Why a resolution won’t cut it in Lansing Township…

Two weeks ago, the Lansing Township Board of Trustees began discussing non-discrimination protections. Trustee Diontrae Hayes sees the ordinance as a “way to be proactive…to make sure that all [of Lansing Township’s] residents feel protected.” Lansing Township would be following the lead of Delta and Meridian Township.

We here at One Capital Region are thrilled that the Lansing Township Board has started the conversation. We were a little concerned, however, to hear that most of the discussion on July 16 focused around whether the Township should actually pass an ordinance or if a resolution was sufficient. Let’s be clear, a non-discrimination resolution is a nice sentiment, but it’s just that…a sentiment.

An ordinance, similar to what Meridian Township just passed or what Delta Township is considering, is a law that gives people the option to seek relief when they face discrimination.  A resolution, on the other hand, is non-binding, unenforceable, and will do nothing to protect the people who live, work, and play in Lansing Township.

A resolution will not help the couple who is denied a one-bedroom apartment simply because they’re both men. A resolution will not help the woman who is fired because she doesn’t fit her employer’s model of femininity. Nor will a resolution help the person who is denied service at a business simply because they’re perceived to be gay. A resolution may help Lansing Township’s residents feel protected but it’s a false sense of security.

Please join us at the Lansing Township Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, July 30 at 7 p.m. We plan to deliver public comment to thank the Board for taking up the issue of discrimination and urge them to pass an ordinance.  RSVP for the meeting HERE.

Can’t make it to the meeting but still want to make your voice heard? Sign on to our petition by CLICKING HERE. 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Why a resolution won’t cut it in Lansing Township…

  1. Personally, I wonder whether such an ordinance would pass a 1st Amendment challenge – it certainly runs against the spirit thereof, even if you do think a court would uphold it. (Freedom of contract is obviously being violated here as well.) There is absolutely nothing wrong with discrimination on the basis of character, and if your sexual choices have moral import, they are a reflection of your character and should be completely permissible as a reason for discrimination. (Furthermore, there is all this talk about how we need to be a welcoming community, so let me just point out that these ordinances are extremely unwelcoming to any business owner who chooses *not* to check his morality at his front door. Curious how narrowly concerns for “tolerance” are actually applied.)

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks for stopping by the One Capital Region blog. I don’t see any real First Amendment concerns here. Hundreds of cities and 21 states have passed laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.1 Non-discrimination laws do not infringe on an individual’s freedom of speech, association, or religion.

    As to your point that non-discrimination ordinances are “unwelcoming” to businesses, study after study has shown that this type of ordinance is good for the economy and generates more business. According to The Center for American Progress, “businesses that implement and maintain gay and transgender friendly workplace policies realize significant financial gains that accrue from enhanced recruitment, retention, productivity, marketing, and elsewhere.”2

    Please let me know if you have sources to the contrary. I’d like to take a look at them. Thank you again for stopping by the blog and sharing your opinion.

    1. In addition, 16 states have laws that also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression. For more information, check out this interactive map from the ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/maps/non-discrimination-laws-state-state-information-map

    2. http://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2012/03/22/15296/release-the-costly-business-of-discrimination-against-lgbt-employees/

    • Yes, but the best businesses out there don’t just care about money. If I’m a landlord and a gay couple wants to rent from me, obviously it is in my financial interest to say yes to them. But if I’m also a Christian who doesn’t want to encourage what I believe is immoral behavior, what I ought to do if I’m a decent man is turn them down. And that is what you want to make illegal.

      In a bigger sense – what you’re trying to do here is legislatively enact the triumph of one moral system over another. And my plea is that you would instead do unto others as you would have done to you. if you turn back the clock 30 years and look at the legal system as a gay man, your complaint is probably something to the effect that the dominate culture has legally prescribed moral views you disagree with, and that’s exactly the sort of thing America was supposed to prevent. And now today, the shoe is on the other foot politically, and that same gay man is probably doing exactly what he so hated a few decades ago, trying to force those who disagree with his moral positions to abide by them anyway. Round and round the circle goes. I suggest it might be better if we get off the carousel.

  3. “Prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and
    education is unquestionably a legitimate “secular legislative purpose.” It is equally clear that it
    does not “advance” religion, and because religious institutions are exempt, that it does not create
    “excessive government entanglement with religion.” The question therefore is only whether it
    “inhibits” religion. Notably, the question is not whether it offends, is contrary to, insults, or even
    disparages religion, and thus courts look at whether and how a law limits or gets in the way of a
    person’s ability to practice their religion.”

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdcr/MDCR_Report_on_LGBT_Inclusion_409727_7.pdf

    Morals I would suggest John Corvino

  4. Just to be clear, you will still be free to hold whatever opinions you’d like to about a person. This ordinance will not ban such thoughts nor will it ban an individual’s comments disagreeing with the passage of a non-discrimination ordinance.

    What this ordinance will do, however, is allow people to live where they would like to live. It will allow people to focus on earning a living without fear that they will be fired for something that is unrelated to their job performance.

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