discrimination

Barber: "Solicitor Kagan, Do You Identify as a Lesbian?"

When Elena Kagan was first nominated to the Supreme Court, the hard-line anti-gay activists on the Right immediately demanded to know if she was gay on the grounds that gays are immoral, biased, and all around unfit for the court.

But then Politico reported that Kagan was not gay and the Religious Right demands died down ... until today, when Matt Barber returned to the subject in a column for WorldNetDaily:

Media, here's your question: "Solicitor Kagan, do you identify as a lesbian?" Ms. Kagan, your answer is simpler still: "Yes" or "no."

Pipe down, lefties. Yes, it is relevant. Most liberals would disagree, but despite "progressive" protestations to the contrary, character does, in fact, matter. A majority of Americans still consider sexual morality – or a lack thereof – a pertinent factor in contemplating one's fitness for any public service – chiefly, perhaps, a lifetime appointment to our most supreme earthly court.

Every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology have established that homosexual conduct is among other volitional behaviors rightly filed under "sexual immorality." Indeed, the majority of folks around the world – billions, actually – count this a timeless truth.

But the controversial nature of homosexuality is but one point of concern. Another involves potential conflicts of interest, "real or perceived." If we had a judicial nominee – widely believed a compulsive gambler – tapped to preside over gambling cases, would it not matter? If we had a nominee credibly rumored to use medical marijuana who might someday rule on the legality of medical marijuana, wouldn't such information be germane?

And before you liberals throw out that favorite red herring: "By this logic, Clarence Thomas shouldn't rule on cases involving race or sexuality because he's a black heterosexual male" – remember: skin color is a neutral, immutable characteristic. Being black is what someone is.

On the other hand, being "gay" is what someone does. It involves feelings and changeable behaviors. Homosexual conduct is more akin to the aforementioned gambling or pot smoking behaviors than it is to skin color (and for those in the lifestyle, especially men, sodomy most definitely involves rolling the dice). To compare "black" or "heterosexual" to "gay" is to compare apples to oranges. Understandably, many African Americans find this disingenuous comparison tremendously offensive.

Moreover, "heterosexual" is the state of sexual normalcy. It's our God-given design. There remains no credible or replicated scientific evidence to the contrary. Homosexual conduct is but one of many sexually deviant behaviors. Even Darwin's theory of evolution, which imagines "survival of the fittest," would seem to bolster this self-evident truth. You can choose political correctness. I choose moral and biological correctness.

Still, Kagan's "sexual orientation" remains the pink elephant in the room: Can a sitting justice, potentially engaged in the homosexual lifestyle, be trusted to rule on cases that might well grant special preferred government status to some – including that very justice – while, at the same time, eliminating certain free-speech and religious-liberties rights enjoyed by others? (i.e., hate-crimes laws; the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act; constitutionality of "don't ask don't tell," etc.)

Let's try my favorite thought experiment with this whereby we replace instances of the word "gay" with the word "Christian" and then imagine how the Religious Right would react if we were to write something like this:

But the controversial nature of CHRISTIANITY is but one point of concern ... Still, Kagan's "CHRISTIAN" remains the elephant in the room: Can a sitting justice, potentially engaged in the CHRISTIAN lifestyle, be trusted to rule on cases that might well grant special preferred government status to some – including that very justice – while, at the same time, eliminating the very basic rights enjoyed by others? (i.e., hate-crimes laws; the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act; constitutionality of "don't ask don't tell," etc.)

I'm guessing that if liberals wrote something like that about a Christian Republican SCOTUS nominee, the Right would be outraged about this sort of blatant anti-Christian bigotry.

The New, Hyper-Cautious, Schizophrenic Focus on the Family

I have to admit that I have been having a hard time understanding what is going on over at Focus on the Family.

New president Jim Daly keeps saying that he's all about civility and that Focus would have a much less confrontational tone while, at the same time, Focus representatives are giving in to pressure from militant anti-gay activists and announcing that they would oppose a Supreme Court nominee solely on the grounds that said nominee was gay. 

It all seems rather schizophrenic ... and that is exactly the impression I got after listening to this recent Focus on the Family broadcast examining Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court as well as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

In the past, a Focus on the Family program dedicated to these issue would almost surely have contained some over-the-top rhetoric from either the host or the guests ... but this broadcast, which featured Daly, Chuck Colson, Focus on the Family Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht, and Focus on the Family Vice President of Government and Public Policy Tom Minnery, was downright dull.

In fact, any time anyone said anything that might be considered even borderline controversial, Daly went to great lengths to explain that their views are not based on hate and that the ultimate goal is to bring people to Christ.

