Monday, November 11, 2013

Knight: ENDA Was a Vote to Repeal the Bible

Robert Knight has worked for at least six anti-gay organizations. These include Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Media Research Center, Coral Ridge Ministries and, currently, the American Civil Rights Union. He also has a regular column in the Washington Times. Today that column is: A ban on the faith-based workplace.
Last week, the U.S. Senate matter-of-factly, with no serious vocal opposition except a last-ditch warning of the consequences by Sen. Dan Coats, Indiana Republican, voted 64 to 32 to expand government and repeal the Bible.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act doesn’t say that directly, but its core meaning is that employers — and their employees — must accommodate every sexual expression under the sun or face federal prosecution and nuisance lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Baloney. In this context accommodate means "oblige" which implies approval. ENDA proscribes disapproval where that is expressed through hiring or promotion. These people always flatter themselves with the notion that we seek or require their approval to be LGBT. And by the way, discrimination will be met with sanctions by the federal government, having nothing to do with the ACLU.

Mr. Knight: Please cite the court cases from the 21 states that have similar laws.

This piece is rife with lies, half-truths and misrepresentations. I don't want to quote it in its entirety. However, later on:
Far from ensuring equality, the bill is a radical departure from civil rights laws, whose protected classes stem from immutable characteristics with no moral content, such as skin color, place of birth or sex. The exception is religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Knight is wrong on both counts. Of course sexual orientation and gender identity are no more mutable race.

Secondly, the fact that the free exercise of religion is a Constitutional guarantee is irrelevant to discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act also prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. For example, an employer cannot discriminate against a person because of his interracial association with another, such as by an interracial marriage. Those are choices. I'll also remind Mr. Knight that "equal protection" is also a Constitutional guarantee. Knight continues:
What makes “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” different is that these categories are vague, not immutable, and the associated behaviors have moral implications. In fact, behavior defines the groups. Otherwise, unlike race or sex, no one would know.
There is nothing "vague" about either sexual orientation or gender identity.  Science has clearly determined that these are immutable. Mutability is a Christian argument based on scriptural conformity.  None of this has anything to do with behavior and the same could be said of religion, national origin, marital status, associations et al. Nobody would know. It's an argument from ignorance. One more paragraph that follows:
By equating such behaviors with neutral, unchangeable characteristics such as ethnicity, the act says to religious employers: “You will abandon your faith-based morality and instead abet behavior that your faith and Scripture says is wrong and harmful.”
That's a gigantic non sequitur. That's akin to saying that hiring a Muslim condones 9/11. What this says to employers is that they should judge people in the workplace according to their performance. It has nothing to do with altering or restricting anyone's religious beliefs. Are these same employers purging their ranks of anyone who is divorced, had an abortion, has had an extra-marital affair or worked at home on the Sabbath? According to Knight's "logic" isn't the employer encouraging these activities?

Knight goes on to list the usual Christian "victims" of marriage equality who aren't really victims. Doing so actually proves the necessity of non-discrimination laws. The real victims are the people who are denied service. Interestingly (on the subject of frivolous litigation) one of these victims is now suing her employer for eight figures because she was suspended, with pay, and then reinstated. Later on, Knight claims:
Add this law to this mix, and we’re well on the way to a day when the feds are editing sermons and punishing churches that don’t have priestesses performing same-sex ceremonies.
Sure. Not even the Roman Catholic Bishops would dare make such a nutty argument.
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