Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Religious right groups can't make up their minds when lying about ENDA

Fast on the heels of the Traditional Value Coalition claiming that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act  (ENDA) would "force" children to be held hostage in classrooms by "drag queen" teachers comes this email from the Family Research Council:

ENDA should be called The Discrimination Against Christian Workers Act. Why? Just ask ...

Jon and Elaine Huguenin, who were saddled with legal costs that could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars because they politely declined to take "commitment ceremony" photos of two lesbians.

Rolf Szabo, who was fired by Kodak after 23 years of faithful service because he declined to participate in the company's "Coming Out Day" celebration of bisexual, and transgender (cross-dresser) employees.

The Christian employees at Sandia National Laboratories, who were ordered to take down their family photos when homosexual co-workers complained that "traditional family" images were demeaning.

If the federal ENDA law passes, what happened to the Huguenins ... and Rolf Szabo ... and the Christians at Sandia Laboratories . . . could happen to any Christian or person of moral conviction, anywhere. Working together, we can protect your religious liberty.

ENDA will give Washington liberals virtually unlimited power to force every business with more than 15 employees to embrace immoral sexual behavior as normal and worthy of celebration . . . or face harsh federal sanctions.

Yes, Even Churches!

So which is it? A "cross-dressing teachers bill?" or the "Discrimination Against Christians Act?"

ENDA is neither. While the Family Research Council pulls out anecdotes claiming to show how ENDA could potentially discriminate against Christians, the organization fails to mention that the religious exemption of the 2009 version of ENDA (Section 6) is the same as the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

This Act shall not apply to a corporation, association, educational institution, or society that is exempt from the religious discrimination provisions of title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 pursuant to section 702(a) or 703(e)(2) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e-1(a); 2000e-2(e)(2)).

And of course the anecdotes the FRC pushes gives only one side of the story. For example Szabo's letter was not THAT polite:

"Please do not send this type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting and offensive.

"Thank you,

"Rolf Szabo."

To make matters worse, Szabo sent this email out to ALL employees. The company deemed that his email was unnecessary and offensive to its lgbt employees and fired him, just like it would probably do if he had sent an email out that the company would deem to be offensive towards African-Americans, or women, or yes even Christians.

While someone who calls himself a Christian has a right to not participate in an event he deems as a sin, he has NO right to demean other employees and that's why Szabo was fired.

FRC's email is another example of fear tactics used by religious right groups to claim that gays and lesbians want to either harm children or silence Christians.

And it proves yet again the similarity between racism and homophobia - they both involve fear, stereotypes, and ignorance.

Related posts:

No wonder the Traditional Values Coalition is considered a hate group

Family Research Council exploiting Amanda Simpson's appointment to stop ENDA
Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA

Bathrooms, Church Exemptions, and Lies: Five ways the religious right misrepresents ENDA

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