Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The religious right fears Chai Feldblum because she believes in basic fairness

Not all of the religious right's energy has been devoted to attacking Obama's education dpt. appointee Kevin Jennings.

They are also throwing fits at the President's pick to lead the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chai Feldblum.

I've heard rumblings of ugly charges right up there with those lodged against Jennings - Feldblum advocates polygamy, she is a "radical homosexual activist," etc.

You want to know the real reason the religious right fears Feldblum? It lies in a piece she wrote entitled Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion.

There is a specific part in it (starting on pg. 50) that I'm guessing makes folks like Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Donald Wildmon, and James Dobson apoplectic:

Ensuring that LGBT people can live honestly and safely in all
aspects of their social lives requires that society set a baseline of
non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender
identity. If individual business owners, service providers and
employers could easily exempt themselves from such laws by
making credible claims that their belief liberty is burdened by the
law, LGBT people would remain constantly vulnerable to surprise
discrimination. If I am denied a job, an apartment, a room at a
hotel, a table at a restaurant or a procedure by a doctor because I
am a lesbian, that is a deep, intense and tangible hurt. That hurt is
not alleviated because I might be able to go down the street and get
a job, an apartment, a hotel room, a restaurant table or a medical
procedure from someone else. The assault to my dignity and my
sense of safety in the world occurs when the initial denial happens.
That assault is not mitigated by the fact that others might not treat
me in the same way.

Thus, for all my sympathy for the evangelical Christian
couple who may wish to run a bed and breakfast from which they
can exclude unmarried straight couples and all gay couples, this is
a point where I believe the “zero sum” nature of the game
inevitably comes into play. And, in making the decision in this
zero sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the
side of protecting the liberty of LGBT people. Once an individual
chooses to enter the stream of economic commerce by opening a
commercial establishment, I believe it is legitimate to require that
they play by certain rules. If the government tolerated the
private exclusionary policies of such individuals in the commercial
sector, such toleration would necessarily come at the cost of gay
people’s sense of belonging and safety in society. Just as we do
not tolerate private racial beliefs that adversely affect African-
Americans in the commercial arena, even if such beliefs are based
on religious views, we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs
about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect
LGBT people.

In other words, Feldblum believes that a business should not be allowed to discriminate against lgbts no matter the so-called "deeply held personal beliefs" of the owner.

She does not believe owners of an apartment building should have the right to deny lgbts housing even if they have a so-called "deeply held personal belief" that homosexuality is a sin.

And she does not believe that the beliefs of service providers should override the needs of those they are supposed to be serving.

Well get the tar and feathers right now!

Just where does this Feldblum think she is?

America where we have a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under the law?

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One News Now rediscovers 'THE GAYS' and other Tuesday midday newsbriefs

FRC: Their cold onslaught is nothing new. But why the cold feet? - The Family Research Council removed an interesting piece it published about President Obama's speech to HRC. I also wonder why.

Gay sailor: My comrades locked me in a ‘feces-filled dog kennel’ - This is naaaasty!

White House Talks DADT With Lieberman - Let's get the show on the road!

Guilty by Association by Association - Bearing false witness is a sin.

And now time for a little fiber in our diet courtesy of One News Now. The phony news service has discovered THE GAYS again:

Flip-flopper governor signs 'Harvey Milk' bill

Montana judges smack down parental rights

Disney elevates homosexual to studio chief

House member wants Jennings out - Special note here - They are pushing the "Harry Hay" distortion.

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Kevin Jennings receives an 'apology' for inaccurate murder claim

Apparently my post on the new lie regarding Kevin Jennings - that he advocates murdering people if they call someone a 'faggot' attracted some attention from a few circles- most specifically from the site who wrote the original piece.

The piece came from the site Verum Serum. Via the original headline, it pushed the notion that Jennings did advocate murder. Jennings was actually saying that society is part the blame for school violence because it enhances gender stereotypes and extreme machismo in males.

After I posted my piece, one of the authors of the site accused me of not reading the entire post. The poster claimed the site was not accusing Jennings of murder, but rather unfairly blaming traditional gender roles for school violence. While I lodged disagreement with that assessment, I stuck with the main idea of my post - no matter what Verum Serum meant by what it wrote, opportunistic sites were using the post to claim that Jennings advocates murder.

Finally, one of the posters of Verum Serum sent me this reply:

. . . you're right that some blogs missed the point. Once we caught on to the error, we did try out best to address the confusion.

First we changed the headline of our post which apparently threw some people (with a note retaining the original because we don't "disappear things at VS"). Next, I personally followed backlinks to several blogs and left comments pointing out where necessary that they had misconstrued our meaning and asking for corrections.

We may not have spoken to everyone but our efforts did have an effect. One blogger apologized to me privately this afternoon and corrected a post. A second blogger wrote an entire apology on his own site to both us and Jennings for his misunderstanding. You can see it here.

My point is that this was not a smear or a lie. We were making a serious critique that we believed (and still do) was valid. When that accidentally got muddled beyond our blog, we did our best to correct it. We'll continue to do so. If you see it pop up anywhere, please let us know or direct them to this comment thread or to our site for clarification.

The headline has been changed with a full explanation, but the damage has been done.

For one thing, the Washington Times has already pushed the distortion in a poor attempt to smear Jennings.

And several other conservative blogs have already run with the original "Jennings advocates murder" claim, including Free Republic.

In all honesty, I have a problem Verum Serum's explanation.

The site claims that the original headline ("Killing Someone Who Calls You a Faggot is not Aberrant Behavior...") caused confusion. That may be but I tend to think that the headline was created specifically to cause confusion.

Mission accomplished, Verum Serum.

But still, it's nice that you have corrected yourself. Too bad you had to be caught to do it.

Related post:

New lie lodged against Kevin Jennings - he 'advocates' murder

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