As such, during the discussion on Kagan, Daly ended up reading passages from the Bible about loving your enemies, explaining that those who don't share their political and cultural views are "gnarled in their sin" and can't see the world properly.

The discussion then turned to ENDA and as Tom Minnery explained that Christian were alarmed about it because it would make it illegal for them to discriminate against gays, Daly was again quck to say that they were not opposing this legislation out of hatred toward gays, but rather on the grounds that while all people are sinners, we shouldn't be passing laws that encourage such sins. 

Then Hausknecht began to explain that gays want ENDA to pass because it is a stepping stone to marriage equality and ultimately the marginalization of Christians, at which point Daly again stepped in say that their opposition to gay marriage was not about hate toward gays, but rather about what is best for our culture and our children, insisting there is no ill-will toward gays and no desire to offend them since the ultimate goal is to get them to know the love of Jesus.

I've edited the program down so you can listen for yourself:

If this is the new, more civil Focus on the Family, I have to say I almost prefer the older, more confontational one. 

At least you knew where they stood.

Harry Jackson's Religious Test: Kagan Must Be Defeated Because She Is Not a Protestant

We are not supposed to have religious tests for public office in the United States, but apparently reverse religious test are okay.  How else do you explain Harry Jackson declaring that Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court must be defeated specifically because she is not a Protestant, claiming that a Court made up only of Catholics and Jews is fundamentally unable to "create an atmosphere for true justice": 

The nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court should outrage evangelical Protestants. The reason is not simply her legal perspective, her lack of judicial experience, or her personal view of faith and religious liberties. Devout Christians of all denominations and races are in danger of experiencing what blacks in the late 1960s and early 1970s called “institutional racism” or “institutional discrimination.” Blacks of that era saw that there was a pervasive attitude that prevented black achievement among the national leadership, who ran many of our nation’s most influential institutions. Civil rights laws had been enacted but the effect of those laws was nullified by the personal prejudices of high-ranking gatekeepers - everyone from judges to CEOs, policeman to professors, and other individuals who exercised personal power over our lives.

Many evangelicals and other Protestants felt like they woke up and discovered they were suddenly deemed the “bad guys” by many segments of our society. The cultural swing by a militant anti-faith minority is certainly not Elena Kagan or President Obama’s fault. Nonetheless, the composition of America’s highest court will determine our national spirit, values, and destiny. Therefore, the faith of the prospective judicial candidate matters.

...

Although Catholics are well represented on the Supreme Court, there will likely be important cases that will need the insight of unbiased evangelicals to create an atmosphere for true justice. Failure of the faith community to engage in the world of politics and processes like the selection of judges could hurt the Christian community decades from now.

Protestants must take action today! We should return to the foundations that have made the US great. Further, we must not just act on behalf of our needs, alone. We must lead the country back to the safety of its guiding principles. At the same time, despite our personal views, we must act on behalf of the entire American family – religious and secular alike. Further, we must continue to encourage religious diversity and even atheists to remain true to their beliefs as it relates to the political process. The repression of minority points of view is un-American and petty.

Therefore, let your senators know that you want them to stand up for the rights of the American faith community. Specifically, your senators must be urged to stand against the appointment of Elena Kagan. A failure to act at this critical juncture will be tantamount to surrendering to the enemies of faith and personal freedom.

 

Barber: Gays Want To Imprison Christians

When it was first reported that Dale Mcalpine, a Christian street preacher in Britain, was arrested for saying that homosexuality is a sin, you know it was only a matter of time before the Religious Right in the US started using this incident to work up fears about how this is exactly what gays want to do to Christians here in America.

Case in point:

Liberty Counsel Cultural Affairs Analyst Matt Barber raised the warning that such cases will be seen more and more in America, too.

"We know that what's happening in Europe and what's happening in Canada offers us a window into the future of what will happen here in the United States," he said. "The hate crimes laws and employment sexual orientation laws such as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act here in the United States, have been the precursor to the more oppressive hate speech laws," Barber explained.

"Make no mistake, those laws we have now for hate crimes and the more present danger with ENDA, these laws are the precursor in the U. S. for the same kind of criminalization of Christianity that's happening in the U. K.," Barber said.

...

"Their goal is to silence any dissent and to silence under any penalty of law the Biblical recognition and expression of a traditional Judeo-Christian world view relative to sexual behavior and sexual morality," Barber said.

He warned if unchecked, the radical homosexual lobby will ensure that the U.S. goes the same direction as Britain.

"We've seen the same kind of vague language and loopholes that are used to prosecute Mr. McAlpine in Great Britain show up in laws employed here in the United States to prosecute individuals for non-violent speech, for simply sharing a Biblical world view relative to sexual morality," Barber said.  

