Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is all bothered about ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act), asserting that “homosexual activists … want to put their bedroom in the workplace!” Not that there was ever a question, but Perkins does provide yet another example of a fundamental piece of the anti-LGBT view: it’s about the sex. Always. Apparently Perkins and like-believing folks are all but incapable, or just unwilling, to do anything but equate “homosexuals” with “oh my god they’re having sex!” Usually followed by, “They’re destroying the moral fabric of our god-loves-us-best society and traditional marriage is doomed!”
David Badash, at The New Civil Rights Movement assertions that he
… just cannot stand the thought that gay people couldn’t be fired for being gay. While it’s illegal to fire, say, Tony Perkins for being a Christian or a person over 40, and it’s illegal to fire anyone for the color of their skin or their heritage, sadly, today, in the vast majority of states across our nation, LGBT people can be fired merely for being LGBT.
Before giving you the opportunity, should you have the stomach for it, to read some of what Perkins said, a quick word about why I think it’s important to continue a focus on ENDA, which is basically repeating what Badash writes: millions of us have no employment protections based on our sexual orientation and/or gender identity. We are not hired, we are harassed, discriminated against and fired for being who we are. Someone told me years ago, regarding ENDA, “I’m tired of hearing about it.” My response remains the same: I’m tired of living its absence.
And now, here’s Perkins: (emphasis added).
On Flag Day, (Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid saluted the rainbow flag instead of Old Glory, becoming the 50th cosponsor of the Senate’s latest Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), one of the most anti-business policies this Congress will consider.
… Like most liberals, Harry Reid disguises the bill as an anti-discrimination policy when in fact, the bill itself discriminates against men and women who oppose cross-dressing or blatant homosexuality on the job. Although some people defend it as an innocent piece of anti-prejudice legislation, ENDA creates special employment protections BOLD solely on the basis of a person’s sexual preferences. Businesses would be forced to comply (or face penalties), regardless of the impact on their organization.
There’s much to say about just these two paragraphs, but I’d be particularly interested to know what Perkins means by “blatant homosexuality.” Probably something like that much mentioned photo of one’s same-gender spouse, partner, significant other, etc., on one’s desk.
‘The gender identity provisions,’ FRC’s Peter Sprigg warns in an op-ed for CNN, ‘undermine the right of employers to impose reasonable dress and grooming standards, by forbidding employers to use the most fundamental standard of all – that people be dressed in a way [that’s] appropriate for their biological sex!’ …
“Grooming standards,” I think, is a nice, Christian-as-Sprigg-understands-it phrase referring to what he then goes on explicitly to say: “transvestites, transsexuals, drag queens, and drag kings.” See, those scary people will be in the “wrong” bathrooms, where, you know, people are “grooming.” I’ll admit I learned something from Sprigg in this comment: I had no idea people dressing “appropriate for their biological sex” was “the most fundamental standard of all.” Maybe that’s just about the bedroom again, and associating activities that occur in that room, like getting dressed and having sex.
Back to Perkins:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) challenged the wisdom of such a policy in a statement last week. ‘By and large, I think all Americans should be protected,’ he said, ‘but I’m not for any special protections based on sexual orientation.’ Kudos to Senator Rubio for recognizing that this bill would be just another government club to beat businesses with. It wasn’t too long ago that homosexual activists said they just wanted ‘to get the government out of their bedroom.’ Now we know why: they want to put their bedroom in the workplace!
Note that exclamation point at the end of the last Perkins’ sentence. “Special” protection; bad for business; bathroom grooming issues … those are all important, and interrelated, to him. But it’s that bedroom/sex thing that’s key to his argument when he talks about who does, and doesn’t, deserve equality. How and with whom you have sex: that’s the decider, that’s the basis of his belief that he’s a victim of “homosexual activists.”
Badash offers these thoughts:
To Tony Perkins, being Christian is a birthright, but being gay is a choice. He thinks he can slander good men and women of conscience by labeling us ‘intolerant,’ ‘hateful,’ ‘vile,’ ‘spiteful,’ … .
Perkins rarely if ever offers any facts to support his claims.
And, as Badash points out, there are “dozens and dozens of municipalities” and “some state governments, (which) have enacted legislation similar to ENDA,” and yet Perkins “doesn’t point to any cases showing that these protections have harmed American citizens.”
Thinking about Perkins’ mention of “blatant homosexuality” again, maybe that’s his way of being “tolerant,” as in, “act perfectly straight and it will probably be okay.” Or to put it another way, “it’s okay to bring your closet to the workplace, but not your bedroom.”