Referendum in Miami
the BBC is believed, south Florida is about to unleash a pogrom
of Miamiís gays under threat," the headline warns. "[I]n
September this year, the residents of Miami-Dade county will go
to the polls to decide whether to abolish certain human rights for
they be voting on whether to expel or imprison homosexuals in Miami-Dade?
they be voting on whether to ban homosexual clubs or media? Nope.
they be voting on whether to ban homosexuals from being county employees?
September 10 vote will be on whether to repeal a "gay rights"
ordinance enacted in 1998 by the Board of Miami-Dade County Commissioners
(76 vote). The ordinance criminalizes discrimination in housing
and employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
BBC comments on the consequences if Miami-Dade residents repeal
the ordinance: "A company could choose [emphasis added]
not to hire people on the grounds of sexual orientation, a landlord
would not have to rent to someone he thinks may be gay and insurance
companies can refuse to insure."
is, Miami-Dade proprietors will be free to dispose of their property
as they see fit. (Well, not quite. Miami-Dade also criminalizes
racial and other discrimination, so itís more accurate to say that
municipal oppression of proprietors will be diminished.)
and opponents of the referendum defy expectations. The pro-repeal
group Take Back Miami-Dade County includes black religious leaders
from the African-American Council of Christian Clergy (AACCC) and
People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality (PULSE). (This isnít
to say that AACCC and PULSE also oppose Miami-Dadeís prohibition
of racial discrimination. In fact, I bet my copy of For
a New Liberty that theyíd fight tooth and nail against repealing
of repeal include Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz, Congresswoman Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen, and talk-show host Cristina Saralegui. Given their
personal and physical proximity to totalitarianism all fled
Cuba during childhood itís odd that they defend a policy
which violates freedom of contract and association. (The ordinance
also violates religious freedom since a devout proprietor canít
refuse to hire homosexuals on religious grounds.)
to anti-discrimination laws is a criminal arrogance. When X says
Y canít refuse to hire him or rent to him, X also says he has a
right to make Y associate with him.
not a right. Thatís violence.
Mayor Alex Penelas claims that supporters of repeal seek to revive
"an era of intolerance." No, intolerance is the status
quo where Miami-Dade forces proprietors to associate with individuals
they consider objectionable. (The soundness or stupidity of reasons
for non-association isnít relevant. Ownership means not having to
justify your rights.)
writer Justin Raimondo observes:
gay activists of yesteryear demanded that government get out
of the bedroom. Today a new generation of gay leaders is inviting
government back inÖFrom an essentially libertarian movement,
which sought to minimize the power of government in the sexual
realm, gay organizations and leading spokespersons are today
calling for the expansion of state power over nearly every aspect
of our lives.
victory for repeal on September 10 wonít abolish Miami-Dadeís anti-discrimination
aggression, but itís a good start. Citizens of Miami-Dade, give
freedom some momentum!
Kantor [send him mail]
is a columnist for FrontPageMagazine.com and president of the
Center for Free Emigration,
which agrees with Frederick Douglass that "It is a fundamental truth
that every man is the rightful owner of his own body."
© 2002 LewRockwell.com