This WND article also contains audio of the entire interview with Barber, during which he also claims that after he first learned of this incident, he "started perusing a number of homosexual news sites and homosexual blogs" and found that "the majority of homosexuals and homosexual activists for this same kind of homophobia/hate speech persecution here in the United States" and goes on to say that this is exactly what the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Kevin Jennings, Chai Feldblum want to see happen in this country. 

King: If Gays Don't Want To Be Discriminated Against, They Should Stay In the Closet

Last week I noted that Rep. Steve King was going to be on the Family Research Council's "Washington Watch Weekly" radio program over the weekend to discuss ENDA ... but then I totally forgot about it.

But fortunately Jason Hancock of the Iowa Independent remembered and caught King telling FRC's Tony Perkins that if gays don't want to be discriminated against because of their orientation, they should just keep quiet about it:

If homosexuals want to avoid discrimination they should be more discrete about being homosexual, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, said Tuesday on the radio program of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

King and Perkins were discussing the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Perkins expressed fear that “someone could come in dressed one day as a woman or a man, the next day they come in dressed as the opposite sex” and an employer would be “helpless to do anything about it.”

King agreed, saying the legislation opens the door to Christian businesses getting entrapped by the “homosexual activist lobby.”

“I can imagine someone coming in and interviewing one day in man’s clothes and come back the next day and apply for a job in woman’s clothes, and then setting up a lawsuit in a sting operation to harass our religious organizations,” he said.

King then told a story about his days in the Iowa Senate, when gay activists came to lobby a fellow Republican lawmaker, state Sen. Jerry Behn of Boone, for protected status for sexual orientation and gender identity.

He said, “Let me ask you a question. Am I heterosexual or homosexual?” And they looked him up and down — and actually they should have known — but they said “We don’t know.” And he said “Exactly my point. If you don’t project it, if you don’t advertise it, how would anyone know to discriminate against you?” And that’s at the basis of this.

Good As You has much more on this.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Jim Burroway: Lou Engle Praised Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill.
  • Think Progress: Cuccinelli channels John Ashcroft, censors Roman goddess’ clothing on the Virginia seal.
  • Evan Hurst: Regina Griggs Crying “Discrimination” Again.
  • Wendy Norris: Anti-Choice Groups Condone "Biblically Justified" Violence Against Gays, Women.
  • Andy Birkey: Pawlenty signs evangelical book deal.
  • News Hounds: Mike Huckabee: The Reporter Made Me Say Those Things About Gay Marriage And Adoption.
  • Media Matters: "Sabotage!" Right-wing media respond to oil spill by dreaming up conspiracy theories.
  • St. Cloud Times: "While 6th District U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has developed a reputation as a champion for cutting government spending, reports show her own 2009 congressional staff salary budget mushroomed by $176,868 — a whopping 26.4 percent from her 2008 staff budget, even though her congressional workload didn’t appear to change."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Americans United: Mat Staver, Closet Separationist: Falwell Lawyer Says Religious Groups Should Not Take Federal Funds.
  • Eric Lach: Iowa GOPer: When I Said Let's Microchip Illegal Immigrants, I Wasn't Advocating It.
  • Wonk Room: Email From Author Of Arizona Law Reveals Intent To Cast Wide Net Against Latinos.
  • Crooks and Liars: Maddow Eviscerates President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform Dan Stein.
  • Think Progress: Arizona Expands Its Discrimination: Teachers With Heavy Accents Can’t Teach English, Ethnic Studies Are Banned.
  • David Weigel: Why Republicans aren't signing the Contract From America.

LaBarbera's Anti-Gay McCarthyism Now Targeting Kagan, McHenry, Dreier, and Crist

You know how just earier today I was saying that Peter LaBarbera was on an "are you now or have you ever been gay?" witch hunt against every public official? 

Well, that is exactly what he is doing, launching an effort via his Republicans for Family Values targeting specific individuals, demanding to know if Elena Kagan, Reps. David Dreier and Patrick McHenry, and Gov. Charlie Crist ar (or were ever) gay under the guise of eliminating potential blackmail efforts and conflicts of interest, saying "homosexuals' privacy interests simply do not outweigh the public's right to know":

Peter LaBarbera, founder of Republicans For Family Values (www.rffv.org), urged potential Supreme Court pick Elena Kagan , Republican Reps. David Dreier and Patrick McHenry, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist -- each the subject of wide speculation that they practice(d) homosexuality -- to answer the question: "Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual?"

