My shoulder angel! Why are you here?
To remind you that “where sin has perverted the social climate, it is necessary to call for the conversion of hearts and appeal to the grace of God. Charity urges just reforms. There is no solution to the social question apart from the Gospel.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1896).
Oh no. Are you here to tell me something about Prop 1?
Yes. You cannot simply pull an ostrich on this one.
All right, all right. I guess I have to pay attention to my civic duty. So what is Prop 1?
Prop 1 is a ballot initiative for Anchorage residents that aims to keep biological sex as the basis for using public restrooms, locker rooms, and showers (“intimate facilities”).
What would Prop 1 change?
If passed, Prop 1 would do two things: (1) require Municipality of Anchorage facilities to separate their intimate facilities according to biological sex, and (2) permit private business owners and religious groups to determine their own bathroom policies without threat of lawsuit from the city or ideological groups.
Wait, what? I’ve heard of the ACLU suing the pants off of Christians before, but can the City of Anchorage bring a lawsuit against a private business owner?
Not exactly – it hears or judges the lawsuit through its Equal Rights Commission.
The Equal Rights Commission is a quasi-judicial agency within the Municipality of Anchorage. It hears complaints from citizens regarding allegations of discrimination. Per municipal code, it has significant powers, including the power to subpoena and the power to levy fines. As some of your human judges have remarked, the power to fine is the power to destroy — well, that’s a paraphrase.
Are you seriously suggesting that a business owner could be fined into submission by the very government which benefits from productive, tax-paying businesses?
I don’t need to suggest it – it’s happened in quite a few places already to various business owners: Baronelle Stutzman in Washington, Jack Phillips in Colorado, Elaine Huguenin in New Mexico, Blaine Adamson in Kentucky.
They lost their businesses?
Elaine Huguenin did. Blaine Adamson won his appeal, but spent oodles of time, sweat, and money in the process. And Baronelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips are headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are other Christian business owners like them, too. Their lives and businesses will never be the same because they were willing to sacrifice their careers for the sake of testifying to BIblical truth about marriage.
Wait, you said “Biblical truth about marriage.” I’m Catholic, and this is about sexual orientation and gender identity. Doesn’t that mean I can put my head back in the sand now?
No. Here is what Pope Francis has to say:
“There are genuine forms of ideological colonization taking place. And one of these – I will call it clearly by its name – is [the ideology of] “gender.” Today children – children! – are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the persons and institutions that give you money. These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this is terrible!” — Pope Francis, 27 July 2016
“You, Irina, mentioned a great enemy to marriage today: the theory of gender. Today there is a world war to destroy marriage. Today there are ideological colonisations which destroy, not with weapons, but with ideas. Therefore, there is a need to defend ourselves from ideological colonisations.” — Pope Francis, 1 October 2016
“The biological and psychological manipulation of sexual difference, which biomedical technology can now make appear as a simple matter of personal choice – which it is not! – runs the risk of dismantling the energy source that feeds the covenant between man and woman, making it creative and fruitful. The mysterious bond between the creation of the world and the generation of God’s Son is revealed by his taking flesh in the womb of Mary – Mother of Jesus and Mother of God – out of love for us. This mysterious bond never fails to amaze and move us; its revelation fully illumines the mystery of being and the meaning of life. Henceforth, the mystery of human generation radiates a profound wisdom about life. Received as a gift, life is itself exalted. Generating life regenerates us; by giving of our lives, we are enriched. — Pope Francis, 5 October 2017
Ok, ok. I get it. And, in fact, I would vote “Yes” on Prop 1, except that I am planning to be out of town on election day. So I guess that means I’m off the hook, right?
Nice try. Anchorage residents vote on Prop 1 by mail beginning on March 13, 2018.