Friday, November 4, 2016

FRC: State sanctioned discrimination in Georgia because we cannot discriminate

Mandi Ancalle
Friday, Mandi Ancalle, general counsel for government affairs at Family Research Council (a designated hate group) writes “State-Sanctioned Discrimination in Georgia.” Ancelle joined FRC in July, 2015. In November of that year I made a conscious decision not to write about her piece comparing Caitlyn Jenner to Rachel Dolezal because it was too idiotic to take seriously. Today's piece isn't much better. Nevertheless …

In the way of background, Ancalle is a 2009 graduate of that estimable temple of jurisprudence, Liberty University School of Law which is probably why she has never really practiced law. Upon graduation she joined Mat Staver's Liberty Center for Law and Public Policy and then worked for one flavor or another of Staver's hate group, Liberty Counsel until joining FRC. She is still an adjunct online instructor for paralegal studies at Liberty U.

Getting back to her tedious polemic:
A new type of discrimination seems to be at play in Georgia, and it appears to be sanctioned by the state. Two African-American Christian men have been fired from their roles serving the state and its municipalities for holding religious views about human sexuality. People with sincere religious views are now being marginalized …
Oh my. That sounds serious.
Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a religious liberty bill saying, “I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask the government to confer upon them certain rights and protections.”
The bill in question was HB 757 and it would have targeted same-sex marriage post Obergefell. HB 757 was, in part, a message bill aimed at ensuring that uppity gay people know their place. It was a merging of ADF's rather inoffensive (although gratuitous) Pastor Protection Act with their very anti-LGBT RFRA boilerplate. Most of the faith-based organization “protections” are already in place via the First Amendment. It looks like the Catholic bishops would have gotten a carve-out allowing them to fire someone for, say, teaching-while-gay-married. The bill would have preempted municipal laws and then added this bit of license-to-discriminate-ese.
50-15A-2. (a) Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a law, rule, regulation, ordinance, or resolution of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section.
That would have said bye-bye, for example, to Atlanta's broad nondiscrimination ordinance protecting people on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The citizens of Atlanta would cease to have a say about discrimination and the state is discriminatory.

Ms. Ancalle goes on to write:
What is ironic is the fact that Governor Deal could “find no examples” of discrimination based on religion in Georgia, despite the existence of the ongoing case of Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Chief Cochran was removed from the Atlanta Fire Department for expressing his religious views about marriage in a devotional book he wrote on his own time. A non-profit litigation firm is litigating his discrimination case against the City of Atlanta.
Actually Mr. Cochran was terminated for foisting his religious views on subordinates and engaging in a business (publishing a book) without the city's prior consent. Cochran could believe in the sanctity of of the Kindle for all I care but distributing materials in the workplace claiming that gay people are “vile” and “vulgar” creates a toxic work environment. All of this means that Cochran was an awful manager. The matter is in federal court. The motions deadline is set for December so trial should begin early next year.
In fact, mere months after Governor Deal made that statement, the state of Georgia fired yet another public servant because of his religious views. Dr. Eric Walsh was fired from the Georgia Department of Public Health for statements he made during sermons he delivered at his church.
Actually Walsh was not fired. Ancalle should at least get the facts right. An offer of employment was rescinded for the same reason that he was forced to resign from a position with the City of Pasadena. It was discovered that Walsh is crazy. A selection of Walsh's best hits includes:
  • Oprah Winfrey is harboring the spirit of the anti-Christ;
  • The prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, was influenced by Satan;
  • The devil set up Catholicism;
  • Acceptance of homosexuals is a satanic ploy to destroy America;
  • Rapper Jay Z is a disciple of Satan;
  • Single mothers are ruining their children;
  • Disney movies, which are loaded with violence, sex and magic, are a satanic ploy to split up families;
  • Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a “satanic belief”;
  • The distribution of condoms to a public in need leads to higher AIDS rates;
  • The pope is the anti-Christ. 
Not exactly the person you want serving a diverse population. Not to mention that his position on condoms is directly contrary to Georgia public policy.  If Ancalle wants to offer excuses for this schmuck, have at it.
The legislature can easily address the concerns of Dr. Walsh, Fire Chief Cochran, and Georgians across the state, particularly as it relates to their religious views about human sexuality by passing the Government Non-Discrimination Act. The Government Non-Discrimination Act is a simple bill that would ensure that the state respects Georgia’s first freedom, the freedom of religion.
Mr. Cochran and, in particular, Mr. Walsh are two very good reasons for not passing such an act. Dr. Walsh disqualified himself from any conceivable position in government service. It seems that both of these men are rather dim bulbs to begin with.
Specifically, the Government Non-Discrimination Act says, “the State shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; or (3) male (man) and female (woman) refer to distinct and immutable biological sexes that are determinable by anatomy and genetics by time of birth.” The Government Non-Discrimination Act goes on to define types of “discriminatory action,” which includes withholding and terminating employment, the type of discrimination Dr. Walsh and Fire Chief Cochran have experienced.
Ms. Ancalle provides neither a cite nor bill number. I searched using both non-discrimination and nondiscrimination (the correct form) and cannot find anything close. Perhaps this is ADF boilerplate (I have no idea). However, I bet that it would preempt municipal nondiscrimination ordinances and provide a broad license to discriminate.

There must be a presumption that LGBT people are stupid. That is in spite of the fact that we are keenly aware of attempts to fuck us over. We try to be instructive but are abject failures at educating part of the population. They fail to appreciate that our constituency is not just the 5% or so of the populace that is LGBT.

About 40% of our citizens have a close family member who is gay or trans. A chunk of the citizenry has no familial incentive but are allies and they are of all faiths. People like Ancalle are oblivious to all of this. Eventually they will  be entirely irrelevant and this chronicle will cease to have any purpose. In the interim it will continue to critique and ridicule those who are incapable of critical thinking when it comes to sexual minorities.

Related Content:

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.