"In an era of ubiquitous pro-gay messages and pop culture celebration of homosexuality, it's ridiculous that constituents should be left guessing as to whether a judicial nominee or politician has a special, personal interest in homosexuality," LaBarbera said. "Speculation is rife over whether potential Supreme Court nominee and Solicitor General Elena Kagan is a practicing lesbian. Kagan has a radical pro-homosexual record, including fighting to keep military recruiters off the Harvard campus because the military bars homosexuals. So Americans certainly have a right to know if her activism is driven by deeply personal motivations that could undermine her fairness as a judge."

In a similar vein, Rep. Dreier (R-CA) was "outed" by alternative publications years ago. (In recent days, his staffers twice hung up on calls from RFFV inquiring about the Congressman's sexuality; in 2007, Dreier switched to support the pro-homosexual Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and was quickly congratulated by gay "outing" activist Mike Rogers.) Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) also has been targeted by Rogers and "gay" activists, as has Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who just left the GOP.

"Especially in the wake of the Eric Massa (D-NY) and Mark Foley (R-FL) scandals, these men need to honestly answer the question about whether they are or were practicing homosexuals," LaBarbera said. McHenry is getting married in June, but that does not settle the question, as there is a history of "closeted" homosexuals entering into sham marriages to cover up their illicit lifestyle, according to LaBarbera.

"Given the important homosexual-related issues coming before the Supreme Court , Kagan should say so if she has a personal interest in lesbianism. Similarly, any politician -- especially those representing conservative districts -- should come clean on the homosexuality question if it is an 'open secret' like Foley's homosexuality (years before the page scandal) or becomes the subject of wide speculation.

The Foley scandal demonstrates the political dangers for Republicans of covering up for covertly homosexual members. Duplicitous homosexual legislators can become extortion targets or be pressured to make pro-"gay" votes like Dreier on ENDA. But generally, constituents have a right to know if their representative secretly practices any immoral behavior -- including homosexuality, but also if he is a skirt-chaser, gambling addict, etc.

"We appeal to Kagan, McHenry, Dreier, Crist, and all potential 'hiding-in-the-closet' politicians or appointees to answer the question: 'Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual or do you consider yourself homosexual (gay)?' Homosexuals' privacy interests simply do not outweigh the public's right to know about potential conflicts-of-interest in the lives of their representatives and judges," LaBarbera said.

DC Mayor's Office Blames Ex-Gay Certificate of Appreciation On "Staff-Level Error"

Yesterday, Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, was bragging that she had been awarded a certificate of appreciation from Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty:

The government of the District of Columbia has awarded a certificate of appreciation to Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX). The certificate, signed by D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, recognizes Griggs for her "dedication, commitment, and outstanding contributions as Executive Director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays."

...

PFOX has been instrumental in ensuring civil rights to all District of Columbia residents. PFOX's lawsuit against the D.C. Office of Human Rights last year resulted in ex-gays being recognized as a protected class under D.C.'s Human Rights Act. The Office of Human Rights had refused to extend the sexual orientation non-discrimination law to former homosexuals. The court held that the Human Rights Act does not require immutable characteristics for sexual orientation status so that ex-gays are entitled to the same legal protections that gays currently enjoy.

Obviously, that announcement was rather confusing, given Fenty's support for marriage equality and the LGBT community in general.  And today his office has disavowed the certificate, calling it a mistake which can be attributed to a "staff-level error":

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty apologized Thursday over his decision to issue a certificate of appreciation honoring the leader of the ex-gay movement, which believes homosexuals can be rehabilitated.

Fenty’s statement comes one day after local and national gay-rights leaders demanded to know why Fenty honored Regina Griggs, executive director of the Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays.

Mafara Hobson, a Fenty spokeswoman, called Griggs’ award a “staff-level error.”

“We apologize for the error as it runs contrary to the mayor’s vision of a more open and inclusive city,” Hobson said. “The mayor is proud of his ardent support of the LGBT community.”

ENDA: The Religious Right Dusts Off Its Hate Crimes Playbook

As we've been noting for a while now, the Religious Right is gearing up to fight the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and is planning on doing so by, quite literally, using the same false attacks that they tried to use against hate crimes legislation.

Of course, their false claims didn't work the last time around, but since the Religious Right can't oppose ENDA on its merits, they're stuck with using the same fearmongering tactics once again:

Does this seem familiar? It should, because it's exactly what FRC did in opposing hate crimes:

As I pointed out not too long ago, if anything the Religious Right had said about the dire impact that hate crimes legislation would have on religious freedom had been true, they would pretty much all be in jail now.

But they aren't ... and that is because every claim they made was false. 

And now they are making those very same claims about ENDA.

You really have to marvel at the Religious Right's strategy in opposing ENDA as they seem intent on using the exact same playbook they used against hate crimes legislation despite the fact that their anti-hate crimes strategy failed and their dire predictions about hate crimes spelling the end of religious liberty have been proven demonstrably false.

