Well, here’s an argument that doesn’t (exactly) show up on the bingo cards: State Assemblyman Cresent Hardy (R-Nevada), declared he is against laws such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because they’re too reminiscent of segregation laws.
Yes…because singling out a specific demographic to protect them from being discriminated against is exactly like singling out a demographic to discriminate against them. Okay, so it’s a logic fail, but at least it’s not heard too often.
Speaking to the Las Vegas Sun, Hardy said, “When we create classes, we create that same separation that we’re trying to unfold somehow. By continuing to create these laws that are what I call segregation laws, it puts one class of a person over another. We are creating classes of people through these laws.”
Until an anti-discrimination law is passed that requires certain people to live and work separately from the rest of the population, that word does not mean what he thinks it means.
Oh, and the reason he was blustering about this to a newspaper? He’s running for a seat in Congress.
No surprise, he’s also against marriage equality. “I will always vote against same sex marriage because of my religious beliefs, the way I was raised,” said Hardy, in reference to his Mormon faith. “For me to vote for it would be to deny the same God that I believe in.”
This would presumably be the same God that, according to the Book of Mormon, marked a tribe of people with dark skin to show they were cursed.
If he’d so much as glanced at the actual text of ENDA, he’d have seen that ENDA explicitly lists its purposes:
(1) to address the history and persistent, widespread pattern of discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity by private sector employers and local, State, and Federal Government employers;
(2) to provide an explicit, comprehensive Federal prohibition against employment discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity, including meaningful and effective remedies for any such discrimination;
(3) to invoke congressional powers, including the powers to enforce the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and to regulate interstate commerce pursuant to section 8 of article I of the Constitution, in order to prohibit employment discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity; and
(4) to reinforce the Nation’s commitment to fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace consistent with the fundamental right of religious freedom.
As of 2011, the state of Nevada actually already has its own ENDA-like protection in place regarding “gender identity or expression.” Guess how Hardy voted.
Regarding his chances of ousting first-term Representative Steven Horsford, a Democrat, Hardy said, “Yes, it will be a challenge with the demographics of it, but that’s how you get out there and reach out and get people to know you. My personality and my issues, the policies that I’m working toward, I firmly believe resonate with the majority of the voters throughout the district.”
Considering a November 2013 poll showed that even most Republicans and evangelicals support ENDA, he may be in for a surprise.