If you follow gay news as much as I do, you’ve likely been overwhelmed with the plethora of happy endings happening all over the country: New York state passed anti-bullying legislation; in the Gill case, the Federal Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional; two proteins were isolated that makes a cure for HIV/AIDS much less fantasy and much more plausible; the Today Show caved to pressure to remove the heterosexuals only rule from it’s Modern Wedding Contest; and those wacky Presbyterians might let gays be clergy and have sex too! All of this was enough to cause my head to spin in circles while trying to pick the next blog post.
But one headline caught my attention that wasn’thappy news. The “HK bar Bull Moose Saloon” in New York City, which recently re-opened as a gay bar, suddenly suffered a set-back when one of the investors (and owner), decided he couldn’t work with gays. While it’s possible that the brilliance of homosexuals made him feel inferior as a businessman, the owner’s banishment of gay clientele and the gay investors was much more likely the result of his own homosexuality. (Ok, I admit I’m stretching it there – but not much).
ccording to a “friend of a friend” styled blog posting over at the Village Voice, Dave Sheeran, the owner in question, locked out the gay investor initially claiming that he didn’t expect the bar to be so loud; however, according to the linked blog, Sheeran later admitted, “I just can’t work with f*gs.” It’s outrageous, isn’t it? To think that in 2010 a New York City bar owner would make such a declaration about who he can and cannot work with? However, comments on the blog call into question the truth of the story as Sheeran has not responded to inquiries. Now, we can tolerate the news, can’t we? It may not be true so it seems easier to swallow.
Whether or not Dave Sheeran made these comments, we should be outraged, but not just by Dave Sheeran. We should be outraged that the United State’s number one employer stamps “I just can’t work with f*gs,” into law and fired 428 employees in 2009 because of their sexual orientation. I’m referring, of course, to the U.S. Military. The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy does exactly what Sheeran has allegedly done. It denies gays and lesbians employment because of their sexual orientation based on the theory of “I just can’t work” with the gays. Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton (who’s administration implemented the discriminatory policy) have all declared, “I just can’t work with f*gs,” by allowing it to remain policy.
We’ve also been fighting for a fully inclusive employment non-discrimination act. Many have declared ENDA dead, but others are refusing to give up the fight. This piece of legislation would, if we can get it out of the legislative black hole, protect people like Sheeran’s investors from being discriminated against based solely on their sexual orientation. The roughly 26% of Americans who remain critical of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) argue that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices and not protection of a class of people. However the current ENDA already protects based upon many “suspect class” identifiers, including religion.