Apparently they think it will somehow be more successful the second time around.

Lafferty: ENDA Will Allow The VA To Molest Our Disabled Veterans

The Friday afternoon session of the Freedom Federation's "Awakening" conference has been dedicated to dozens of different breakout sessions, including one on "The LGBT Agenda" featuring  Rena Lindevaldsen and Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel/Liberty University and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition.

Unfortunately, the audio of the session was exceptionally poor, so in order to hear the audio in this clip, you will probably need to turn the volume on your computer all the way up - I have also provided a transcript below.

The clip begin as Lafferty is discussing her claim that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would "normalize the Dirty 30" - TVC's list of 30+ things like pedophilia, prostitution, bestiality, and cross-dressing that the group claims would be protected if ENDA passes: 

Lafferty: What are those "isms" and "philias"? You can be aroused by stumps of amputees. And we brought that up during the hate crimes thing because what if you have an employee working at the VA and someone has just come back from Iraq and they have this orientation. You can't fire them. What about the family that's upset that they've been aroused by their family member? It's disgusting. And it's tragic for the victim.

Um, men that want to rub their bodies up and down women. That's on the list, that might become a protected class.

Fecal matter. Their involvement with fecal matter. Or urine. Transvestism. The list goes on, I'm not naming all of them. Children. Animals. And so we really need to draw a line in the sand.

Barber: Let me just dovetail off that, just for a moment, something that recently occurred to me. If I asked everyone in the room, if I say "what is the opposite heterosexuality?" what pops into your head?

For most people, it's homosexuality.That's by design. That myth has been created. The opposite of heterosexuality is not homosexuality. The opposite of heterosexuality is asexuality, is no sexuality.

Heterosexuality is normative - they can be politically correct all they want, but it is biologically correct. Homosexuality is one among a litany, as Andrea was just talking about, of sexual deviances. It is a deviation from the norm, that's why you call it "deviant sexual behavior." It's not a pejorative. We're not saying "you're a deviant." We're saying "your sexual behavior is deviant."

So homosexuality is not the opposite of heterosexuality. It is one of many deviations of natural sexuality, one of many aberrant, unnatural deviations from natural sexuality. Andrea was going through the list of some of them and it shocks the conscience to hear a lot of this, a lot of people don't even want to imagine the mechanics involved in homosexual conduct, must less strive, as Andrea, myself, Rena, and others do to defend against the wholesale promotion of that same conduct.

Toward the end of this session, Lou Engle showed up for the Q & A and pitched the idea of linking his The Call efforts with Liberty University to put together a massive three-day fast with a half-million young people crying out to God to free this nation from the grip of homosexuality. Barber said he'd love to work with Engle in trying to pull that together.   

Fighting For Their Right To Discriminate

A few weeks ago we noted that an organization called NotMyBathroom.com was formed in Missoula, Montana in order to oppose a proposed city ordinance that would protect people from discrimination in their jobs and homes based on "actual or perceived ... sexual orientation, gender identity or expression."

The organization is associated with Concerned Women for America and the focus of its campaign is on the claim that the ordinance will make it legal for men to use women's restrooms, thereby leading to assaults on women and children.

While the group's effort is obviously aimed at stirring up fear in order to defeat the measure, CWA's Wendy Long admits that they have absolutely no evidence that anti-discrimination ordinances lead to such assaults and that their real mission is to fight the anti-discrimination out of fear that it'll eventually lead to marriage equality:

Even one of the most staunch opponents of those laws can't point to increases in frivolous lawsuits or sexual predation. Still, Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright said such ordinances lead the country down the wrong track.

"We have a constitutional protection for religious freedom in our First Amendment," Wright said. "There is not a constitutional protection for sexual orientation, and yet judges and city councils and others are acting as if sexual orientation trumps religious freedom."

The Concerned Women aim to bring biblical principles to public policy, and the Montana office opposes the Missoula ordinance. It's one member of Notmybathroom.com, a group that formed to defeat the local ordinance in large part because of fear sexual offenders will prey on women and children in bathrooms and locker rooms.

Wright couldn't point to places that have counted increases in sexual offenses because of such laws, but she said such data is beside the point.

"It doesn't go back to numbers," Wright said. "It goes back to the issue that people will have legal rights that will trump other people's rights. The right of a woman or a girl to feel safe in a fitting room, a locker, a restroom, their rights will be trumped by a person who is claiming their sexual orientation right has legal protection."

She noted as troubling a couple of specific examples where transgender women fought for access to dressing rooms. In one Philadelphia case in 2008, a woman denied access to a fitting room planned to file a complaint against the department store, whose manager agreed to train employees to grant equal access.

