Wednesday, July 13, 2016

NOM: 'Big Win for FADA Today!' - Send money, we are desperate

Tuesday evening that was the word from Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. Yet yesterday's hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was little more than theater and NOM's impact is questionable. The purpose of the email had little to do with NOM's agenda, including the First Amendment Defense Act, and everything to do with finding money to fuel NOM's agenda:
Give NOM some money
Unfortunately, we are dangerously low on funds and need immediate financial support to continue our push to get FADA to the floor of the House of Representatives. I'm asking you to make an immediate financial contribution of $35, $50, $100, $250 or even $500 or more. If you have the resources to give more generously, please consider doing so.
As for the remaining content of the email, Brown was wading somewhere between hyperbole and bullshit:
The hearing in support of FADA was tremendous and made a clear and convincing case for this critical legislation. Congressional champions like Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Raul Labrador set the stage for the importance of protecting the rights of individuals, small businesses and churches from being discriminated against because of their beliefs about marriage. Legal experts and scholars also added their voices of support.
Barney Frank also testified:
It is of course the case that this particular proposal is motivated solely by an animus against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and is in fact worded in the form I have seen to authorize denial of publicly funded services to anyone in these categories who engages in any physical intimacy with another. That it is an expression of anti GLBT prejudice is beyond debate. There are a variety of religions with a variety of precepts that differ with Federal policies. This bill singles out one such objection and empowers those who hold this belief—and only them—with a legal right no other religious believer will enjoy.
Brown continues:
But the star of the hearing was former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran who was fired from his position simply because he talked about his belief in traditional, biblical marriage in a book he wrote. Chief Cochran was compelling and convincing. Time and again members of the committee referred to his case as an example why FADA is urgently needed.
Not exactly. While Kelvin Cochran may have touched on marriage, his problem was that he foisted a self-published book (without the required pre-approval) on subordinates. Therein he wrote that homosexuality is a “perversion” that is “vile, vulgar and inappropriate.” One or more subordinates was sufficiently offended to bring Cochran's actions to the attention of a councilman. That may be a religious belief but it doesn't belong in the workplace. Imagine an orthodox Jew screaming at every subordinate in the office eating non-Kosher food. Toxic and divisive.

Furthermore, the existence of FADA would not have prevented the City of Atlanta from terminating Cochran. His testimony was irrelevant because FADA would prohibit the federal government from:
  • altering the federal tax treatment of, cause any tax, penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or denying, delaying, or revoking certain tax exemptions of any such person;
  • disallowing a deduction of any charitable contribution made to or by such person;
  • withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, or otherwise denying any federal grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or similar position or status from or to such person; or
  • withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, or otherwise denying any benefit under a federal benefit program.
Would any of that apply to Mr. Cochran? Cochran has been a professional victim for about 18 months now. He is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. A real family lawyer might have told him to move on and secure a new position. Now he has made it very difficult for any other municipality to hire him. Cochran made a mistake. The Christian right (including NOM) have caused that mistake to ruin Cochran's career. Indeed, if he had simply kept his mouth shut and then demonstrated some contrition to the mayor after he was suspended (and before he was canned), he probably could have retained his position. All he had to do was go to the mayor with a plan to mend fences.

And where was Cochran's wife during all of this? When I fucked up I had people around me, including my partner and trusted subordinates, who would tell me in no uncertain terms that I had fucked up. Working together I could find the best approach to un-fucking whatever situation I created.

I have reviewed Cochran's testimony and it is clear that he continues not to understand why he was fired. He is intent on being a victim, persecuted for his religious beliefs. In point of fact his beliefs were never in question. It is his judgment that caused the city to take action. He was probably excited  just after he received the first order of copies of his self-published book. His intent was not to insult anyone but he did not take the time to consider that some of the people who he supervised might be offended by the content of the book that he was passing around.

I get it. Cochran was saying that someone like him who was a federal employee might have retained their job. If and when the Senate Judiciary Committee gets around to considering FADA they will probably come to the conclusion that Cochran's plight if applied to a federal manager is precisely why FADA is unconstitutional. It elevates one religion over others and then provides those adherents with special privileges over another group of citizens.

Brian Brown doesn't care. He has a different objective:

Give NOM some money

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be civil and do NOT link to anti-gay sites!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.