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Mississippi Mishap and the Victim Complex

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April 6, 2016
7 upvotes

I don't think that AltTRP readers (all five of you) care overly much about the politics surrounding LGBT in the mainstream. It's a fair enough position to take. Most of whats going on right now it hot air that only serves to stir the shit pot. Nothing of actual consequence is taking place. This is particularly true as any RP man worth his salt couldn't give a good god damn about marriage.

That being said, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the current state of LGBT politic and tie it in to a bigger theme that I think is relevant to us on the individual level.

Quick overview: Mississippi just passed a law that protects business owners' right to reject clients based on "strongly held religious beliefs". This is in response to a few cases of wedding related businesses not wanting to sell cakes or officiate weddings for same sex couples. Now that the Fed has handed the order down from on high that same sex marriages are A-OKay, the people who don't want anything to do with them are poking around for other ways to have nothing to do with them.

In protest of this new law local business owners have put small "we don't discriminate" stickers on their doors, Pepsi co. wrote a stern letter, and Vermont said they wont be taking any road trips to MS any time soon.

The Actual Bill Passed MS HB 1523 or the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination" act.

The essence of this bill can be summarized by paragraph I Section 2 (i)

In a pluralistic society, in which people of good faith hold more than one view of marriage, it is possible for the government to recognize same-sex marriage without forcing persons with sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions to conform.

The act then goes on to stipulate that it is designed to protect a very specific set of beliefs:

(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and (c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

The body of the text is about ensuring that the *government can take no action to cause businesses to perform services contrary to those particular beliefs.

Whats Wrong with this Picture Upon reading, this act is not the discrimination protecting boogie man it seemed. It's not infringing on the consumers' rights in any way. It leaves the issue of best practices up to the industry. If Cathy's cakes want's to tell homos to stay out, they're welcome to lose that business and the homos are welcome to get their cake somewhere else. Free market is best market!

Only there is a real argument to be made that businesses need to abide by the set of laws known as public accommodation. These laws are in place to protect against things like pre-civil rights segregation and handicap-inaccessible storefronts. The reason these were put into place is because market forces were thought insufficient to right the wrongs of social backwardness. Every business has to play by these rules, whether their religion has something about it or not.

Up until now those rules were being used to cause wedding related business owners to provide service to same sex couples. This act creates an exemption but only for a very narrow set of conflicts. This does nothing for any other religion related issues. It's a bandaid over the general misuse of public accommodation law.

Gays Don't See it That Way. The public outcry over this bill is not because of it's poor construction or stop-gap nature. People are angry because it means the gays are not 100% accepted in every way. Just like the feminist movement, they don't understand when they've won. This bill does nothing to invalidate gay marriage. The local businesses putting up their little "we don't discriminate" stickers, trying to make a throwback to the days of actual segregation, are not relevant to this discussion. Businesses outside the wedding industry are still cannot openly refuse customers based on race, gender, or orientation. These stickers are a feel good ploy fighting against a straw man.

Victim-hood is the Concrete Foundation of the Gay Man's Identity. If all this fighting for nothing seems a bit silly to you, that's because it is. There's not that much left to fight for in the gay rights arena, and the prizes are diminishing in value. Still, the fight is perpetuated because it maintains the gay man's status as a victim. Much in the same way women are still being victimized because they're still fighting for stronger rape legislation gays are victimized because they are fighting for stronger marriage legislation.

On the personal level the victim complex runs deep. It's not isolated to gay men of course. All weak people revel in their victimhood. Conflict fuels them like coal in a locomotive. These national spectacles are as imperative as the day to day cattiness that fuel the gossip circle. They give the gay man social capital.

If you find yourself in prolonged relations with another man, as many of us do, you will find a base level of drama at all times. Your first reaction may be to trouble shoot this condition. Of course you've probably already head this cliche. When an S.O. comes to you with his problems you may suggest solutions when what they really want is sympathy. Personally I find that state of affairs dismal but understanding it can go a long way to managing it. When you see that the waters are always choppy you get better at riding the waves.


