Monday, March 13, 2006

Is the First Amendment a gay basher?

Chris CrainHere's kudo's to Chris Crain, executive editor of the Washington Blade, who really seems to "get it" in his recent editorial about some of the recent Supreme court decisions on LGBT — First Amendment-related issues.

Starting with the decision allowing Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade organizers to exclude Irish gay groups, and then continuing with two more Supreme Court cases, Crain says,
more . . .

And the same decision that resulted in James Dale being excluded from his New Jersey Boy Scout troop likewise allows his local PFLAG chapter to exclude "ex-gay" recruiters from Exodus and similar groups.

The decision last week in FAIR vs. Rumsfeld went against the gay-friendly law schools because they weren’t really being forced to accept the military recruiters as "members" or fellow marchers, as in the other gay cases. And nothing about the Solomon Amendment prevents law schools from speaking out against "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

The uncomfortable reality is that all these cases were decided correctly and probably should not have been brought, except perhaps to bring attention to the anti-gay bigotry that lurks below the surface in each.

They should also remind us of the dangers in using the law to force social change in the private sector. Not every battle over discrimination is best fought in the courts, or even in the legislatures.

It's refreshing to find someone in the mainstream LGBT movement who understands that if we give up our basic First Amendment rights, there won't be any "equal rights" (let alone any special "LGBT rights") left worth having.