Anti-gay activist Ryan T. Anderson has published yet another anti-LGBT screed for the Heritage Foundation. This one is a million words long, so let’s just look at the opening paragraphs:
America is dedicated to protecting the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution, while respecting citizens’ equality before the law. None of these freedoms is absolute. Compelling governmental interests can at times trump fundamental civil liberties, but sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws do not pass this test. Rather, they trample First Amendment rights and unnecessarily impinge on citizens’ right to run their local schools, charities, and businesses in ways consistent with their values. SOGI laws do not protect equality before the law; instead, they grant special privileges that are enforceable against private actors.
SOGI laws could also have serious unintended consequences. These laws tend to be vague and overly broad, lacking clear definitions of what discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” mean and what conduct can and cannot be penalized. These laws would impose ruinous liability on innocent citizens for alleged “discrimination” based on subjective and unverifiable identities, not on objective traits. SOGI laws would further increase government interference in markets, potentially discouraging economic growth and job creation. With regard to “gender identity” and “transgender” teachers, students, and employees, SOGI laws could require education and employment policies concerning schoolhouse, locker room, and workplace conditions that undermine common sense.
SOGI laws threaten the freedom of citizens, individually and in associations, to affirm their religious or moral convictions—convictions such as that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that maleness and femaleness are objective biological realities to be valued and affirmed, not rejected or altered. Under SOGI laws, acting on these beliefs in a commercial or educational context could be actionable discrimination. These are the laws that have been used to penalize bakers, florists, photographers, schools, and adoption agencies when they declined to act against their convictions concerning marriage and sexuality. They do not adequately protect religious liberty or freedom of speech.
RELATED: Last week a Bermuda hotel cancelled two planned speeches by Anderson, essentially saying that they were duped and didn’t know about his “anti-diversity message.” Anderson complained in multiple tweets. (Tipped by JMG reader Scott)