Apparently legalized pot in Colorado is making people crazier than usual. According to Scott Shackford at Reason’s Hit & Run blog, the state of Colorado’s civil rights authorities have decided to penalize a Denver bar for refusing entrance to a gay man dressed in drag. Here’s the kicker: the bar is a gay bar that caters to “bears,” a gay male subculture defined as … oh, let the State of Colorado explain it to you:
…bisexual or gay males which tend to place importance on presenting a hypermasculine image and often shun interaction with men who exhibit effeminacy.
Emphasis by Shackford, who quite rightly thinks this is crazy. Excerpt:
I find this ruling maddening as somebody who has been fighting against the illogical slippery slope arguments that acknowledging and respecting transgender people will result in absurd outcomes like men faking it in order to peep on women in the bathroom. It’s a stupid, irrational fear. And now we have a man who is not transgender nevertheless using the law to punish a business for not letting him in. And we have a state agency in Colorado declaring that a subculture within the gay community is inherently sexist for having a preference for masculinity.
This case is a good demonstration as to why it’s so important to hold a hard line on the right to freedom of association. The Wrangler should have the right to pursue whatever customer demographic it wants for its bar. And if the community finds it significantly discriminatory, they can use social pressures to push for change (as Marzano has apparently done with a call for a boycott).
Will Colorado order the owners of The Wrangler to attend re-education seminars, as another of its agencies (it seems) did with the Christian baker who didn’t want to do same-sex wedding cakes?
I hope the gay community, and other communities, will wake up and realize that extending freedom of association as much as possible protects all of us.