Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul on Gay Rights and Persons With Disabilities

Perhaps race is the most explosive social issue. Rand Paul's admission that he disagrees with the application of antidiscrimination laws to private companies has set off a firestorm. After an onslaught of criticism, Rand has issued a statement saying that he would not seek to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Of course, this is somewhat of a strawman argument. During the numerous interviews that led to this controversy, Paul never said he wanted to repeal the legislation, nor did anyone ask him whether he wanted to do so.

I doubt that Paul's "retraction" will settle this issue. Even if it does, this should not preclude scrutiny of some of the other areas of discrimination that Paul addressed during those interviews.

Gay Rights
During an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, Paul said that Don't Ask, Don't Tell has "worked relatively well." DADT, however, has resulted in the discharge of thousands of qualified members of the armed forces.

Paul also described DADT as a "nonfraternization policy," which is patently false. Military rules certainly prohibit sexual relations among troops, but Don't Ask, Don't tell prevents any openly or known gay or lesbian person from serving in the military, regardless of whether the individual has violated nonfraternization rules. Paul seems to equate being gay with an individual having sex with his or her colleagues. This is a highly flawed position.

Americans With Disabilities Act
Paul appeared on NPR the day following his primary victory. During the interview, Paul reiterated his arguments regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also discussed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation, employment and other settings.

With respect to the ADA, Paul said that:
I think that we should try to do everything we can to allow for people with disabilities and handicaps. You know, we do it in our office with wheelchair ramps and things like that. I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who's handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator. And I think when you get to the solutions like that, the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions.
Paul's portrayal of the ADA is terribly misleading. The statute does not even apply to the setting he describes, unless the building is a shopping center, airport or other transportation facility, or a medical office. As summarized by Department of Justice materials, ADA regulations include the following exemption regarding elevators in buildings:
This section does not require the installation of an elevator in a facility that is less than three stories or has less than 3000 square feet per story, except with respect to any facility that houses one or more of the following:

(i) A shopping center or shopping mall, or a professional office of a health care provider.

(ii) A terminal, depot, or other station used for specified public transportation, or an airport passenger terminal (italics added). . . .
In other words, Paul creates a frightening and misleading hypothetical in order to trash federal antidiscrimination law.

Final Take
Although Paul has tried to run away from his comments about race, he has not even begun to address his troubling statements concerning gay rights and the ADA. The media should not let him off the hook regarding these important issues.

For more on this issue, see: Rand Paul and Civil Rights: MISERABLE and A Conservative Defense of Rand Paul: He Is Telling the Truth; He's Not a Racist.


christina said...

Mr.Hutchinson, let's be realistic. I am borderline disabled for years now and I have been probably one of their greatest and most productive supporters. The man is making an analogy to try and illustrate the hypocricy hidden in the subtext of Nazi-Era legislature. Clearly, he's a revisionist and dislikes the mentality from which this statute originated—go study Nazi spiritualism and its covert homosexual dissemination/disinformation ethnic cleansing practices and rape culture and then we'll talk about segregation on level ground. This pc nonsense has us all spinning in concentric circles and it's nonsquare dance, that's for sure.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Christina: One of the joys of blogging is communicating with readers, but I only ask that you be a bit more specific in your posts. Comments like "the subtext of Nazi-Era legislation" or "homosexual dissemination/disinformation ethnic cleansing practices and rape culture" do not allow me to respond, because I am not sure to what you are referring.

christina said...

I am sorry if you feel my glance at esoteric cultural practices is too generalized. I would have to reference materials that are not mainstream in order to substantiate these points because they are esoteric. The paradox is this discussion then begins to delve into intelligence culture and mind control and social engineering—none of which is accessible to the general public for obvious reasons. My point being that certain things are esoteric for a reason, but certain groups have gone way too far in the employ of such means for their own personal gain and sexual gratification at the expence of our collective future. (I don't need to go into graphic detail about sexual diversion to illustrate that if this were the underlying motive behind any economy, it would eventually become implosive due to the tendency of indulgent people to ignore fundamental needs that keep any society running).

liberal dissent said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the true absurdity of DADT the fact it applies purely to sexual orientation rather than any overt acts? From what I remember of the subject, a celibate gay soldier would be kicked out, but a heterosexual soldier who engaged in homosexual acts would not be. I could be wrong about this, though, definitely not my area of expertise, and I haven't read anything on the subject beyond news articles in a while.

And I think Christina simply subscribes to the unfortunately common belief among a certain segment of society that homosexuality is about lust with no emotional component.

christina said...

