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
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?