Monday, April 10, 2006

Suing For A Right They Already Have

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies
Many codes intended to protect gays from harassment are illegal, conservatives argue

By Stephanie Simon
Times Staff Writer

April 10, 2006

ATLANTA — Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.
Look, maybe I'm wrong, but isn't this truly a frivolous lawsuit?

No one is telling Ms. Malhotra that she can't speak out against homosexuality. What they ARE saying is that such opinions cannot be worded in a way that inflicts harm on other people. The very essence of the public square (to use a hackneyed phrase) is to promote tolerance while respecting the rights of people to form and have their own opinions. The whole point behind the politically correct movement is that people were terrorized in the past for being "different" from you and me: black, gay, Buddhist, poor.

Complaints seem to focus on a handful of activities that have caused "Christians" to be punished for their outrages, including wearing anti-gay T shirts, denouncing Gay Pride Month, and refusing to attend diversity training.

Yah, hullo? If your boss requires you to attend diversity training, then you go. Since this is an "at will" country in terms of employment, that's a firable offense, refusing to go, no matter what the underlying reason. Similarly, I don't see too many gay men or lesbians wearing "Straights Suck, Only Not In A Fun Way" T-shirts, nor do I see too many gay publications talking about the shame of living eleven months out the year watching straight couples necking in the park.

Still, let's give ol' Ruth here her say. What is she suing for?
In their lawsuit against Georgia Tech, Malhotra and her co-plaintiff, a devout Jewish student named Orit Sklar, request unspecified damages. But they say their main goal is to force the university to be more tolerant of religious viewpoints. The lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, a nonprofit law firm that focuses on religious liberty cases.

Malhotra said she had been reprimanded by college deans several times in the last few years for expressing conservative religious and political views. When she protested a campus production of "The Vagina Monologues" with a display condemning feminism, the administration asked her to paint over part of it.

She caused another stir with a letter to the gay activists who organized an event known as Coming Out Week in the fall of 2004. Malhotra sent the letter on behalf of the Georgia Tech College Republicans, which she chairs; she said several members of the executive board helped write it.

The letter referred to the campus gay rights group Pride Alliance as a "sex club … that can't even manage to be tasteful." It went on to say that it was "ludicrous" for Georgia Tech to help fund the Pride Alliance.

The letter berated students who come out publicly as gay, saying they subject others on campus to "a constant barrage of homosexuality."

"If gays want to be tolerated, they should knock off the political propaganda," the letter said.
What's next, Ruth, "Jews are Jesus killers"? Sounds to me like Ruth stuck her hand too far into the cookie jar and had it smacked.

Memo To Ruth: You already have the right to be a dick, and it sounds as if you are exercising it.

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