Monday, July 30, 2018

Rude comment at 'Religious Liberty' Summit reveals ignorance & desire to erase LGBTQ taxpayers

The Heritage Foundation's Emilie Kao's rude comment about gay couples demonstrates her ignorance of history

If you want to pinpoint just how mean spirited and callous the mindset behind the creation of a "religious liberty task force," look no further than comments by one of the speakers at the so-called "religious liberty summit" on Monday which was held to announce its creation:

From Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade:

. . . other speakers on the panel railed against efforts to uphold LGBT rights as they face compromise in the name of religious freedom, including Emilie Kao, director of the Richard & Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at the anti-LGBT Heritage Foundation. 
Kao was critical of litigation filed by the ACLU against the Michigan law enabling Catholic adoption agencies to refuse placement to LGBT families over religious objections. 
Asserting same-sex couples seeking to adopt face no problem in access to adoption, Kao said the plaintiff in the lawsuit drove past four other adoption agencies to reach St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities, which she said “still holds the belief that they should put every child with a mother and father.” 
“The lesbian couple says they were personally offended by St. Vincent’s not placing a child with them,” Kao said. “I think it’s important for us to recognize that throughout the history of our country and the Supreme Court’s cases, we have always protected the right of people to follow their religious beliefs, and we’ve never protected the right not to have your feelings hurt.”

Kao's callous words was merely another way to evade one of the actual issues of the Michigan case, which is St. Vincent and another adoption agency which discriminates against gay couples, is receiving taxpayer funds. Lots of taxpayer funds:

Documents provided by the ACLU show the state entered into a three-year contract with an option year with Bethany Christian Services for different amounts including up to $6.8 million and with St. Vincent up to for $4.1 million.

Also, I would like to point out just how not only rude, but highly inaccurate Kao's comments were. Perhaps she was attempting to project some false wit or cleverness. What she actually succeeded in doing was to show either her basic or deliberate ignorance of history.

The effect of discrimination on one's self-esteem, or as described by Kao as "hurt feelings." played a huge role in deciding one of the most famous decisions in Supreme Court history, Brown vs. The Board of Education.

From the National Park Service:

For Thurgood Marshall, chief counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the legal landscape looked daunting in 1951. School segregation was mandated by law in 17 states, practiced in the nation's capital and countless other school districts, and seemingly blessed by the 55-year-old separate but equal doctrine decreed by the US Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson. In prior cases, the NAACP had sought relief by demonstrating the almost universal inequality of segregated schools. But now, the lawyers of the NAACP sought to convince the US Supreme Court that segregation in and of itself was unconstitutional. To make their case, Marshall and his team of lawyers needed something that provided overwhelming proof to demonstrate that equal educational opportunities for African Americans was impossible to achieve in a segregated system no matter how equal the facilities be. 
To mount their attack on the belief that African American children were different from white children and unworthy of sitting side by side with them in a classroom, Marshall and his legal team relied upon the work of a group of social scientists who had been studying the effect of segregation on black children. In preparation for the Briggs v. Elliott case, the first of the five cases argued that would make their way to the US Supreme Court as Brown v. Board of Education, Marshall asked Kenneth and Mamie Clark, both of whom held doctorates in psychology, to repeat experiments with school children from Clarendon County, South Carolina they had conducted in New York City in the 1930s. In the experiment, the Clarks handed black children four dolls. The dolls were identical except that two had a dark-colored skin and two had light-colored skin. The Clarks asked the children questions such as which dolls were "nice" and which were "bad" and "which doll is most like you?" 
The results of the test showed that the majority of black children preferred the white dolls to the black dolls, the children saying the black dolls were "bad" and that the white dolls looked most like them. To the Clarks, these tests provided solid proof that enforced segregation stamped African American children with a badge of inferiority that would last the rest of their lives. The argument swayed the US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, in writing the Court's opinion, noted that the legal separation of black children gave them "a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone."

Besides the egregious idea of taxpayer monies - and that includes gay taxpayer monies - going to entities which discriminate against gays, that is the other issue when it comes to anti-LGBTQ discrimination. The effects of said discrimination on the LGBTQ community, particularly LGBTQ children, shouldn't be ignored or minimized as "hurt feelings."

But I guess when you don't think of LGBTQ Americans as legitimate taxpayers, then how can you expect to care about their feelings. And especially what discrimination does to their self-esteem.

1 comment:

Frank said...

I worked as a grant writer for a religious affiliated homeless shelter. We sought and accepted government money - but were bound by non-discrimination laws; the organization held values that would not have allowed it to discriminate even if there were no laws forbidding it. I would like to think that those same values would be universal to all religions and religious charitable organizations.