Vital Signs

Who’s Insane?

A piece appeared recently in my local newspaper by one Anthony C. Infanti, professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  He wrote in support of a pending state antidiscrimination bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and “gender” identity.

There’s no urgency in attacking his position or his argument.  Infanti’s piece is unremarkable in light of overall trends and attitudes toward sex, in general, and exotic sexual behavior, in particular.  Wherever these trends lead, we are going to get there.  In a borrowed phrase, fuming buys nothing.

Still, right-thinking people are not going to take Professor Infanti’s words at face value.  He presents a wholly economic rationale for antidiscrimination law.  Excluding people means excluding potential business and revenue.  If we include everyone, we accrue the economic benefits.

Does that make sense, as far as it goes?  Perhaps, if one is willing to make of two or three statistics a portrait of our entire economic situation, and the way out of it.  Eventually, though, the very logic runs out, since judgments ultimately have to be made about inclusion and exclusion, and people have to be placed on different footings based on their identities and roles in society.  If you simply say no one should be excluded from full membership in any area of life, you end up losing the ability...

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