Wright said one big reason Concerned Women opposes such laws is because the group does not want local ordinances to be used as stepping stones toward making gay marriage legal and teaching it in the public schools.

In essence, the less society tolerates discrimination against gays, the more likely gay marriage becomes ... and so groups like CWA must fight to protect the right to discriminate.

ENDA: Hate Crimes Redux?

The other day we noted that the Religious Right was using the same tactics they used in generating opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that they used to generate opposition to hate crimes legislation earlier this year.

The first tactic is to ignore the basic fact that non-discrimination protections already exist for things like race and religion and instead claim that ENDA would somehow give gays "special rights" and force companies to hire gays and fire Christians.  They made similar claims about how hate crimes legislation would give gays "special protections" while turning Christians into criminals for preaching the Bible.  It wasn't true about hate crimes legislation, and it is equally untrue about ENDA.

The second hate crimes tactic the Religious Right is dusting off is the false claim that ENDA would protect everything from incest to bestiality to pedophilia, which is exactly what the Traditional Values Coalition is doing:

What you may not know is that ENDA normalizes and provides special federal protection for 30+ bizarre sexual orientations listed by the American Psychiatric Association – the so-called “Dirty 30.” These 30+ fetishes include behaviors that are felonies or misdemeanors in most states.

ENDA’s “Dirty 30” includes such bizarre criminal acts as incest, pedophilia, prostitution, beastiality, and cross-dressing. If we don’t act today, Obama and Pelosi will normalize these disorders by federal law on April 21!

...

If Obama, Pelosi, Hastings and the Congressional Democrats pass ENDA, co-workers will be forced to work alongside individuals with these bizarre sex fetishes. Christian businesses will be directly impacted by ENDA. They would be forced to hire or retain cross-dressers and individuals who engage in these sinful behaviors. Students will be indoctrinated that “alternative lifestyles” are no different than traditional lifestyles. Young children will be forced to learn about these bizarre sexual fetishes – and you will have no say in the matter.

As we pointed out when they made this claim while opposing hate crimes legislation, it is totally false, but that obviously isn't going to stop the Right from repeating it ad nauseum as it tires to generate opposition to ENDA.

Frankly, you have to wonder about the Right's strategy this time around.  Do they really plan on just repeating the very same lies about ENDA that they spread about hate crimes legislation?  Do they not realize that that didn't work last time, as hate crimes passed and is now law?  Do they honestly think that the same scare tactics that failed to work last time are suddenly going to be successful now? 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW Statement: Virginia Governor Celebrates the Confederacy, Forgets Slavery.
  • Towleroad: Houston Clergy Want Mayor Annise Parker to Rescind Sweeping Anti-Discrimination Order.
  • Zachary Roth: Far-Right Virginia AG Launches PAC.
  • David Weigel: Pre-gaming the SRLC straw poll.
  • Rachel Slajda: Man Who Threatened Cantor Not Fit For Trial.
  • Simon Maloy: Wash. Times gives platform to lunatic Randall Terry.

The ENDA Is Near!

One of the points we made repeatedly in the posts we wrote on the Religious Right's militant opposition to expanding hate crimes legislation to include "sexual orientation" was that the Right never once complained during the decade when "religion" and "race" received federal protections.  It wasn't until protections for sexual orientation were added that they started screaming about supposed "special rights" and claiming that the legislation amounted to an unconstitutional threat to their religious liberty that would lead to pastors being tossed into jail. 

Of course, it has now been more than five months since this legislation was signed into a law and not a single pastor or religious leader has seen their religious freedom impacted in any way. 

Everything the Right said about expanding hate crimes protections was false and designed to scare people into opposing it ... and now groups like the Family Research Council are putting the same strategy to work in generating opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and raise money:

Do you think it's right for liberals running the government to ... 

  • Force a Christian bookstore to hire a man . . . who dresses in women's clothing?
  • Force your child's religious school to hire homosexual instructors?
  • Force your employer to fire or censure you for what they call "anti-gay harassment" . . . for simply keeping a Bible on your desk?

That's the nightmare you could face if the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Congress passes the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

And that's why it must be exposed.  

... 

You are standing in the way of the Left's immoral vision for America. And laws like ENDA are intended for one thing-to silence your "obsolete" Christian morality and tear down all boundaries to unhealthy sexual behavior.

By sustaining your prayers and generous support of FRC, you're not only investing in the long-term health of faith, family, and freedom in America . . .

You're also strengthening the leading social conservative organization in Washington, D.C. Our respected team has decades of experience developing and blocking legislation, voicing the truth in and through the media, and mobilizing Americans.

