Jay Lake: Writer

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[culture] A modest proposal for national identity cards

I’ve figured out the point of the profoundly discriminatory legislation advanced by religious conservatives in Kansas, Arizona and elsewhere. It’s part of a conservative plan for national identity cards.

Think about it. How do you know someone’s gay, or bi, or trans, or queer, or whatever? I mean, some straight guys wear WHAM! t-shirts, and plenty of gay guys ride Harleys and pack heat. Lots of lesbians pass. It’s not like there’s any convenient way to assess whether the gay menace has entered your place of business, such as skin color or something. So clearly, we’re all going to have to carry cards identifying our sexual orientation, or the whole scheme falls apart.

The reverse is true as well. How does an LGBTQ customer know whether they’re being discriminated against illegally in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection clause, or just being legitimately persecuted as part of a sincerely-held religious conviction? So the business owners of Arizona and Kansas and so forth will have to carry cards certifying their religious affiliation, with endorsements as to which groups of people are subject to exclusion according to the strictures of their own particular faith. Otherwise a Jewish restaurant owner declining to serve bacon cheeseburgers out of their kosher kitchen might be mistakenly called out, for example.

Rather than having parallel sexual and religious identification schemes, the obvious answer is to have a single consolidated DiscriminaCard™. Perhaps colored stars could be sewn on everyone’s clothing to further facilitate the use of the cards. This would provide a simple, unmistakable way of meeting the religious conservative ideals expressed in these laws.

This is America, land of the free, where all men are created equal, except for those of whom your pastor disapproves. How else is a good conservative to know how best to discriminate without such helpful hints? Hate is so hard to manage when you can’t tell people apart at a glance, after all.

DiscriminaCard™: your Republican party’s best idea for a better America.

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