Way to deal with the post-Hobby Lobby US, Salem. (The witch thing is forgiven. It’s over. Done.)
Gordon College is a small Christian university that has publicly declared its desire to claim a special right to discriminate against LGBT students, staff, and faculty. Salem, Massachusetts, is a small progressive town with an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. For years, Salem contracted with Gordon to manage its Old Town Hall. But when Gordon announced its desire to a special right to fire LGBT workers, Salem canceled the contract, finding that the university’s stated discriminatory intent directly violated the town’s non-discrimination ordinance.
Ah but that’s not all; that’s just step one.
After Glenn Beck’s The Blaze picked this story up, right-wing readers began calling Salem’s mayor, Kimberly Driscoll, treating her to angry and often offensive anti-gay tirades. In response, Driscoll doubled down: Rather than retract her decision, she declared that Salem would donate $5 to a local LGBT rights group for each seething call she received. Driscoll then shared her message on social media, encouraging everyone else to donate money to the group as well.
Yes!!! Every shitty call to the mayor just means more money for the LGBT rights group. The perfect revenge, and deterrent.
…if pluralism is truly about letting tolerant and intolerant people practice their beliefs unimpeded, then isn’t the Salem affair a perfect pluralist parable? Gordon College doesn’t like gay people; Salem does. Gordon demands the right to discriminate against gays; Salem, in response, tells Gordon: Do what you want on your own campus, but don’t inflict your prejudices on our public spaces. Gordon continues to discriminate on its own property; Salem continues to mandate equality. If that isn’t “allowing different understandings of social justice to be pursued simultaneously,” then I don’t know what is.
It doesn’t solve the contraceptive issue, of course, but it’s a nice move anyway.