Monday, November 4, 2013

Schlafly provides a template for ENDA opposition

Phyllis and Fred would make such a lovely couple
Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum offers a talking point summary for Christian opposition to ENDA. In part:
Under the guise of equality, ENDA creates special rights for homosexual and transgendered individuals and will forbid employers from considering the consequences of this behavior in the workplace. Employers are already being trampled and crushed by a wide variety of federal, state, and local laws and regulations which constrain the way they run their businesses or organizations.
First of all, this is about equality. There is no "guise" which implies a sinister agenda. Also, it is "transgender," not "transgendered." Moreover, this conflates sexual identity and sexual orientation with behavior. Schlafly has a gay son (John) and knows better. What behaviors do LGBT employees demonstrate in the workplace that are different from heterosexual employees?
ENDA is particularly concerning because of the ambiguous and broad implications of the bill. It opens employers up to numerous claims of discrimination based on identities that are subjective, self-disclosed, and self-defined unlike race or gender. Employers should not be subject to lawsuits because they are taking into account the behavior of their employees.
This is just nonsense. Even if sexual orientation and sexual identity were “subjective, self-disclosed, and self-defined” – and they are not – where is the evidence of frivolous litigation in states that have similar laws?

The similarity to some of John Boehner's rhetoric is no coincidence. This material starts as bullet points authored by Ryan T. Anderson for the Heritage Foundation. The same arguments, no matter how absurd, will be repeated over and over again by different spokespeople.
Furthermore, ENDA violates the right of employers, who object to homosexual or transgender behavior for religious reasons, to operate their businesses or organizations according to the dictates of their faith.
They might also think, for religious reasons, that Jews and Muslims are going to Hell and that women belong in the home to serve their husbands. Nevertheless, federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion and gender.

As a society we have already accepted the doctrine that religious belief is not a license to discriminate. Applying that principle to LGBT citizens is long overdue.

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