Litmus Tests

What if litmus tests become common?” asks Dave Winer. Go read it. It’s short. I’ll wait.

In applying for a board position, I was asked a litmus test question. I answered truthfully, “I don’t agree with all of these statements.” I specifically pointed out my disagreement and why. And I still got the position. But I might not have.1

Those of us who value diversity need to be willing to answer honestly. After all, if an organization won’t hire me because of my human rights values, do I really want to spend the majority of my waking hours around narrow-minded bigots?2

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not advocating all should have the same values or that I would work only with those who share my values. I like Andrew Sullivan’s view:

If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.

Gay marriage seems to be a dangerous topic these days. But it shouldn’t be.3


  1. And as an unpaid, volunteer position, the monetary impact on me would have been nil. I’m not tooting my horn too hard here. But it was a position I wanted. 
  2. Yes, I understand intolerance of intolerance. But integrity should limit one’s tactics. 
  3. Here is my post on Prop 8

Author: Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.

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