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Idaho recently rejected adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act dealing with discrimination. While many folks are quite upset about this (on both sides of the fence – some for having it rejected, others for having it brought up in the first place), I find myself asking if even the existing language goes too far by not allowing someone to exercise freedom of contract. While I feel that discriminating against someone solely on the basis of non-essentials is quite stupid, I don’t see why/how we can legislate our way out of that. I don’t have a “right to be hired” by someone – if they don’t want me either because I lack the skills or am the wrong color/gender/tribe/etc… what harm has been done to me? Or am I missing something here?

asked Mar 08 '12 at 14:34

Jason%20Gibson's gravatar image

Jason Gibson ♦

I don't know that it's even necessarily stupid. For any one of the categories for which one is not supposed to discriminate I can think of a reason one might rationally want to discriminate.

(Mar 09 '12 at 08:49) anthony anthony's gravatar image

@Anthony - That's why I used the phrase "Discrimination on non-essentials" not just discrimination... if I'm looking for a spouse gender, gender-identity, sexual-orientation and the like are essentials. If I'm trying to hire an electrical engineer to help design the next amazing-thing those same factors become non-essential. The reverse is also true, It's not important to me if my spouse knows the difference between a resistor and a capacitor.

(Mar 11 '12 at 15:49) Jason Gibson ♦ Jason%20Gibson's gravatar image

I don't see why a characteristic has to be essential in order for it to be used as a factor in one's hiring decision.

If two electrical engineering candidates are, so far as you can tell, equal in essential characteristics, and you think a fe/male would fit in better with the rest of the team, there's nothing stupid about picking the person you think would fit in better with the rest of the team.

Or maybe you're not worried about a male or a female fitting in better, but all else is roughly equal except your health insurance costs are lower for one sex or the other.

(Mar 11 '12 at 17:14) anthony anthony's gravatar image
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Jason, you are completely right.

Anti-discrimination laws are attempts to legislate morality -- which means to initiate force on people to make them do what is "right".

Force, applied by government, against a man who is racist or sexist or homophobic, violates his right to determine his own action by his own thinking. A man has a right to make his own choices by his own standards, no matter how foolish those standards are, as long as he doesn't initiate physical force against another individual.

answered Mar 09 '12 at 02:51

John%20Paquette's gravatar image

John Paquette ♦

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Asked: Mar 08 '12 at 14:34

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Last updated: Mar 11 '12 at 17:15