The same people who didn’t (and still don’t) want women working, or women to be treated just like men at the workplace (and used the Bible to do it), are fighting the same battle over gays and lesbians. Not only are they angry that judges are ruling DOMA unconstitutional (how dare they!) but they are upset about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (or ENDA), which they say = “special employment rights based on sexual behavior” (actually that would be SERBOSB but let’s not nit-pick).
ENDA is nothing new. It has been around since 1994 and has been repeatedly introduced into Congress. President Bush threatened to veto it; President Obama supports it. The current version was introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley in the Senate and Rep. Barney Frank in the House. It includes protection of transgenders as well as gays for and lesbians.
The Family Research Council (FRC) claims that “Today, for the first time in three years, a Senate Committee agreed to hold a hearing on a bill that would create special employment protections for individuals based on their sexual behavior or orientation. At the very least, it will force people out of business. At its worst, it will bully into silence every American who disagrees with homosexual behavior.”
If that doesn't frighten you, it should. Under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (or ENDA), the government will put businesses on the defensive– forcing them to explain why they didn't hire or promote employees who openly identified as gay, lesbian, or transgender. Essentially, Congress would be establishing a caste system, where the special protections of homosexuals trump the First Freedoms of any employer. Although some people defend it as an innocent piece of anti-prejudice legislation, ENDA builds the bridge to every last piece of the same-sex agenda–including marriage.
What, it’s not the homosexual agenda anymore? Same-sex is using our language, isn’t it? Okay, anyway, a caste system, really?
Giving women equal protections did not create a caste system. How is giving gays and lesbians equal protections going to create a caste system? Does FRC even know what a caste system is?
I doubt they do. But a bigger problem for them is that they are not really opposed to special protections. They LOVE special protections. It’s just that they want special protections for themselves, and not for anyone else. They’re not so special if they have to be shared.
What they’re really opposed to is equal rights, the idea that we all have equal protections under the law. But right now that’s not the case. Right now, gays and lesbians and transgenders can all be fired because they are gay, or lesbian, or transgender, not because of any inability to do their jobs – in 29 states because they are gay or lesbian or bisexual and in 34 states because they are transgender. The same is not true of heterosexuals – you never hear about straight folks losing their jobs because they like the opposite sex. You never hear about Christians being fired because they worship Jesus.
But the whole world knows heterosexuals who worship Jesus like to fire gays and lesbians and transgenders.
Conservative Christians want the special right to decide who is an undesirable and to then treat them like shit – I mean, second class citizens – and to indulge in an orgy of hate, all while on the tax payer dime. If that’s not a special right I don’t know what is. The rest of us sure as heck can’t do it.
They want special rights to refuse to dispense contraceptives too. If they really hated special rights they wouldn’t be demanding them. They want the special right to deny you an abortion even if you’re the victim of rape or incest, all because it offends them. They want the special right to limit marriage to heterosexuals.
But listen to them go on…
With it [ENDA], the Left can take a hacksaw to every God-given freedom protected by the Constitution–including the ability to speak openly about your beliefs. Like the contraception-abortion mandate, it puts employers in the position of deciding between their faith and their jobs. And unlike past versions, this legislation would extend those special protections to transgenders. In other words, businesses and public organizations would have to bend their dress codes and change their bathroom and shower policies to accommodate men who dress like women and visa-versa. Can you imagine walking into your child's classroom and meeting a teacher dressed in drag?
Can you imagine treating all human beings like human beings? Of course you can’t. You want to be able to discriminate and treat people like shit because you don’t approve of them – but you insist nobody has a right to treat YOU like shit because they don’t approve of you.
Look, it’s not Christians being fired from their jobs for being Christians. But LGBTQ folks can and are, just as can people who don't follow the "special" religion of Christianity, just as can those who don't follow any religion at all. The real discrimination isn’t against Christians. It’s against people Christians have decided in true totalitarian fashion are “undesirable”.
And they claim the very special right to beat us all over the head with their Bible in order to get and maintain that right, and as part of that, we absolutely do NOT have the right to say "no" to them.
Image from Human Rights Campaign
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.