Post Information
Title Mississippi Mishap and the Victim Complex
Author Jobby_jabber
Upvotes 7
Comments 7
Date 06 April 2016 10:42 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit altTRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/163386
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/altTRP/comments/4do7x5/mississippi_mishap_and_the_victim_complex/
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[–]wingedagni2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy

This is in response to a few cases of wedding related businesses not wanting to sell cakes or officiate weddings for same sex couples.

Just to be clear, most of these cases are about customizing a cake, not selling one. There is a difference between selling someone a cake that they already made, and creating a wedding cake for a cause that they don't support. It's the same with the photographer case... they weren't rejecting photographing something because the client was gay, they were rejecting creating photographs of an event that they didn't support.

It more of less boils down to a speech argument (which the SC has ruled most photography is). You can't (or, lets say, you shouldn't) force someone to say something that they don't want to / endorse... but that is what is happening. You are forcing someone to create a symbol that is used to represent an idea that they don't believe. That is dangerous to me.

And I am not saying that you don't believe this, but it just irks me when people say "not wanting to sell cakes", because the selling isn't the problem, it's the customization that is the problem.

[–]Jobby_jabber 2 points2 points [recovered] | Copy

The free speech argument is one I've always though was clever. Though if I recall, the photographer that employed that defense lost. The judge ruled that a product is not speech or some such.

On the other hand when money is involved, speech gets a little less free. We already accept that speech in the form of advertisement must adhere to certain criteria. You can't make false claims when you're selling a product. You also can't put a protest sign up that blocks a handicap ramp at your own business. These are just things the government has decided are worth protecting. Why gay people want the same variety of protection as handicap people is beyond me.

I think it's pretty stupid all around. On one side I want to say just make the damn cake and take their money. On the other side I don't think anyone would bat an eye if a bakery refused to make me a swastika cake. What people aren't willing to accept is that to these few (arguably bigoted) folks a gay wedding is as objectionable as a swastika.

[–]wingedagni1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

The free speech argument is one I've always though was clever. Though if I recall, the photographer that employed that defense lost. The judge ruled that a product is not speech or some such.

Photography has been declared by the supreme court to be speech several times. The act of creating something that sends a message is speech.

“In deciding whether particular conduct possesses sufficient communicative elements to bring the First Amendment into play, we have asked whether [a]n intent to convey a particularized message was present, and [whether] the likelihood was great that the message would be understood by those who viewed it.” Texas v. Johnson (1989)

Clearly creating a photograph is true on both accounts. Especially a wedding photograph.

Six years later, the Supreme Court reiterated, “To achieve First Amendment protection, a plaintiff must show that he possessed: (1) a message to be communicated; and (2) an audience to receive that message, regardless of the medium in which the message is to be expressed.” Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group (1995)

Again, clearly photographs count... especially those by a photographer of an event, such as a wedding. The intent is to convey a message of love and commitment between the participants, and the audience is family and friends and public that has an interest in the wedding.

So the the New Mexico case is where the state supreme court upheld that a photographer can't refuse a gay wedding. The US supreme court refused to hear the case... which was kinda surprising to most people "in the know".

The problem here is that what has been left is legal precedent that compels speech. (as defined by the supreme court), and eventually one or the other will break. Either free speech will be redefined, or protected classes will be scaled back.

Currently it forces the photographer to create photographs (legally speech) that send a message that he dosen't believe in.

Its like (actually, it literally is) the state saying that unless you believe in and support gay marriage, and are willing to publicly state that, you can't own a business in the US. The judge literally stated from the bench (in the oregon case) that the defendants must choose between their religion and owning a business.

And that is the problem with the bakeries as well. Now look, I get it, wedding cake design isn't legally protected as free speech, but it rationally is fairly close to it. (especially when you literally are piping the words onto a cake).

