Marti Abernathey

It's Just a Matter of Time

Filed By Marti Abernathey | April 24, 2007 7:53 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics

Now that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been introduced in the House, watch for Christian fundamentalists to reintroduce their tired rhetoric.

I'd like to dispel some of their arguments right out of the box:

rhetoric: ENDA will turn groups like the Boy Scouts into targets of federally funded lawsuits.
fact: The Supreme Court has already ruled on this. BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA v. DALE:

Applying New Jersey's public accommodations law to require the Boy Scouts to admit Dale violates the Boy Scouts' First Amendment right of expressive association.
rhetoric: ENDA will constitute a major expansion of federal power over the workplace and create a new way for the government to manipulate employers. ENDA's intent is to create grounds for lawsuits. By injecting sexuality into civil rights law, ENDA opens a Pandora's box of ways for the government to dictate to businesses.
fact: The federal government already prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin and has since 1964.

rhetoric: EDNA will make people's sexual temptations a source of material for federal lawsuits. The law properly deals with actions, not beliefs. ENDA creates a new class based on the fuzzy grounds of perception and intention. This is far removed from laws designed to end racial discrimination, because not only is race evident but also it has no moral aspect. Sexual behavior is fraught with moral consequences.
fact: "Homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities." - The American Psychological Association. Unsafe sexual practices have consequences regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity

rhetoric: ENDA will elevate multiple-sex-partner relationships into a federally protected "right."
fact: ENDA does not require employers to provide domestic partner benefits. ENDA does not apply in any way to discrimination based on personal relationship configuration, only sexual orientation and gender identity.

rhetoric: ENDA will put the federal government in the position of adopting a view of sexuality utterly at odds with that propounded by the major faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
fact: There is a separation of church and state. Religious doctrine has no place in governmental legislation. Thomas Jefferson said:

"Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science." -Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:281
rhetoric:: ENDA will award special protections to an already privileged group.
fact: ENDA will give GLBT citizens protections already given to others based race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

rhetoric: ENDA will change national policy by forcing the government to abandon support for marriage - the bedrock of every healthy society.
fact: Nothing in the act will prohibit a covered entity from enforcing rules and policies, if the rules or policies are designed for, and uniformly applied to, all individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

rhetoric: ENDA will lead to further demands by homosexual activists to force others to celebrate abnormal and unhealthy sexual behavior.
fact: There is no "GLBT Pride celebration" clause in the bill.

This bill is very modest in its reach (as Marla Stevens has already pointed out), but I do think it's a step in the right direction.

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I believe this will pass Congress, but what are the chances Bush will veto it?

Zach Adamson | April 24, 2007 10:15 PM

now thats good writing. We need more things that do the "comparison shopping". I love it. Now this is something I can copy and past out to my catholic relatives.
I think it will pass. I also think Shrub (bush) will veto it. but I would think its got enough bipartisin support, or at least will have, to override the veto.. the first in a million years.. or so it seems.. and it was on a bill to help us.. We'll see. only time will tell.

I'm not so sure he'll veto it, but many aspects of what he does leaves me dumbfounded.

Politically, I think it would be wise for him to pass both this and the hate crimes bill... but he's not shown any desire to do what's best for the party concerning the war, so it's hard to tell.

This is polling in the 60's, isn't it? I'm too tired to go find a source right now, but that's what I remember from the last time I checked. Whatever people think about marriage or couplehood, etc., most people are with us on the whole judging people on their job performace only thing.

Then again, Bush has never really cared about poll numbers. If he did, we'd be out of Iraq and he would have signed the stem cell research bill. But I really think, and I could be totally wrong, that this is one of those things that he may believe in. After Kuo's book about how fake Bush has been on everything related to religion and government just to get votes, I wouldn't count out him signing it into law.

But all the laws on the books won't affect most cases of job discrimination. While Marla pointed out lots of holes in the bill, there's still the big hole known as enforcement. As someone who's lost two jobs already b/c of his sexuality (I won't get into that here), let's just say that it's hard to get proof unless you have a signed letter from your boss saying:

Dear Alex,

I hate faggots.


P.S. It's also the reason I fired you even though you had the best evaluations of anyone who worked here.

So I'm cynical about this, but like Marti said, it's a step in the right direction.

Don Sherfick | April 25, 2007 7:16 AM

I got a good laugh out of the CWA website objection that said ENDA would elevate multiple-sex-partner relationships into a federally protected right because the term "bisexuality" is included in the definitions section. So being bisexual is having sex with multiple partners?Somebody give them a dictionary!

Zach Adamson | April 25, 2007 8:13 AM

Not a single day goes by where I am not amazed at the absolute disregard for public opinion in the Shrub administration. He has acted not only irresponsibly but dishonorably. Just 2 days ago, after the testimony of A.Gonso he said that he has EVEN MORE CONFIDENCE IN HIM. What??!!! What planet is he on? He has got to prepare these speeches before hand. Even the neo-cons said his testimony was disturbing at best. At this point, it helps me best to think of him in some child's story like Dr. Susse. He's Mr. Opposite. Whatever he says or does, is exactly the opposite of what someone with commonsense and rational thinking would say or do. You know.. Up is down, in is out..
Thats what really scares me. You know the old saying, Beware a man who has nothing to loose!!
You figure this would also be a no brainer for the neo cons.. What do you get when you make gays homeless and unemployed? You have gays being supported by the state. Is that really what they want?

Zach Adamson | April 25, 2007 8:26 AM

To me anyway, I never really thought the ENDA would solve much else than solidify the fact that we matter and we are real people not from Mars. It sounds off that in fact it is wrong to discriminate against us.
Once the laws reflect that, society follows eventually. Years after blacks and women got the protection in the law, they still have the discrimination. But it is better. And not because of enforcement, but rather because of changed attitudes in society. Which I believe cant happen until the laws reflect that sentiment. Is it ever really over all the way.. probably not.. but it does get better. And this is where it starts. Its a good thing not because in an instant, things will change, but because after its done slowly people realize and absorb the intent.
Ive never lost a job for being gay. And Ive been out since I was 14, in Marion Indiana. But Im very excited about this. Anytime we get our names in the law books in a good way, it helps.. even if it doesn't help directly. Just my thoughts..