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KALAMAZOO GAZETTE: Defeated Commissioners Don't Understand Issues

December 1, 2006

An excellent commentary by AFA-Michigan supporter Scott Zondervan…

“What about the discrimination that could happen to women if a man, with a gender-identity problem, wants to use the women’s locker room or bathroom with other women? Don’t women have the right not to have a man using the bathroom with them or taking a shower with them? Personal lifestyle choices that affect society and the community, even indirectly, have consequences. People don’t live in a vacuum, we’re not autonomous. People’s behaviors and actions do affect others.”


KALAMAZOO GAZETTE
Kalamazoo, Michigan – December 1, 2006

(Guest opinion)

Defeated commissioners don’t understand issues
by Scott Zondervan

How sad it is that the two Kalamazoo County commissioners, Joe VanBruggen and Robert Brink, are so intolerant of the voters who did not agree with them.

VanBruggen and Brink are clearly misinformed and naive when it comes to understanding the issue of adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the county’s equal-opportunity-employment policy. Do VanBruggen and Brink really believe that homosexual behavior and cross-dressing are the moral and legal equivalents of immutable characteristics such as race, color and sex?

Apparently they don’t understand the evidence that people are not born homosexual or transgender. Just as people are not born to smoke, drink alcohol or abuse drugs. These are voluntary behaviors that affect the people around them.

Joe VanBruggen and Robert Brink have to understand that society already discriminates against clearly identified health consequences. Look at the discrimination that already occurs against people who smoke. Smokers are currently being denied employment and insurance because of the health consequences. Evidence also shows that homosexual behavior has been associated with dramatically higher incidences of domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse, eating disorders, life-threatening diseases (AIDS, cancer and hepatitis), and premature death by up to 20 years.

With all of this scientific evidence, one has to wonder what the county commissioners were thinking when they added sexual orientation to the equal-opportunity-employment policy. In fact, the commissioners never precisely defined which “sexual orientation(s)” they’re talking about. Does the policy include other unhealthy lifestyles like pedophilia, sadism or bestiality?

What about the discrimination that could happen to women if a man, with a gender-identity problem, wants to use the women’s locker room or bathroom with other women?

Don’t women have the right not to have a man using the bathroom with them or taking a shower with them? Personal lifestyle choices that affect society and the community, even indirectly, have consequences. People don’t live in a vacuum, we’re not self-autonomous. People’s behaviors and actions do affect others. Just look at secondhand smoke, drunken driving, alcoholism, divorce, etc. Society has the responsibility to discourage behaviors that take away from the quality of life of another.
We as a community should be caring for and helping homosexual and transgender people lead healthy and productive lives. Just as we help those people who smoke or abuse alcohol to try and quit and live healthier lives.

Joe VanBruggen couldn’t be more wrong about the people who didn’t vote for him. The people voted to maintain a better and healthier society, by showing their disapproval for “tolerating” the behaviors of the few in the community who would pose a threat to both themselves and the community they live in.

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Scott Zondervan is a resident of Kalamazoo. You can read the original article here.

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