Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Virginian businessman is being allowed to refuse to make copies of old gay pride parade videos (from Betamax to VHS) because the content offends his delicate Christian homophobia:

Tim Bono, of Bono Film and Video, sued the Arlington County government last week after its Human Rights Commission found him in violation of the county's anti-discrimination laws.

The commission said he denied services to a gay-rights activist based on her sexual orientation. The activist, Lilli Vincenz, had asked Bono to duplicate some archival footage of early gay-rights marches that she had on Betamax tapes.

Bono refused. He said his refusal had nothing to do with Vincenz's sexual orientation but with the content of the videos, which he deemed antithetical to his Christian values.

In April, the Human Rights Commission sided with Vincenz, and ordered Bono to either duplicate the videos or find someone else to do it at Bono's expense.

Bono filed a lawsuit challenging not only the commission's decision but also the county's anti-discrimination law. The lawsuit contends that state law prohibits counties like Arlington from adding sexual orientation to the list of categories that receive antidiscrimination protection, like race and sex.

The day after Bono filed the lawsuit in Arlington Circuit Court, the Human Rights Commission decided on its own initiative to vacate its earlier order against Bono.


Bono's lawyer, Rena Lindevaldsen, said Monday she has no plans to withdraw the lawsuit and still wants to challenge the validity of the Arlington law under Virginia's constitution.

Because Christian values include loving thy neighbor as yourself, unless that neighbor happens to be gay, or own gay stuff, or ask you to do things that are in any way gay. Then you're validated in treating them like crap.

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