Interestingly, Apple made nods to this as well, with the iPhone cracking. Software creation has been ruled speech for a while (although I am not sure if that was done by the SC), and so compelling them to write a different OS would be compelled speech. Which is especially egregious when that speech is (in this case) clearly against the company's values and goals (security).

Again, neither (Oregon, Colorado) of these bakeries refused to sell anything they had in their stores to gay people. They just refused to create something that sent a message that they didn't believe. Which isn't unreasonable, and has very little to do with freedom of religion.

On the other hand when money is involved, speech gets a little less free. We already accept that speech in the form of advertisement must adhere to certain criteria. You can't make false claims when you're selling a product. You also can't put a protest sign up that blocks a handicap ramp at your own business.

Eh... kinda. If you mislead people and damages are provable, yeah, you can seek remittance. The public accomodation thing is another can of worms (and to be really fair, a ton of businesses don't comply with it) (and they are state / local laws either way, with tons of exceptions) (how many places don't have elevators...)

I mean, overall I guess my problem is that 1) this is clearly a free speech thing and 2) Does freedom of religion not mean anything? We have pushed it so far back that nothing is protected by it, and the religious are having to (unsuccessfully) try and use their freedom of speech protections. Not only can they not freely practice their religion, they are now compelled to say things that are in opposition to it.

That is insane.

[–]Jobby_jabber 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy

freedom is abridged whenever the government attempts to level a playing field. I use public accommodation and accessibility acts as the bench mark here because they're already in place. The goal of these rules and regulations is to ensure that we don't purposefully or inadvertently create a second class of citizens who are unable to interface with the mainstream.

In the case of handicapped people, they would never be able to enter any store if there weren't some standards to make it physically possible to get in. Sure the market forces might push businesses to take on the burden of renovating, but they might just not as well. There are only so many handicapped people in a given town.

The government see this and uses across the board measures to protect that class from being disadvantaged. They do this by slightly disadvantaging everyone else.

I agree with you that there is a pretty significant degradation of religious freedoms going on here. Compelling speech is the most worrying aspect. I don't think we need a level playing ground the way the government seems to feel we do.

[–]wingedagni1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

And I get (and in theory agree with) all those arguments. They are very eloquently laid out in the civil rights legislation discussions.

Using those arguments, however, would never put you in a position where gays were afforded protected class status.

If all you can find is one pizzaria in an entire state (reporters literally cold called businesses until they found one, and then created the media event around that) that won't cater an event... you are fine as a group.

In the case of handicapped people, they would never be able to enter any store if there weren't some standards to make it physically possible to get in. Sure the market forces might push businesses to take on the burden of renovating, but they might just not as well. There are only so many handicapped people in a given town.

I mean, sure, but the ADA only applies to new construction. (old construction only if it's easy and cheap to modify)

I am not sure it's a comparable argument. I think a better one (albeit more convoluted) would be the robin-hood school funding... but that is really a state-by-state thing.

I agree with you that there is a pretty significant degradation of religious freedoms going on here. Compelling speech is the most worrying aspect. I don't think we need a level playing ground the way the government seems to feel we do.

agree.

[–]wingedagni0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Still, the fight is perpetuated because it maintains the gay man's status as a victim.

Agree 100%. We are in an age where reporters are calling every business in a state to find a single one that will "discriminate", and they make it news. (The pizza place was the only one they found). They are looking for people to victimize them.

There are real problems for the gay community to address (youth homelessness, drug use, STD's)... but no one wants to focus on these, because they require actual work and not playing the victim in outrage.

[–]should_0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Victimhood indeed seems to be the default narrative imposed to put the population in its place in regards to protected classes. It's interesting because what it relies on is, in this instance, gays feeling victimized (or being aware, manipulative assholes), and others feeling guilty or afraid or like they're doing the right thing by opposing this bill. Basically, only somehow sick, distorted, ignorant, afraid people fall for it or go with it while informed, internally strong people don't. The elite can't disorient you when you're centered, informed, not needing to be a victim, and sound.



You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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