Last week the Scottsdale City Council voted 5-2 to defeat a proposed sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy. Councilwoman Linda Milhaven was one of the two council members who voted for the controversial proposal. Then she wrote the following commentary in the left-wing publication Scottsdale Independent. We took exception with several of her statements and present her commentary for you now along with our objections, FYI:
Milhaven: Why is treating everyone fairly considered controversial in Scottsdale? [THE ASSUMPTION THAT EVERYONE WILL BE TREATED FAIRLY IS INCORRECT.]
By Linda Milhaven Apr 3rd, 2015
Why is it controversial to consider a law to treat everyone fairly?” [WHY DON’T WE RELY ON THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR FREE SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY?]
That was the question I got from a citizen after a recent city council meeting. We were considering whether to or not to add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the city’s non-discrimination ordinances.
At that meeting, the council affirmed their support of the Unity Pledge, [IS THERE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH HOUSING AND HOSPITALITY FOR LGBT IN SCOTTSDALE??? NOT LIKELY.] adopted late last year, supporting LGBT inclusive non-discrimination policies and directed staff to help promote of the pledge.
The next step is to begin the public process to include these principles in our City ordinances. [AT WHAT COST TO THE CONSTITUTION? TO THE CITIZENS OF SCOTTSDALE? TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM? ]
We have received many e-mails and have heard from many constituents — many for and some against. While I believe that everyone is acting in good faith, I am still trying to understand the side that argues against including the principles of the pledge in our ordinances. [THEN PLEASE HEAR OUR CONCERNS AGAIN.]
Some argue that less government is better. I agree; however, some laws are good and necessary. This is the basis for our political debate. What is necessary vs. unnecessary regulation? [TAKING SIDES IN THE CULTURE WAR IS ONLY GUARANTEED TO ALIENATE AT LEAST HALF THE CITY’S CITIZENS.]
In my opinion, we currently have non-discrimination ordinances and adding members of the LGBT community to the list of protected citizens is simply the right thing to do. [LGBT ARE NOT IMMUTABLE TRAITS. SO-CALLED “SEXUAL LIBERTY” IS BEING USED TO BLUDGEON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACROSS THE COUNTRY. DON’T LET SCOTTSDALE EXHIBIT PREJUDICE AGAINST CHRISTIANS AND OTHERS OFFENDED BY WHAT THEY CONSIDER BIBLICAL SIN.]
Some argue that there is no evidence of a problem. [IN THIS DAY AND AGE MOST PEOPLE DO NOT DARE SPEAK OUT AGAINST LGBT FOR FEAR OF JOB LOSS, PHYSICAL THREATS, PUBLIC SMEAR CAMPAIGNS AND HYSTERIA INITIATED BY MILITANT LGBT. CORPORATE AND MUNICIPAL AMERICA IS TRIPPING OVER ONE ANOTHER TO SUBMIT TO EVERY LGBT DEMAND. WHAT MORE CAN YOU POSSIBLY GIVE THEM?] Are they suggesting that members of the LGBT community should publicly share their stories and make themselves vulnerable to additional discrimination/harassment without any protections before we are willing to protect them?
Some assert religious freedom would be compromised. However, religious organizations set their own membership rules [NO. THEY DON’T. STATE, LOCAL, AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS ARE CHIPPING AWAY AT THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION’S FIRST LIBERTY – RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. CHRISTIANS ARE BEING TOLD TO “CHECK THEIR FAITH AT THE DOOR” AND TO KEEP THEIR BELIEFS TO THEMSELVES, THAT WHEN THEY GO INTO BUSINESS THEY SUDDENLY BECOME “SECULAR.” PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES ARE TELLING CAMPUS MINISTRIES THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO REQUIRE OFFICERS BE PEOPLE OF FAITH.] and hiring practices. They may include or exclude anyone they please from their organizations. Government does not and cannot regulate that. [YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG. OBAMACARE AND NONDISCRIMINATION POLICIES ARE BEING ELEVATED ABOVE CONSTITUTIONAL RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, AND CHRISTIANS ARE FORCED TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS IN EXPENSIVE COURT CASES TO LITIGATE FOR THE FREE EXERCISE OF LIBERTY. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS ALL OVER THE NATION ARE ELEVATING “SEXUAL LIBERTY” ABOVE THE CONSTITUTION.]
Government does, however, make laws that bind all of us, regardless of our religions affiliations. In fact, non-discrimination laws protect citizens from discrimination based on their religion. [YOU HAVE IT BACKWARDS. NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS ARE USED AS BATTERING RAMS AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS.] Why would some religious organizations want to exclude anyone from the same protections their members enjoy? [YOU INCORRECTLY CHARACTERIZE THE PRESENT REALITY. RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS ARE EXCLUDED FROM FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE BECAUSE OF THE OUTBREAK OF NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS.]
Combining the assertion that we do not have a problem with the assertion that a non-discrimination ordinance will infringe on personal religious rights is puzzling to me. What personal religious rights? The right to discriminate against members of the LGBT community in the marketplace and the workplace? How can one say that there is no discrimination but then argue to protect their right to discriminate? [NO, NO, AND NO – WE ARE OPPOSED TO BEING COMPELLED BY GOVERNMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH WE HAVE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTIONS.]
Some suggest an ordinance will open the business community to frivolous lawsuits. How can one assert that a lawsuit claiming discrimination is frivolous unless one thinks that discrimination is acceptable? [IT IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAKE IT OUT TO BE. THERE WILL BE LAWSUITS. HUMAN RELATIONS BOARDS, THE ACLU, AND OTHERS ARE NOT IN THE HABIT OF PROTECTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. “SEXUAL LIBERTY”AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CANNOT CO-EXIST. ONE IS ALREADY BEING ELEVATED ABOVE THE OTHER. TOO MANY CITY COUNCILS ARE FAVORING “SEXUAL LIBERTY” AT THE EXPENSE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. THIS IS AT ODDS WITH AMERICA’S HISTORY AND CONSTITION AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION.]
Members of the business community have been the strongest advocates of a non-discrimination ordinance. They tell us an ordinance is vital to their ability to attract and retain workforce talent and customers. [THIS IS A COMMON TALKING POINT, BUT WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE TO BACK IT UP? THERE IS NONE. BUSINESSES ARE MERELY POSTURING THEMSELVES AS LGBT FRIENDLY, BUT THERE IS NO EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION IN THE BUSINESS AND CORPORATE WORLD. BIG BUSINESS IS EXTREMELY ACCOMMODATING TO LGBT PEOPLE. THERE IS NO HARM BEING DONE. THERE IS NO LAW, NO LACK OF LAW SHACKLING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY FROM HIRING ANYONE WHO HAS A LEGAL RIGHT TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES.] They tell us lack of an ordinance will do us harm. How can one argue that they are protecting the business community when they ignore the business community’s pleas for an ordinance? [IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL TO ASK FOR EVIDENCE THAT THIS ORDINANCE IS ACTUALLY NEEDED. IN THE SCOTTSDALE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. YOU WILL LIKELY FIND LGBT NOT ONLY WORKING FOR THESE COMPANIES, BUT ALSO SOME LGBT ARE IN POSITIONS OF MANAGEMENT AND DOING VERY WELL FOR THEMSELVES. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO GOVERN ALL THE CITIZENS, AND NOT TO FAVOR ANY GROUP OVER ANOTHER. LET THIS UNFOUNDED DEMAND GO AND CONCENTRATE ON MORE SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES.]
I believe the city should study the issue and hear from the public. [MOST DEFINITELY! THANK YOU FOR THE WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY.] Let us know where you stand. Do you think the city should begin the public process to expand its non-discrimination ordinances to include LGBT non-discrimination? [NO. THERE IS NO PROBLEM. MOVE ON TO MORE SUBSTANTIVE NEEDS AND TOPICS TO PROMOTE YOUR CITY. THANK YOU FOR READING. BEST REGARDS.]
COUNCILWOMAN MILHAVEN, THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: THERE NEVER WAS ANY DEMONSTRATION THAT THE ORDINANCE IS NEEDED. THE PEOPLE OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI AND FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS JUST REJECTED SUCH MEASURES, AS DID FOUNTAIN HILLS. BUT THERE IS PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE WILL INFRINGE UPON THE FREEDOM OF SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS TO OPERATE THEIR BUSINESSES ACCORDING TO THEIR FAITH. EVERYONE’S CONSCIENCE COUNTS. SO WHY UNNECESSARILY DIVIDE THE CITY? WHY RESTRICT THE CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM OF A LARGE CONSTITUENCY OF THE CITY?