Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Any anonymous crackpot can post a piece to Witherspoon's blog if they are sufficiently anti-gay

Tuesday, a pseudonymous writer provides Witherspoon Institute's blog with a piece titled “Crybullies Aren’t Just for College: On Corporations and LGBTQ Political Correctness.” “D.B. Holiday” is credited as the author of the piece. According to the mini-bio at the end of the polemic: “D.B. Holiday works in corporate America. He’d like to keep it that way.” If identified, he or she would more likely face retribution for the lackluster reasoning, logical fallacies and unsupported conspiracy theories rather than the glaring homophobia reflected in this outpouring.

As a reminder, Witherspoon Institute is an orthodox Catholic organization headed by Luis E. Tellez, an Opus Dei numerary (a secular celibate). Tellez was a founding director of National Organization for Marriage and now serves as that organization's co-chair. Witherspoon Institute is notorious for having funded and co-designed the discredited Regnerus study which was supposed to influence the Supreme Court as it deliberated United States v. Windsor. The editor of the blog is our old friend, Heritage Foundation staffer and Defender of the Faith, Ryan T. Anderson.

The subtitle of the piece reads:
Calls for “Safe Spaces” on campus don’t just threaten the future of academia. The same mindset seeks to silence dissent and respectful disagreement in business as well.
Were Mr. Anderson actually editing this thing he would have recommended dropping the convoluted and awkward comparisons of the workplace to the college campus. This is a piece about Christians at work who are persecuted by those dastardly LGBT activists and, of course, the Human Rights Campaign. Oddly enough Christians have been protected from workplace discrimination for more than a half century by federal law. LGBT citizens are not similarly sheltered. Let's get on with it:
The Corporate Equality Index

… the norm has changed from the avoidance of politics and religion to a culture in which the failure to openly support key portions of the LGBTQ agenda can result in disciplinary action and, in the case of Brendan Eich and Mozilla, termination. Most companies are not as flamboyant in their activism as college protestors . Still, through the threat of poor performance reviews, denied promotions, and stunted career paths, they are achieving the same effect.
Poor you. By the way, Mr. Eich resigned having reached the conclusion that was unable to lead an organization with a great many LGBT participants and supporters. Moreover, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the CEI. Where, exactly, are the victims of the CEI? How does the CEI affect the careers of employees? Mozilla is minuscule. It doesn't even participate in the CEI. Where is the link? Editor? Editor?
The force behind these new policies is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which has ranked companies based on their commitment to LGBTQ inclusion since 2002 and now includes 407 companies across many industries.
What new policies? What exactly is this poor schmuck writing about? 851 (not 407) of America's largest corporations participated. 407 is the number of businesses with a perfect 100 score. Why is this person so fucking confused?
The index, however, does not just ask for verbal or financial support for the gay and transgender rights movement. It demands that companies incorporate specific workplace policies, and it penalizes corporations if anyone associated with them dares to dissent publicly. As the Human Rights Campaign has swiftly picked up public and legal victories over the past few years, it has increased the demands for corporations to be awarded a top score in the index as well. Today, the CEI ensures that organizations and their employees are committed to the goals of the Human Rights Campaign …
In simplest terms, companies are rated on their fairness to LGBT employees (who are often not legally protected from discrimination). The obvious objective is to give potential employees and consumers an informed choice about where to work and where to spend their money respectively. Less obvious but equally important is the fact that many businesses value fairness and equality as major contributors to their corporate culture. The CEI helps them by providing a set of standards for full LGBT equality. I am at a loss to find anything sinister in this “Homosexual Agenda.®”

What company has had their CEI score decreased because “anyone associated with them dares to dissent?” Companies that I have run have had their share of anti-gay imbeciles. They, by the way, were judged on performance. This person makes numerous accusations without supporting evidence.

The author goes on to describe the criteria. Rather than re-quote quoted material, the source is here. He or she decides:
While the Human Rights Campaign claims that its index is voluntary, the result of these new policies will be to bully any resisting companies into submission (as has already occurred with Barilla) and financially starve their vendors and non-profit partners until they support the HRC’s agenda.
It's not a claim. No one can force organizations to participate in the CEI. The author should read his own citations. The one above is to CNN. After a flap, Barilla decided, for the first time, to participate in the CEI and earned a perfect 100. Good for them. Who suffered as a result of their improved inclusiveness?

The same people claim that we lacked the power to win marriage equality at the polls yet we have the power to be the final arbiters of commerce. Which is it? What vendors to which companies and which “non-profit partners” to which companies have faced the economic extortion that the author writes about?  So far, as evidence of really nothing, we have just an inaccurate reference to an executive at the open-source enterprise, Mozilla. The author gets back to Eich:
…publicly supporting the entire LGBTQ movement’s agenda is mandatory. If employees refuse to participate in a company Gay Pride event, their behavior may be interpreted as discriminatory insubordination. If a female employee complains about a male using the women’s restroom, she may be penalized for harassment. It does not matter whether any of these individuals actually discriminated against any other employee (Brendan Eich had no record of discrimination). Merely dissenting from the liberal orthodoxy is enough to be branded a bigot not fit for the workforce. In effect, companies now not only demand that workers give them their time and effort in exchange for compensation; they also demand that workers submit their personal opinions and beliefs as well.
Where is the evidence to support any of this?


The author is fixated on a zero sum proposition. Fairness and equality for LGBT employees and prospective employees requires Christians to be persecuted. Let us be clear here:

Workers are free to hold whatever beliefs or opinions they have about LGBT people. That does not mean that they have license to discriminate, to create a toxic workplace or to defy company policy. This is not that complicated. Eventually the author concludes:
… leaders on both left and right have to do more than stand up to whiny college students. They also need to stand up to their own allies, such as the Human Rights Campaign, who have done most of the work to silence their opponents by whatever means necessary. If not, then the absurd reality of the college campus “safe space” will only continue to spread, threatening our basic freedoms and eroding our ability to act like adults.
This is getting tedious. Who has been silenced? Who? Name two!

I have an hypothesis: 


Just one of several theories. This anonymous individual lost an opportunity to a gay person or lost an opportunity because he or she is an outspoken bigot. Someone calling a transgender female a male (as this person has done) is a bigot per se.

[Update December 2] Reader is Robert Oscar Lopez (see her comment below) which makes perfect sense.

The basic fabric of corporate self-victimization can be summarized as “It's not my fault that … [fill in the blank].” Rather than accepting responsibility, this individual chooses to blame liberals, the Human Rights Campaign, the Corporate Equality Index, companies that are submissive to the CEI, “safe space” on college campuses, bullies and just about anyone else that he can point a missile at. After all, it wasn't his fault.

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