Two interesting and, I think, interconnected stories from this past week. First, from WRAL/WBTV Charlotte...
"A lesbian couple say they were forced to leave a mall in Raleigh because they were spotted kissing in public.
Caitlin Breedlove says she and her girlfriend had finished eating lunch and were sitting on a bench, WRAL reported.
They had their arms around each other and had kissed briefly on the cheek when a security guard approached them, she told WRAL.
The guard told them that "being affectionate" was "inappropriate" and asked them to leave, WRAL reported.
Breedlove told WRAL that the guard added, "No one wants to see that at Cameron Village."
Breedlove, who is the co-director of Southerners on New Ground, says she asked the security guard if they would be asked to leave if the two were a man and a woman and that the guard replied "no."
The officer had not received other complaints about them, Breedlove told WRAL."
A representative has since met with and apologized to the couple, stating..."We welcomed the opportunity to sit down with the women and offer our sincere regrets over last week's incident."
Who doesn't love a happy ending? Nobody should be able to impose their morality on another person or persons. That's just not American. Sensitivity training all 'round.
Then this, from Fox News...
"A civil rights case has been filed against a woman in Grand Rapids, Mich., who posted an advertisement at her church last July seeking a Christian roommate."
The ad "expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths,” according to the complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan.
Haynes said the unnamed 31-year-old woman’s case was turned over to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Depending on the outcome of the case, she said, the woman could face several hundreds of dollars in fines and “fair housing training so it doesn’t happen again.”
That'll learn 'er! "Fair housing training." That's Newspeak, if you were wondering.
You know, on a hunch, I decided to check out some craigslist ads from the great state of Michigan, just to see what i could see. Certainly the diligence and influence of the Fair Housing Center would be most noticeable on what is arguably the biggest medium of rental advertising in metropolitan areas across the country...
HERE is another that insists that one "MUST" (their capitals) be gay friendly. Also, "business professional preferred." Welders need not apply.
Hold your hats. HERE'S one that is titled "Single Black Female Seeking Same" to share an apt. This ad was posted on Oct. 8th, 2010. The ad is still active. In Michigan. Strangely enough, it's says right there on the craigsilst housing listings menu that "stating a discriminatory preference in a housing post is illegal," and the Fair Housing Center's website states that...
"Fair Housing is the right of individuals to obtain the housing of their choice (ie: rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, purchase homeowners insurance etc.), free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, mental or physical disability, familial status, marital status, age, sexual preference, and legal and verifiable source of income. These rights are assured by Federal, State and local fair housing laws."
Apparently the Fair Housing Center's influence only reaches as far as church bulletin boards. Hey, it's a start! I'd say the fine people at the Michigan Department of Civil Rights have their work cut out for them.
So how are these two stories related? I suppose it is the inconsistency in which our culture doles out it's outrage. The security guard was wrong. The tool that took it upon themselves to file a complaint about the "Christian Roommate" ad was wrong. And yet here we are; two similar stories, two very different outcomes, because you can bet the farm that the "Christian Roommate" woman will not be receiving an apology.