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Choice vs. race

Scott Tibbs, June 10, 2003

A group called Indiana Equality is promoting legislation that would make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity illegal. They held a press conference in Bloomington yesterday. Indiana law currently forbids discrimination based on "race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry in education, employment, housing and public accommodations", according to the H-T.

However, homosexuality is different. Race, color, sex, disability, national origin and ancestry are immutable characteristics and homosexuality is not. Whether or not to participate in homosexual behavior is a choice.

People who believe the Bible prohibits same-gender sexual relations may be uncomfortable with hiring someone who engages in a behavior they find to be immoral. Why is it governmentís business to tell them that their beliefs have to be set aside? And what of the First Amendmentís guarantee of freedom of association?

Many people that believe homosexuality is wrong also believe they should have equal rights under the law: the right to sue for wrongful death, full civil liberty protection, etc. Even non-discrimination practices in the government sector are reasonable but interference in private business is not.

When asked about faith-based objections to homosexuality, Rev. Rebecca Jimenez of the Center for University Ministry said, "It took a long time for faithful, religious people to understand that slavery was wrong and should be abolished. Finally, this is all about justice and compassion."

You can't seriously compare objection to homosexual behavior to the enslavement of millions of people. Nobody is advocating that homosexuals be imprisoned or enslaved. Comparing conservative views on sexual morality to slavery only alienates the very people Jimenez hopes to persuade and polarizes the debate. Making people dig in their position does not advance a cause. As long as there are conservative Christians, there will be people that believe homosexuality is wrong.