Please join with other loyal FRC supporters in our campaign to expose ENDA by sending a generous, tax-deductible donation

 Of course, just as with hate crimes, the Right's claims are totally false:

What ENDA Does

  • Extends federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Prohibits public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation
  • Provides for the same procedures, and similar, but somewhat more limited, remedies as are permitted under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Applies to Congress and the federal government, as well as employees of state and local governments

What ENDA Does Not Do

  • Cover businesses with fewer than 15 employees
  • Apply to religious organizations
  • Apply to the uniformed members of the armed forces (the bill doesn't affect the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy)
  • Allow for quotas or preferential treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Allow a "disparate impact" claim similar to the one available under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, an employer is not required to justify a neutral practice that may have a statistically disparate impact on individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Allow the imposition of affirmative action for a violation of ENDA
  • Allow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect statistics on sexual orientation or gender identity or compel employers to collect such statistics.
  • Apply retroactively

ENDA does not "force" anyone to hire or fire anyone, it simply extends anti-discrimination protections in the workplace to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Just as with hate crimes, anti-discrimination protections for things like religion have existed for decades and the Religious Right never once complained about the fact that Christians were receiving "special rights" ... but now that there are efforts to ensure that sexual orientation receives similar protections, it is proof that liberals are out to silence Christians.

Heads McDonnell Wins, Tails Gays Lose

Last month, VA Gov. Bob McDonnell made news when he rolled back anti-discrimination protections for gay state workers, doing so on the grounds that such protections for "sexual orientation" had never been passed by the state legislature.

Now McDonnell is saying that he probably wouldn't even sign such a bill if one were passed by the state legislature because he doesn't think it is needed

Based on numbers he’s seen, Gov. Bob McDonnell said today he’s not sure the state needs a law protecting people against bias based on sexual orientation.

Asked on his monthly radio appearance on WRVA if he would sign such a bill, the governor said, “I don’t know that we need it based on the numbers that I’ve seen.“

“There really isn’t any rampant discrimination on any basis in Virginia,“ he said. “If you’re going to have a law, it needs to actually address a real problem.“

Of course, the very point is that "the numbers" could now potentially skyrocket, thanks specifically to McDonnell, who has made it easier to engage in "rampant discrimination" against gays in Virginia.

And so even if the state legislature then passes a bill to remedy it, McDonnell says he probably won't sign it because he doesn't think it is necessary.

Taking a Bold Stand for the Sanctity of Our Public Bathrooms

I don't know what the Right's obsession is with protecting the sanctity of our public bathrooms, but they have recently been making it a centerpiece of their local efforts to fight proposed anti-discrimination ordinances. 

They did it Colorado and now they are doing it in Montana to justify their bigotry:

An organization called NotMyBathroom.com announced this week its opposition to a city ordinance that would protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity ...So far, the only other group willing to identify itself as affiliated with NotMyBathroom.com is Concerned Women For America, said [Dallas] Erickson. CWA representatives already have come out against the proposed ordinance.

... 

The group fears the law would create "a government assigned sex," cost businesses money "to provide toilet facilities," and possibly "force ministers to perform homosexual marriages."

But NotMyBathroom.com chairman Tei Nash said the chief concern is the safety of women and children in public restrooms. He said the ordinance would give a man who "is female affirmed" the freedom to use women's restrooms.

"When he walks into the bathroom, you can't stop them," Nash said. "Is that going to surprise you and the kids? It probably is. Most women will be frightened to no end. Kids, too. They won't understand."

The argument seems to rest in part on the notion some predatory men are waiting for such an ordinance so they can attack women in bathrooms. Nash, though, said culprits will use the law as a cover and business owners won't be able to stop them.

"I don't mind saying this. It's not so much trans people. It's sexual offenders," Nash said. "This has already happened in Portland, and it's happened in Florida."

Laws protect people against sexual crimes, but Erickson also said he fears for people in the Bitterroot who come to Missoula and have to use bathrooms. Society should maintain the standard that people are born a man or a woman, he said.

"If you've got a peeping Tom that likes to see how the other side lives, all they have to do is say they're a woman today," Erickson said.

If there was ever a moment when the anti-gay Right jumped the shark, I'd have to say that NotMyBathroom.com just might be it.

Cuccinelli: Gay "Acts" Are a Detriment to Society

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sat down for an interview with CBS 6 reporter Mark Holmberg where he discussed everything from his threat to sue the federal government if health care reform passes to his letter to state universities informing them not to grant anti-discrimination protections to gay employees to his statement that questions about President Obama's place of birth are not "beyond the realm of possibility."

