Reader's View, gay rights: Tutu remark illustrates faulty logic of discrimination

July 3, 2013 

More often than not, I am proud to call myself an Idahoan. We truly live in one of the greatest states, and growing up in Boise, I can honestly say it is hard to imagine living anywhere else: continually ranked as one of the healthiest cities, one of the best places to start a business, one of the best places to raise a family … unless you are gay.

If that's the case, Idaho wants nothing to do with you. Scratch that. Our elected officials will take notice of you, if only to squash any sort of freedom or protection you should already be afforded under federal law. Something as simple as providing protection against discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations is extending that golden spoon a little too far to the LGBT community of Idaho.

As Cornel Rasor, in all his infinite wisdom, astutely points out: "I'd hire a gay guy if I thought he was a good worker. But if he comes into work in a tutu ... he's not producing what I want in my office" (Huffington Post, June 19).

Obviously there's a correlation between gay men being protected from being fired, simply because they are gay, and their proclivity toward wearing tutus in the workplace. Clearly it has nothing to do with said gay man's work ethic or educational background. No, he's gay - make no mistake, that gay man will proudly prance into his office in a beautiful, flowing rainbow tutu the first opportunity he gets if his sexual orientation is no longer a marker for his dismissal. Give a gay man an inch and he'll take a glittery mile.

I'm just curious if anyone else who reads this total garbage is embarrassed that this man (Cornel Rasor) supposedly represents your interests, represents the interests of Idaho on a national level.

Regardless of your opinion of the LGBT community, justification for discrimination based on the fact that he's worried a gay man will show up to work in a tutu borders on, well, total stupidity. Is it because the religion argument is getting old, we have to come up with new excuses as to why the LGBT community can't have equal rights? Now we're bringing tutus into the mix?

Being gay does not define a person; it is merely a facet of their ever-complicated life. Gays, lesbians, transgendered, bisexuals all come from diverse backgrounds, and our experiences mold us into the people we have become. Some are doctors, teachers, lawyers - they teach your spin class, they work in construction, they serve you at your favorite restaurant, they have families they love and people who support them, they enjoy eating brunch Downtown, they ride bikes with helmets - just like straight people.

Is it because it is easier to discriminate against an entire group of people when dominant ideology places them in a neat, little box? If we reduce people to little more than an identifier such as gender, race, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation, are we not completely undermining the truly remarkable nature of the human experience?

Hopefully Idahoans will realize our state is losing amazing people: business leaders, innovators in technology, financial geniuses, because of the backward thinking of our GOP leaders and their blatant attack on inalienable rights.

I would rather my legislators focus on why Idaho's education is ranked in the bottom 10 in the country, or lowering our unemployment rate, or any of the other numerous problems that seem to get ignored in an effort to pass discriminatory legislation. We need to vote for actual change; change that will move Idaho forward to its full potential.

Sarah Ober is a long-time Idaho resident working in marketing and completing her third bachelor's in German from Boise State University.

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