also published Revived: Story of Publishing A Christian Novel, available on Amazon.