Wednesday, March 31, 2004

2004 or 1984?

Since 1980, the Civil Service Reform Act has protected gays and lesbians employees and job applicants against discrimination. Until two weeks ago, that is. Scott Bloch, the new head of the Office of Special Counsel, has reinterpreted the law and says that it no longer protects gays and lesbians.

But there's good news! In a case of hair-splitting that normally would require a microtome, he says that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not covered by the law, but discrimination based on sexual conduct is covered.

You see, we're not firing you because you went to this year's Pride parade, and we're not firing you because you had a commitment ceremony with your partner last weekend, we're actually firing you just because you're gay. That's legal.

So what the Mr. Bloch is saying is that you can't discriminate against a man because he has sex with men, but you can fire him because he wants to have sex with men.

Thoughtcrime. I'm not one to invoke the ghost of Orwell often, and I'm not prone to "the government is out to get me" conspiracy theories. But what this reinterpretation basically does is discriminate on the basis of how you feel not what you do. That's just a reprehensible idea.

Is this what "compassionate conservatism" looks like in action?

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