When intimidation and discrimination is okay

When intimidation and discrimination is okay

This is a small news item with large implications. The fellows at the pro-gay KnowThyNeighbor blog, which accompanies their web site listing the names and addresses of all Massachusetts residents who signed a petition supporting a vote on a constitutional amendment to protect marriage, have posted the text of a news story from Cape Cod.

Leo Childs, who was up for reappointment to the board of fire engineers in the small town of Truro, was denied his bid by a town selectman, Paul Asher-Best, who declared that because Childs signed the petition, he should not be reappointed. It should be no surprise that Asher-Best is gay and recently “married” another dude. His tortured reasoning for denying Childs’ reappointment is that since marriage is a human right and Childs opposes Asher-Best’s “right” to marry another man, Childs must therefore deny Asher-Best’s humanity and thus would be biased against extending fire protection to gay and lesbian households in the town. Yeah, logic doesn’t appear to be Asher-Best’s strong suit. Here it is in his own words:

“If you think I’m not entitled to civil marriage, then the only conclusion I can draw is that you don’t think I’m fully human, or that my humanity is not on par with yours,” he said. ... “There are a lot of households in Truro headed by gay and lesbian people, and I just need to make sure that they’re going to have equal protection and not have people who are biased against them in charge of public safety situations,” he said.

This is called the “straw man” argument.

The intimidation they expected.

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