Where anyone could find the means to extrapolate such absurdities from my writing is beyond reason. I am addressing a culture of rape and sexual, spousal abuse that has destroyed the fabric of military life and been hushed up, stigmatized so nobody talks about it. Meanwhile cult members who engage in such practices are parading themselves as heterosexual GOPs who create obstacles around legitimate leadership so they can continue to prey sexually on everyone around them. Sorry, I don't see how my concern for young boys being gang-raped in the military and boarding schools in initiation ceremony is any less legitimate than someone's personal sexual orientation. Not talking about gay rape doesn't mean it never happens.

christina said...

And of course males have emotional lives—but women like Madow would readily immerse young males into an environment where they are overpowered by larger males who do prey on young boys if they are not supervised. They would then provide no outlet for expressing the trauma and hurt caused by such exploitation because they like to exploit the pretty ones in the sex-trade. So don't ever accuse me of being callous when referencing these insensitive lunatics and their ridiculous hate doctrines. They are in no position whatsoever to leverage any discussions about emotional intelligence in either gender. They refer to traumatized people as farm animals! That kind of delegitimizes their contributions.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

LD: I remember reading the regs during the Clinton era. They allowed a person to rebut an allegation of "homosexuality," by attributing it to alcohol, curiousity, etc. So yes, it protected closeted folks or "straight" people who engaged in homosexual sex. The military does not need to prove that a gay person has engaged in sex to discharge the individual. I believe the statement "I am gay" or other signals leads to a presumption of homosexuality. Hope that clears it up.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Christina: I am not sure how you managed to work "gay rape" into this conversation -- but rape is a crime, regardless of the sexual orientation of the assailant. So, it is unclear why you think this is a relevant topic.

christina said...

Gender segregation is what makes this relevent, Mr.Hutchinson. Gender segregation with militaristic sexual repression and lame excuses (drunk, curious) like the ones you list above re. Clinton administration. Sounds like an excuse for rape if people are not consentual but men are strongly discouraged from reporting rape or they are painted as wusses and that is the sort of culture condoned by Maddow's ilk. I work gay rape into it as a pivotal issue that these ignorant, selfish women don't allow our boys to discuss in this pc censorship culture that profits from the prolifferation of excessive pornography via the Internet. It's about predatory economics and there's no excuse for hurting our boys gratuitously. None whatsoever. Because they are born with feelings just like girls are.

christina said...

Never mind the fact that the more boys get raped the more of them will have sexual neurosis towards women and they don't carry on the family name. Tell me how this does not amount to a form of social engineering when people are no longer reproducing on account of this insidious, unspoken trauma that's rampant in our military, and it's resulting in lower birth rates in certain races and body-types. (Ken and Barbie are gay, people). Don't tell me that any of these violent issues are not legitimate because we don't make power point presentations about it for our board meetings on Capital Hill or Wall Street. The men don't need to tell me. I can see it in their faces!

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Christina: Gender and sexual orientation are not the same thing.

christina said...

Mr.Hutchinson, with all due respect your arguments make absolutely no sense in context of what I am saying. I get the impression you disagree just to fill the air.

Infidel753 said...

It sounds like she's saying that gays in the military are raping young male recruits, and this makes them neurotic towards women (?) so that they don't reproduce, which is why "certain races" are suffering from declining birth rates.

If this remotely resembled anything that was happening in the real world, it could be taken as a defense of Rand Paul's pro-DADT position.

Back on the planet Earth, it's hard to see how a pro-DADT stance follows logically from a libertarian ideology -- surely people who don't like being around homosexuals could simply refrain from joining the military? -- so it might reflect either personal prejudice or an attempt to appeal to prejudiced voters. The "nonfraternization" dodge sounds like more squid ink, like when he was trying to avoid saying straight out whether he thought segregated lunch counters should have remained legal.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Infidel: Planet Earth is quite a different place.

Christina: Your arguments rest on a false portrayal of gays in the military. Why debate something that doesn't exist?

Josh Dowlut said...

Paul could be called a constitutional fundamentalist. Just as religious fundamentalists often miss the forest for the trees so sometimes do constitutional fundamentalists. When you consider any book to be effectively the word of God, it is possible to get too caught up in the literal, by the letter reading of what is and is not there, and miss the overall greater point.

While a chief objective of the Constitution is to limit the role of government, that limitation is the means to an end which is individual freedom. All but the most anarchist of libertarians will concede that the primary purpose of government is to protect individuals from others.

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