Tuesday and Thursday
Last May the governor of Colorado signed a senate bill (SB 200
) that added sexual orientation and sexual identity as classes of people deserving protection from discrimination in housing, employment, public services and other areas of life that straight folks take for granted. The bill also barred "discrimination in places of public accomodation" — which the religious right and conservative commentators immediately interpreted as "bathrooms." Given the definitions laid out in the statutes, this interpretation was not unreasonable:
SECTION 6. 24-34-601 (1) and (2), Colorado Revised Statutes, are amended to read: 24-34-601. Discrimination in places of public accommodation.
(1) As used in this part 6, "place of public accommodation" means any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and any place offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public; any place to eat, drink, sleep, or rest, or any combination thereof; any sporting or recreational area and facility; any public transportation facility; a barber shop, bathhouse, swimming pool, bath, steam or massage parlor, gymnasium, or other establishment conducted to serve the health, appearance, or physical condition of a person; a campsite or trailer camp; a dispensary, clinic, hospital, convalescent home, or other institution for the sick, ailing, aged, or infirm; a mortuary, undertaking parlor, or cemetery; an educational institution; or any public building, park, arena, theater, hall, auditorium, museum, library, exhibit, or public facility of any kind whether indoor or outdoor. "PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION" SHALL NOT INCLUDE A CHURCH, SYNAGOGUE, MOSQUE, OR OTHER PLACE THAT IS PRINCIPALLY USED FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES.
(2) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, ELECTRONIC, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement which THAT indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.
Sounds good to me. Here's where the conservative critics have been not so reasonable. In fact, another political cartoonist, Chuck Asay crystallized the homophobic-transphobic fear-mongering that immediately followed the governor's signature in this odious cartoon:
My buddy Matt Bors rightly awarded this cartoon the Turd of the Day.
A lot of people have written intelligently on this issue — mostly notably Autumn Sandeen at Pam's House Blend, which includes an audiofile of a "OMG TEH BATHROOMS GOT PERVIES" ad that ran on right wing Colorado stations. For me it just comes down to this: everyone has to use the bathroom. Why stand in the way?
For fun, check out this post by The Watcher at the Fundies Say the Darnedest Things forum.
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