If you know me at all, you know I love The Rachel Maddow Show. One of the things that Rachel often says, both on her show and her website, is that they really do read the emails that they get. So I decided to send her an email about an idea that's been floating around in my mind for a while. We'll see if they respond, or maybe even mention my idea on the air (unlikely, but possible, right?). Here's my message (linkified for my blog audience).

First of all, I love your show. I guess I'm more of a liberal on most issues, but more than wanting to take sides, I really just like hearing the facts about what's going on. So much of the "news" is about poll numbers or speculation. It's almost like the news anchors have become pundits, and you're the one that just gives us the actual facts. Plus it's hilarious when you get all excited about things like which cocktails were served at a White House cocktail party. =)

Anyway, I'm glad you're still following the "Discrimination based on sexual orientation? Yup, that's fine" story from Virginia. It's really shocking and horrible and most people (news people and regular Americans) only seem to have the attention span to follow it for a day or two. I was thinking: Though it doesn't happen often (maybe ever), if someone were fired for being straight, that would also constitute discrimination based on sexual orientation, wouldn't it? Which means it would be perfectly legal to do in Virginia, and in several other states that don't have an ENDA-like law.

What do you think about the following scenario: There is a government official in VA who is gay, but has straight employees who work under him. He picks one of them and fires him without explanation. When questioned, he says that the official was "one of those heterosexuals" and although he was a good employee, "it was just hurting the morale of our government office to have a breeder in our offices. After all, there were women who worked in the same office with this guy. Who knows what might have happened? I wish him the best of luck in life, with his "partner" and hold no personal grudge against him, but this is what is needed for the proper functioning of the Virginia government" etc.

Of course, you would probably want to get the permission of the person who was going to be fired, maybe make it someone who was planning on leaving anyway, or has enough money saved up to be out of work for a little while. But the idea is that then straight people across Virginia and across the country would be livid. "How dare you fire someone just because they're not the same sexual orientation as you are! What he does in the bedroom has no bearing on how he does his job or serves his state! We should judge people based on their work ethic and intelligence, not their sexual orientation!" And then anyone who agreed with the governor's position (maybe even the governor himself?) would pause for a second and go "Ohhhhhh, so that's how it feels when the law doesn't protect you."

What do you think? Is it feasible? Do you know any straight Virginia government employees that would be up for it? Would people dismiss it as a cheap, irresponsible publicity stunt? Maybe just presenting this as a hypothetical would make people think twice about it.

Tyler Breisacher

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