Nondiscrimination against Liars?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If it seems that the busybodies working to expand the power of the state to prevent us from smoking or eating trans fat -- for our own good, of course -- are making alarming progress, another group of busybodies isn't far behind.

Under the banner of "transgender rights", another breed of activists has been making comparable progress in its fight against the only kind of rights there really are: individual rights.

Recently, we heard that the New York City Board of Health may soon, as George Reisman put it, "attempt to forcibly impose the fantasy of some people on everyone else". In other words, under a rule being considered there, individuals of one sex who wished to live as members of the opposite sex would not even have to have an operation to be legally recognized as such.

Lest you think this is an isolated case of blue state lunacy, here in Houston, Texas, a federal lawsuit is being filed with exactly the same goal in mind: to wedge the state in as an intermediary between each individual's grasp of reality and his rational judgement. Here is the whole story from the Houston Chronicle.

A man who lives as a woman sued a would-be employer Monday for allegedly revoking a job offer after realizing she [sic] is transgender.

Izza Lopez, 26, filed the lawsuit in federal court against Houston-based River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic. She alleges employment discrimination.

She is seeking damages for lost pay and benefits, and for emotional distress, pain and suffering.

The suit says company officials told Lopez she misrepresented herself as a woman. Lopez had been hired to manage appointments, it says.

Company president and CEO James W. King didn't comment on the lawsuit because he wasn't familiar with it.

The suit claims Lopez was out of work for several months after the position was rescinded and she could not get her old job back.

Lopez, who was born Raul Lopez Jr., has lived as a woman for several years and is accepted as female by her extended family, friends and previous co-workers, the lawsuit says. [bold added]
Some passages from a slightly longer report at the web site are also worth noting.
Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit Monday on behalf of a 26-year old trans woman whose employment offer was rescinded because she [sic] is transgender.


"When the HR Director found out the company offered a job to a transgender person, the offer was rescinded," said Cole Thaler, Transgender Rights Attorney at Lambda Legal. "Even though Izza was the best applicant for the job, the company decided that it didn't want a transgender employee and claimed that she 'misrepresented' herself."

Lambda Legal filed the suit in the Southern District of Texas in the Fifth Circuit of the federal court system. The lawsuit charges that River Oaks violated Lopez's rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment.

"As an applicant, I was interviewed by a manager and a director who both felt I was qualified to do the job," said Lopez. "I was shocked when I received the call from human resources taking away the job they'd offered me --- it felt as if they'd said to me 'you're a monster; we don't want you here.'" [bold added]
In other words, a man successfully pretended to be a woman during the process of applying for a job. Until it became evident he is a liar, he appeared to be the most qualified for the job. But then, his prospective employer discovered that he was lying and, reasonably, rescinded the offer. Leaving aside the fact that the federal government has no business telling employers whom they should hire, there is nothing special about this case except what this job applicant chose to lie about.

Neither version of this story treats the dishonesty of Izza Lopez as if it is particularly relevant. In fact, appears to take the position that Lopez is in fact a woman simply because he wishes to be one. Note the use of the feminine third person pronoun in reference to Lopez, the scare quotes around the term "misrepresented", and the framing of the rescinded offer as being due to Lopez's psychological makeup.

It is dishonest to imply that River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic rescinded its offer to Lopez "because" he is transgendered due to the fact that the company never had the opportunity to evaluate him for employment knowing of his self-identification as a woman independently of the fact that he is also apparently unwilling to be up-front about it. At some point, Lopez was doubtlessly asked whether he was male of female. He lied at that point and throughout the process of seeking employment.

But we are to ignore his unwillingness to admit reality because of his hurt feelings. In other words, we are to pretend that he is a woman and that he is forthright on such a basis. We are also to pretend that River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic turned him down out of spite rather than the desire to employ the most honest individuals it can find. And that forcing everyone to play along with Lopez's fantasies is a legitimate function of the government.

Even if this lawsuit is thrown out (as it should be) on the basis of Lopez's dishonesty, the idea is now on the table that anti-discrimination law should apply to similar cases. The next step will be for an openly transgendered person to apply for a job -- like waitressing at Hooter's -- where he will likely not be hired on that basis. Just wait, if such a suit isn't already in the works. And if this case is not thrown out, we could move ever closer and more quickly to seeing one of New York's silliest proposed rules imposed upon us as national policy.

If man, as the rational animal, has reason as his tool of survival, how can anyone claim that an allegedly well-fed, smoke-free public has benefitted from the nanny state when it keeps us from acting upon even the simplest decisions, such as whether someone is a man or a woman, or whether someone is honest? We might as well be fattened up and blindfolded on the way to the slaughterhouse.

-- CAV


Wolfgang said...

Gus Van Horn wrote: "...the nanny state when it keeps us from acting upon even the simplest decisions, such as whether someone is a man or a woman, or whether someone is honest?"

Surely you don't believe that only those who can be easily classified as "man" or "woman" are entitled to basic rights. Transsexuality is a form of intersex, and a birth defect. A transwoman has a female brain. She's not lying or being delusional about her brain sex, and she has just as much right to correct her deformed body as any other birth defect sufferer. She also has a right to be free from discrimination based solely on her brain-body incontinuity.

Or perhaps you'd rather she go on Welfare so you can support her with your own tax dollars.

Gus Van Horn said...

Let me tranlate what you just said:

"If someone is born with a birth defect, everyone else owes him a living, either through welfare payments or by being forced to provide employment."

I totally disagree with the false choice you subscribe to. Nobody owes anybody a living. Nor does having a birth defect or a psychological condition entitle someone to lie without suffering consequences upon being detected.

Izza Lopez will have to work harder to get a job no matter what. Revealingly, he has chosen to sue to abridge the rights of employers everywhere, rather than, say, working to publicize his condition and looking for work from those who will hire him.

Wolfgang said...

Your compassion for those less fortunate than yourself is truly inspiring, Gus.

Gus Van Horn said...

To deprive anyone of their rights is to impair them in the use of reason, their most potent tool of survival. Example: How is a businessman supposed to run his company effectively if he can't decide for himself whom to hire?

You profess concern for the disabled, and yet you advocate government force as a means of basically making even more people disabled.

Your sanctimonious disregard for the rights of those who are in a position to help the less fortunate is both contemptible and impractical -- if your goal really is to help the less-fortunate.