Massachusetts Gives Preference to LGBT Businesses

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The term RINO gets thrown about somewhat casually, but Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker is one Republican who truly deserves the moniker. Baker, who once proclaimed himself more liberal than President Obama when it came to social issues, issued an executive order this week expanding the state’s Supplier Diversity Program to include businesses owned by lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals.

The SDP is basically an affirmative action program that requires the state purchasing agent to set percentage goals on government contracts. So let’s say the state bids out 50 contracts this year. Because of the SDP, they can’t just evaluate the bids based on the bottom line or based on the reputation of the contractors. They have to see how many businesses are owned by blacks, how many by women, how many by veterans, and now, how many by LGBT entrepreneurs. And then they have to take all of that into consideration when they award the bids, making sure that each minority is represented correctly.

Okay, so that’s utterly ridiculous, even when you’re talking about actual minorities. When you extend it to things like sexual and gender identity, though, you’ve moved beyond ridiculous into something that doesn’t even share the same atmosphere with logic or fairness or justice or rationality.

In a statement, Baker said, “We are committed to ensuring diversity as the state engages business suppliers and contractors and are excited about this opportunity to include LGBT, disability and veteran business owners in the state’s network and procurement chain.”

But what was previously preventing them from being a part of that chain? Did this executive order override a previous one, where state law prohibited government officials from giving out contracts to LGBT-owned businesses? No. In fact, it would be shocking if state officials gave sexual orientation even a second’s thought. What does that have to do with good stewardship? What does that have to do with making sure the taxpayers get their money’s worth?

At least when it comes to the kind of affirmative action we see foisted upon employers, there are logical arguments to be made. To hire someone usually means to interview them. To know that you will be working with them, day after day. And so it’s reasonable to assume that some employers will refuse to hire black workers because of some irrational prejudice. Affirmative action makes it illegal for them to do so. That doesn’t make it right, but you can at least see the other side of the argument.

With this, there is no argument. To believe that this is right, you have to believe that there was some obstacle preventing LGBT entrepreneurs from winning state contracting bids. And you have to believe that obstacle is bigotry. But doesn’t that seem extremely unlikely?

Even if there were studies that proved this to be true, what of it? Why would it ever be necessary for a state official to know the sexual orientation of a contractor? How would he know, unless the contractor went out of his/her way to tell him? And why would the contractor do that, seeing as how it is utterly irrelevant?

There are things happening now that are not just wrong, not just unfair, and not just perverse. They are completely without any logical merit whatsoever. An order like this ensures one thing and one thing only: that the state of Massachusetts will, to a certainty, no longer award contracts based on which businesses are best for the job. And so when the consequences that arrive are the only consequences that could have arrived from such a philosophy, no one should be surprised.