More Philosophical Bigotry

Next week, at the Pacific APA, a petition on discrimination will be presented to the APA.  The petition asks the APA to either enforce its own policy against discrimination (specifically, de facto discrimination against homosexuality by certain religious institutions that require their employees to commit to having no sex outside marriage) or change its policy.

In response, there is a counterpetition, which is also being presented to the APA, asking the APA to do nothing, because the alleged discrimination is not actually discrimination.

As I pointed out before, it should be blindingly obvious to anyone whose mind is not clouded by prejudice that the alleged discrimination is, in fact, discrimination – and should be denounced by the APA as such.  Reason:  unlike heterosexuals, homosexuals aren’t allowed to get married!  (Except in a few states.)  As a consequence, homosexuals, unliike heterosexuals, are requested by the institutions in question to give up ALL sexual activity.  If this is not a crystal clear case of discrimination, I don’t know what is.

Now Mark Murphy, who apparently is a bona fide philosopher of law, has written his own letter to the APA concurring with the counterpetition that the alleged discrimination is not, in fact, discrimination.  His “argument” is a long-winded way of saying, more or less, that when religious organizations discriminate against homosexuals, we should tolerate it and not call it ‘discrimination’ because, well, it’s based on their religious belief.

This kind of bogus rationalization of bigotry (by a philosopher!) makes me so mad!  I hope the APA will take this opportunity to do the right thing.

Other people took the time to give a more articulate response to Murphy’s letter.

By the way, Murphy is soliciting feedback on his letter (well, more precisely, he is inviting others to sign his letter) at  Feel free to let him know what you think.


  1. anna-mari rusanen


    It is nice to notice that people in Brains are taking sides in political questions as well.

    From the scandinavian perspective it is really hard to understand, what this is about. (As you may know, Sweden legalized the gay marriages last week, and in Finland it is possible to “get married” – but there is a special term for gay marriages. Juridically it is like a marriage, but we have a special term for it. And nope, I have no idea what it could be in English… something like “an official relationship”.)

    Anyway, could you tell abit more about this APA`s discrimination policy? It sounds really, really weird to me. What is the relationship between APA and those religious institutions? Is APA supporting their policy directly or what is this all about?

    Here in Finland the first homosexual priests are coming publicly out – and last autumn a priest decided to change his sex publicly. And so she did. And since our legislation is what it is – she is still working as a priest.

  2. gualtiero

    Hi A-M,

    Unfortunately in the US we are decades behind Scandinavia on these matters. But the state of Iowa just legalized gay marriage! (It’s the third or fourth state to do so.) So there is hope.

    To understand this whole APA situation, the best thing to do is probably to follow these links.

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