Alex Blaze

Creation Museum Is Anti-Gay, Straights Don't Know Anti-Gay Discrimination Is Legal

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 14, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: creationist museum, Ken Ham, Kentucky, law, science blogs

There's a cute story that's been lighting up the science blogs over the weekend. Two straight men bought tickets for and wanted to go to "Date Night" at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, only to be turned away at the door and told that they would "add an un-Christian element to the event." The museum refuses to refund the tickets.

creation-museum.jpgDid I say "cute"? I meant "terrible but typical." It's the Creation Museum, a place that tries to be a secular school of fundamentalist dogma, a weird mish-mash of worlds that ends up taking the Bible out of its spiritual context and saying it should be read as any nonfiction text is read, except it's special so no one can question their interpretation or the literal veracity of it.

And the people who devote their lives to that sort of idiocy are usually homophobic as well. Surprise.

What gets me about the generally pro-gay blog posts is how these straight folks think they've caught the Creation Museum doing something illegal and are practically tripping over themselves to say that one of the president's other, related projects should lose its shot at a $37 million tax break because he will illegally discriminate.

Except Kentucky law doesn't prohibit discrimination against LGBT people, something that even federal-level Democrats are reluctant to make law. We live in a country where most people oppose anti-LGBT discrimination but our government just plain doesn't want to outlaw it.

Here's Joe Sonka, one of the men refused entry:

And remember, these are the very same people that are claiming that they will not discriminate in hiring for their new Dineysore Ark Park in order to receive $40 million in tax breaks from our fearless leader, Governor Steve Beshear. This, despite the fact that their job advertisements for Ark Encounter explicitly state that applicants must sign a Christian oath purity pledge. And can you really expect Ken Ham to hire a gay employee and pay them money, when they won't even accept money from two men to attend their business, because the appearance of possible Gayness would make their heads explode?

Here's a local blogger, who was also there for the night but showed up with his girlfriend:

My girlfriend, who purchased the tickets, has already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, which will get plenty of complaints once Ham's Ark Encounter starts violating equal-opportunity laws.

Here's Greg Laden, who wasn't there:

One thing that is interesting about this is that you can't get a State Tax Break if you discriminate in hiring. Well, allowing people in the room for dinner is not the same as hiring, but if I was the State of Kentucky about to give the Creation Museum a 40 million dollar tax break, I'd investigate their hiring practices very closely on the grounds of what happened two nights ago. By purely random chance, there MUST BE some gays and/or lesbians or SOMEBODY who is not straight working there, right? The state of Kentucky needs to find them and see how many of them there are and if they are being discriminated against. And so on and so forth.

There are probably LGBT people who work there, who probably don't mention it at work or are completely closeted, making a count impossible. Not that it would matter, since anti-gay discrimination is completely legal. Here're the protected categories under Kentucky law:


(If you can't see the image: "The Kentucky Equal Opportunity Act of 1978 prohibits discrimination by government contractors (with certain exceptions) with respect to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and age.")

No sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Kentucky is one of the 28 states where it's completely OK to discriminate against gays and one of 38 states where it's perfectly legal to discriminate against trans people. Someone could fire a lesbian and write her a letter saying, "Dear Beatrice, You're fired because you're a lesbian and I don't like it. Them's the breaks. Love, Fred," and then defend that as their god-given right in court.

That may change soon; 83% of the state supports such legislation. That's not a guarantee, though - people have been agitating for this for a while and more than 50% of Kentuckians have supported anti-discrimination rules, one would assume, for a long while now too, yet it hasn't become law.

If praying were enough, etc.

Even at the federal level, anti-discrimination law can't make it through the Senate and wasn't even considered on the floor of the House this past session when Democrats controlled everything, and that was for a bill that wouldn't have even covered this situation since it was only about employment protections.

I'm glad that they got to see that anti-gay discrimination is alive and well and these folks are supportive people, but if being supportive were enough these protections would already be in place. I hope they get a refund for a product they purchased but wasn't delivered and generate some publicity for the fact that most states allow anti-gay discrimination, since one of the big obstacles we face is just convincing supportive people that these protections don't already exist.

