CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Dangers in Special Rights Legislation

Oct 6, 1994

The Victorian Government is debating whether to include homosexual activity in changes to its discrimination laws. There are several reasons why it should not.

The issue of discrimination against homosexuals is different from those associated with discrimination against women and people of different ethnic origins.

While homosexuals argue that homosexuality is genetically determined, this view does not have widespread support among biologists and psychologists. Gender and race are morally or socially neutral, but homosexuality is not.

To treat homosexual relationships as equally acceptable a role model as a normal family sends a false and dangerous signal. To create special privileges for a group based solely on behavior (sexual preference) raises the question of extending such special treatment to other groups.

Behavior-based status claims could be made by, for instance, smokers. Also, concepts such as sexual orientation are vague and open-ended. Since some psychologists are now arguing that pedophilia is a sexual orientation, are pedophiles also deserving of special legal protection?

Why should employers be forced to hire homosexuals, or landlords forced to rent to them? Compulsory unionism is rightly rejected by Kennett and Co., but here compulsion is being made the benchmark of hiring and renting agreements.

While many landlords and employers may not care in the least whom they enter into agreements with, many others have conscientious and moral reasons for not wanting to take on board homosexuals.

Homosexuality brings with it the consideration of health issues, including, but not limited to, AIDS.

Why should employers who, for the benefit of their employees, make contributions to superannuation schemes or operate schemes for which there are no prior health checks, have to admit practising homosexuals to the scheme?

Moreover, will a system of affirmative action next be put in place? Perhaps not the 35 per cent female quota of the ALP, but perhaps a 10 per cent figure?

This new law would be a litigation nightmare for employers, who could be sued falsely. If a heterosexual employee faced a legitimate job-related discipline, he would have difficulty claiming that such discipline was due to his or her sexual orientation.

A homosexual employee could easily make this accusation and thereby lessen or escape discipline, or charge the employer with discrimination.

The reason many people oppose this legislation is that it is the thin edge of the wedge, leading to the ultimate homosexual goal: full public acceptance and recognition of their behavior.

GLAD, Gay men and Lesbians Against Discrimination, the group heavily lobbying Victorian parliamentarians for these changes, quotes widely from its American counterpart. Here are some of the homosexual lobby’s demands, as presented at the 1993 march on Washington:

Recognition of same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships; Adoption of children by homosexual couples; Implementation of homosexual, bisexual and transgendered curriculums at all levels of education. The real issue is the promotion of the homosexual life style.

As Dr Armand M. Nicholi, of Harvard University, put it “No society has ever tolerated the institutionalization of homosexuality, for to do so would be to sow the seeds for its own extinction because homosexuality undermines the basic unit of society – the family – and of course preludes procreation.”

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