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Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:34 PM

Help. Is it possible to change a person's mind, and have that individual vote for gay rights?

An ordinance is up for a vote (this is Omaha, NE) that would include LGBT people in a city-wide anti-discrimination ordinance. What are some arguments to persuade a city council member who was supportive, but after a public hearing has been swayed? The new concerns deal with the language and the distinction between harassment and discrimination. For example, would it be harassment, under the ordinance, if an employer expressed their views towards homosexuality or gender identity without, necessarily discriminating against an individual.

I don't know if it's even possible to reason with some people. My argument would be to check to see if there have been complaints against religious speech and freedom in other cities that have similar ordinances. But that's me trying not to be inflammatory, and I know I could say a lot of inflammatory things about this.

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Reply Help. Is it possible to change a person's mind, and have that individual vote for gay rights? (Original post)
shcrane71 Mar 2012 OP
bluestateguy Mar 2012 #1
shcrane71 Mar 2012 #3
Swede Atlanta Mar 2012 #2
shcrane71 Mar 2012 #4
emulatorloo Mar 2012 #5
shcrane71 Mar 2012 #6

Response to shcrane71 (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:36 PM

1. Real life experiences can have much more effect than a simple argument

Like someone who is anti-gay discovers that their son is gay, or perhaps a longtime close friend.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:18 PM

3. I don't foresee this as happening prior to 3/13.

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Response to shcrane71 (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:05 PM

2. Two thoughts....

I agree with Bluestateguy that personal experience CAN have a tremendous impact on people's views. Viewing something as abstract, especially if someone was taught or observed negative attitudes toward homosexuality, may allow for perverse and uninformed views. Giving someone a real-life experience with a co-worker, family member, neighbor, church member, etc. can make all the difference in the world.

My view on harassment would be that in an employer-employee relationship, an employer that has economic and other power over the employee, that expresses anti-homosexual views is engaging in harassment. It is bad enough to have fellow employees tell jokes or otherwise express their dislike but the employer would be, in my view, engaging in harassment to express those views openly to the employee or for those views to be openly known in the workplace.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:26 PM

4. The hearing was last night, and a study at one of the local med schools was

recently released where numerous people came forward with their experiences with discrimination. It's your second point that is giving the council member pause.

This council member teaches an anti-bias class. I would think that he would understand that it's pretty difficult to prove discrimination. People can still quote Leviticus all they want. They just wouldn't be able to say, "I fired you because you're gay," any longer.

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Response to shcrane71 (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:42 PM

5. Have the council member substitute "Hispanic" for "Gay" and see what he comes up with

"For example, would it be harassment, under the ordinance, if an employer expressed their views about hispanics, without necessarily discriminating against an individual hispanic?"

The answer is YES

I suppose he could come up with "sexual preference is not race," but I am pretty sure you could dismantle that pretty quickly.

Or just point to sexual harassment law.

"Would it be harassment if an employer or co-worker said sexual things about women, or posting pornographic pictures on the break room wall, without specifically targeting an individual woman?"

The answer is YES

Sorry if these seem lame. Just brainstorming.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:55 PM

6. That's exactly the type of brainstorming that I need. Thank you so much.

None of those arguments were lame. The third point may come in quite handy as the council member was on board to support the ordinance prior to the wing nuts getting the "religious freedom" memo. I think that the Limbaugh boycott and complete indignation may be helpful here.

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