Council Bowman Challenged on Business Departures and Hidden List of "Gender Expressions"

2015Dec30: Guest Columnist Challenges Councilman Bowman

Philip Wemhoff 30Dec2015 http://jacksonville.com/business/columnists/2015-12-29/story/guest-column-two-readers-object-proposal-local-lgbt-bill

In his recent letter councilman Aaron Bowman recites an oft repeated hoax – the fraud that employers have avoided Jacksonville, because a LGBT favoritism ordinance is absent, and that a “large company” will depart for that bogus reason.

His “take my word for it” contention, with no proof, does not deserve public consideration.  Mr Bowman should release to the Press complete evidence about the businesses which made the harsh decisions he claims – verifiable specifics of those decisions and their outcomes.

And the councilman conveniently won’t mention the superb, nonstop economic news which is easily verifiable and which disproves his claims.  One year after the 2012 defeat of an equivalent LGBT law, Jacksonville
experienced economic expansion beyond that of any other American city.  Impeccable business journals[1] certify that companies, in large numbers, are consistently relocating to and expanding in Jacksonville.

But real proof doesn’t play a role in Mr Bowman’s allegations.  Without objective, documented proof, he slanders the community, unjustly branding it “discriminatory”, even calling the lack of a LGBT law a community-caused act of discrimination.

Mr Bowman claims to foster the rights of everyone.  But, his law would curb Free Speech rights for most, would abolish modesty and privacy rights for women and children in “public accommodations” (dormitories, dressing, locker and bath rooms), would override the rights of business and religious institutions, and would unjustly criminalize certain opposition to LGBT lifestyles.

Further, Bowman says he opposes
“mistreating certain . . . residents”.  If sincere, he will produce a complete list of those “gender expressions” which businesses must tolerate in order to avoid prosecution under his law.

In “public accommodations” members of his new protected class will be free to undertake any action, mannerism, appearance, gesture, language or attire, which they alone deem consistent with the “expressions” of their lifestyles.

Government protection of such undefined, unlimited behavior has never been granted to any other group of Americans, and the official “victim” alone decides whether a punishable offense has occurred.

If Mr Bowman refuses to reveal in advance the “gender expressions” business owners must tolerate, they become sitting ducks for perpetual, ruinous legal actions under his law.

So, if he’s honest about not
“mistreating . . . residents”, he will promptly disclose the list of permissible “gender expressions”.

Let the electorate see what has been long hidden.

Philip Wemhoff, Physicist, Building Science Researcher

[1].       A sampling of consistently positive economic activity in 2015 alone


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