Cuccinelli dismissed the Birther question as a far-fetched wild goose chase, but when the question turned to whether or not he believes "the practice of homosexuality is a detriment to our culture," he was far less dismissive, saying "the acts are" because it is best when everyone is "integrated into society":

 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • David Weigel: Palin: Growing Up, I ‘Hustled Over the Border’ For Health Care.
  • Alan Colmes: Palin Defends Writing On Hand By Comparing Herself To God.
  • GLAD: DOMA Stories:Federal Marriage Discrimination Hurts Families.
  • Steve Benen: Anti-Reason Forces Unite.
  • EmptyWheel: Clarence Thomas’ Revenge

This Is What Happens When The Religious Right Takes Over Your State

When Ken Cuccinelli was running to become Virginia's Attorney General, he made it quite clear that he was a hard-core right-winger who didn't like gays:

"My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. ... They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."

So I guess it comes as no surprise that now that he is in office, he's using his position to press his anti-gay agenda:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has asked the state's public colleges and universities to rescind policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, arguing in a letter sent to each school Thursday that their boards of visitors have no legal authority to adopt such statements.

In the letter, Cuccinelli (R) wrote that only the General Assembly can extend legal protections to gay state employees -- a move the legislature has repeatedly declined to take, including as recently as this week.

"It is my advice that the law and public policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia prohibit a college or university from including 'sexual orientation,' 'gender identity,' 'gender expression,' or like classification as a protected class within its non-discrimination policy absent specific authorization from the General Assembly," he wrote.

Colleges that have included such language in their policies -- which include all of Virginia's leading schools -- have done so "without proper authority" and should "take appropriate actions to bring their policies in conformance with the law and public policy of Virginia," Cuccinelli wrote.

Last month, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a decree taking away protections for gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia, so things are really looking up for equality in Virginia under its Republican leadership.

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discrimination Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 06/02/2011, 12:25pm
Every week, the Family Research Council issues a list of "prayer targets" which usually consist of political issues in the news that members of its "prayer team" should focus on for that week. This week's list of targets includes the White House proclamation recognizing June as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month": Homosexual Agenda -- Tuesday, President Obama proclaimed June "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month." In the Proclamation, he boasts of his administration's achievements to advance the homosexual agenda:... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/26/2011, 4:44pm
PFAW: Goodwin Liu Withdraws Nomination; PFAW Blasts Senate GOP's Smear Campaign. Matt Finkelstein @ Political Correction: GOP Freshman Rep. Walsh Attacks American Jews For Not Being "As Pro-Israel As They Should Be." Towleroad: TN Governor Claims He's Not in Favor of Discrimination After Signing Bill Voiding LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law. Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: Vouchers/Tax Credits Funding Creationism, Revisionist History, Hostility Toward Other Religions. Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Pro-Bullying Lobby: Perkins Says School Teaching Gender Acceptance... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/19/2011, 3:14pm
Mission America, led by anti-gay activist Linda Harvey, is out with a long and frenzied rant (“special report” ) against the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and its anti-bullying policies. Harvey, who said that gay-rights advocates use “demonic manipulation” to make kids gay and are to blame for suicides among gay teens, claims that every parent should be worried about GLSEN unless they “don’t care about their kids being drawn into early deviant sexual activity, or learning to approve of sinful, God-defying behaviors.” The group... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/19/2011, 9:25am
On Tuesday Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton marked International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia, demanding “an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs.” She called LGBT rights “universal human rights,” and criticized countries that try to criminalize homosexuality and marginalize gay-rights and its advocates. Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality was naturally outraged, and told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow to resist Clinton’s stance against bigotry: "We are... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/13/2011, 10:15am
The Religious Right’s favorite Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the “honorary host” of a Virginia fundraiser for Concerned Women for America. Cuccinelli won plaudits from right-wing activists for using his Virginia post to challenge anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, attack scientists who believe in climate change, undercut health care reform, and censor the official state seal over nudity. It makes sense that Cuccinelli is hosting a fundraiser for a group which believes that health care reform violates the Ten Commandments, gays are... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/09/2011, 11:52am
Concerned Women for America has led the fight against the U.S.’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women since Jimmy Carter first signed it in 1980, and is now ramping up pressure against ratification following a Senate hearing on the treaty. Thanks to pressure from CWA and other Religious Right groups, the U.S. joins Iran, Somalia and Sudan in not ratifying CEDAW, which works to end political, economic and healthcare gender disparities, sex trafficking, and violence and discrimination against women. In an email to members,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/03/2011, 3:47pm
Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has introduced an amendment to the State Constitution to ban equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania is already banned by statute, and the amendment would need to win the approval of the state legislature in two consecutive terms, which would result in a popular referendum. Republicans currently control both chambers of the Pennsylvania legislature and Metcalfe chairs the House State Government Committee. A committee in the Minnesota State House passed a similar amendment earlier today. A longtime opponent... MORE