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You completely missed the point. They are applying for $40 million in tax incentives, and the only way this can be approved is if they don't discriminate in hiring, which they claimed they would not. I'd advise reading up on the issue a bit more.

And anti-gay discrimination doesn't matter, legally, it doesn't count as discrimination.

I'd suggest you read the post again. "discriminate in hiring" is OK in Kentucky when it comes to sexual orientation.

If it's not, please cite the law. Otherwise, saying "discrimination," in general, is illegal in Kentucky is unlikely to impress a judge.

Are you just upset that a straight person thought of this, and that's why you're attacking some kind of straw man you invented? That's pretty petty.

Um, why is this all coming down to how oppressed you are as a straight person? I would say that it isn't a "straw man," but the state of the law in Kentucky right now.

Oh, two more questions if you stop by again:

1. How is any of this an attack on you?

2. "thought of this" - thought of what?

and this is how Christians view anyone who doesn't bow down to their own particular brand of crazy:

That's just it Alex, many of straight advocates do not know that this type of discrimination IS legal

And passing ENDA would do crap about this. Why people keep pushing for that anemic legislation that disguises fear of shaking up Democratic coalitions with revisiting civil rights language to include SO/GI to ban not only job discrimination--but housing and service as well-- I don't know.

I just hope ENDA will end up in oblivion and we find another route to combat discrimination legally not only on jobs but on housing and services as well.

If we can't get ENDA thru, I'd be surprised if amending the CRA would get through.

Alex, being from KY (and still having all my family there, half of whom don't want me around them or their kids), I can tell you that other than in Louisville, and perhaps Lexington, gay discrimination meets pretty much full support and approval, on top of being legal (which it isn't in Louisville, at least).

Most of them just wish they could do away with race, religion, and sex, too (esp race).

In every single state bordering Kentucky, it's legal to discriminate too.

And in 29 other states.

Just' sayin.

Bingo. And yet straight people always seem surprised to find out that anti-lgbt discrimination is legal still. Hopefully this will lead to a wake-up call for Kentucky.

I think that if there is a human rights law that provides protection against discrimination on the basis of *religion,* these two may have a shot at a lawsuit, if one or both belong to a Christian denomination of one kind or another.

They were turne away not just because they were gay, but because, being gay, they could not be Christian. There are many gay Christians, and they might well have a case on those grounds.

Caveat: I am not holding myself out as giving legal advice under the laws of the state of Kentucky. I am not admitted to practice in that state, and I am only pointing out that this might be a legitimate avenue to pursue.

I was thinking that too, especially since they were told they were "unchristian." It's probably splitting hairs.

But the point isn't the discrimination in this one case - people were talking about it in the context of employment at the museum and a related park. Like if they discriminate here, they probably discriminate there. Which is true. Except it's legal.

Yes, Alex, I get your point -- SO and GI discrimination is legal in Kentucky (except for Louisville and Lexington, which each have HRO's banning SO discrimination, at least) ...

... but we are missing the forest for the trees here ...

The CM people are applying for $40 million in tax incentives ... but they are openly going to require the employees of their new Ark-land to sign a "Christian purity pledge" ... now, doesn't that mean that they will not hire Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and atheist job applicants, and isn't that clearly religious discrimination? ... And religious discrimination is illegal even in Kentucky.

We should all make sure those tax incentives get shot down due to such blatant religious discrimination alone, clearly violating public policy in Kentucky! Time for a letter-writing campaign, indeed!

Does anyone know if the pledge will be used at arkland? I think that was the assumption that it would transfer from the museum to arkland, but....

And, yeah, I agree that those tax incentives should be shut down.

Yes, Alex ... chase your own links ... start with the link in the first paragraph of your post, and it goes thru to text that contains a link for the "Christian oath purity pledge" then thru two more links, ultimately to the [_AIG Statement of Faith_] which is absolutely saturated with religious and pseudo-religious requirements about an individual's personal beliefs.

And it is clear that this applies to the prospective employees at Ark-land, or Ark Park, or whatever it will be called. (Not explicitly clear if it applies to Creation Museum employees also, but you can bet it does.)

If this isn't blatant religious discrimination, then religious discrimination is metaphysically impossible.