It turns out there are some big ‘ole 18 wheeler truck sized loopholes having to do with “religious freedom” in Plano, Texas’ just approved LGBT Rights ordinance that everyone is crowing about that makes it almost virtually worthless. (Which is probably why it passed by such a huge margin)
According to the revised ordinance, discrimination based on a resident’s sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited in regards to public accommodation, employment, housing transactions and city contracting. However, religious and political groups as well as nonprofit organizations are exempt from the ordinance.
City Attorney Paige Mims said the ordinance also includes a waiver process for businesses to be exempt if the owners feel the policy would not allow them to conduct business based on their personal faith. Individuals and organizations found in noncompliance to the ordinance would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, the least severe class of misdemeanor. While the ordinance does make it illegal to discriminate against gender identity in a public place, Mims said that would not extend to public restrooms and locker rooms which would still be segregated based on physical anatomy.
“We realize that privacy interests need to be balanced with equality interests,” Mims said at the meeting. “We took a lot of care to look at constitutional issues and freedoms that people have that are protected under the law … We’ve recognized in this ordinance that due process needs to be allowed and if people do have those [religious] defenses, they’re required under law to give the city notification … and we’re going to evaluate that.”
So all businesses large and small have to do is say “it’s against my personal faith” and they can get a waiver to legally discriminate and be a bigot. And of course non-profits are exempted, and all religious institutions and organizations. Andd trans folks still can’t use public restrooms.
But gee, it did look swell on paper. As long as no one read it.
Both Maggie Gallagher – Srivastav and Brian Brown of the anti-gay hate group The National Organization for Marriage have waddled away from the all-you- can eat buffet just long enough to take advantage of the latest GOP feeding frenzy to play victim and join in the attack of the IRS citing the publication of its 2008 990-B tax form on March 30, 2012 by the Human Rights Campaign,
Wrote Maggie Gallagher in the National Review
“The IRS is claiming — and I think it is plausible — that low-level employees found a clever way to use their low-level job to influence (they hoped) a U.S. election. Have they been identified and fired? Because otherwise this becomes no longer a low-level problem. (You may recall that a low-level employee also released NOM’s private tax-return information to a guy claiming to be a NOM employee, who then posted it on the Internet.)”
NOM’s Brian Brown
shirt is also stepping up into the ” Rightwing welfare victim hysteria” and is calling for a full-scale investigation:
“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”
Of course NOM wasted no time issuing a beg for money to investigate the evil IRS (and help pay Brian Brown’s half a million dollar salary, of course.)
“Dear Marriage Supporter, Of all the scandals plaguing the Obama administration this week, the revelation that the Internal Revenue Service targeted Tea Party and conservative groups for harassment during the last Presidential election is perhaps the most shocking. But it pales in comparison to what we have been attempting to expose for over a year: that the IRS is also guilty of leaking our confidential tax return to our opponents at the Human Rights Campaign! Now that the eyes of the nation are fixed on this exploding IRS scandal, this is our opportunity to expose the truth! That’s why I’m asking you to make an immediate gift of $35, $50 or $100 to help us call on Congress to investigate the IRS.”
You can still view NOM’s 2008 990-B tax form which contains the names of dozens of donors, is still available to view over at the Huffington Post