Monday, March 29, 2010

Religious right smear campaign fail: Chai Feldblum gets her appointment

Who knows? Maybe that huge victory in passing health care legislation gave President Obama some chutzpah because he has recently announced 15 recess appointments of administration nominees held up by Republicans.

And one of these appointments is openly gay Chai Feldblum to be commissioner of the Equal Opportunity Commission. According to SheWired:

Feldblum was key in the drafting and negotiations over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). She and three others were appointed using a constitutional provision known as a recess appointment.

Should ENDA pass, a position on the EEOC puts Feldblum in position to be one of five commissioners to develop regulations for its implementation.

Although a Senate committee had approved Feldblum in December, one Senate Republican put their confirmation vote on unspecified hold. Any senator can put any nominee on indefinite hold for a period of time without identifying him or herself.

One has to suspect that there was more than strictly political shenanigans behind the hold up of Feldblum's appointment. The idea that she may hold a position with the EEOC had been causing fits amongst religious right groups.

The Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber said:

Chai Feldblum (pronounced "high" as in "stoned") is a lesbian activist and sexual anarchist attorney who supports legalized polygamy and bisexual polyamory. She has been nominated by President Obama to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is like having Michael Moore guard the donuts. In the past, Feldblum – ENDA's chief framer and, if confirmed, one of five commissioners charged with its enforcement – has candidly summed-up the mindset behind the bill.

World Net Daily accused her of saying that "gay sex is morally good."

Earlier, religious right groups accused her of favoring polygamy. Media Matters said the following:

Right-wing media have attacked Feldblum for being a signatory to a July 26, 2006, statement titled, "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage," which states that "marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others," and cites "Households in which there is more than one conjugal partner" along with "Single parent households" and "Adult children living with and caring for their parents," among others, as people that "stand to gain from alternative forms of household recognition beyond one-size-fits-all marriage." The statement is entirely unrelated to the duties Feldblum would have as an EEOC commissioner, which include enforcement of existing federal laws involving job discrimination and providing oversight of federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.

The irony is that this accusation gained a bit of traction; so much so that Feldblum had to repudiate her signing the statement. But then the issue fizzled away.  A lot of this probably had to do with the fact that the right was, at the time, obsessed with smearing another Obama appointee, Kevin Jennings.

As we all know, they failed miserably in that attempt. And thanks to Obama's power of recess appointments, they also failed in their attacks on Feldblum.

It's always nice to know that sometimes, liars don't prosper.

Related posts:

Matt Barber's slur of Chai Feldblum's name was unnecessary but so very indicative

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

The religious right attacks another openly gay Obama appointee

With their homophobic smears of Jennings exposed, anti-gay right now targeting EEOC nominee Feldblum

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1 comment:

Bill said...

Obama will have to go a long way toward proving to me he is pro-gay rights. He associates with some of those "religious right" but Democratic gay haters, like Rev. James Meeks, of the Illinois Family Institute, which recently tried to stop anti-bullying bills in the IL legislature, because anti-bullying groups are pro-gay, anti-god, dontcha know. One gay appointment won't convince me he was not more sincere when he was campaigning with Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary.