October 4, 2007
When “Nondiscrimination” is
Too Much of a Good Thing
Dear Friend of Families,
Almost everyone would agree that discrimination in employment based simply on race, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability is wrong. If the individual is otherwise qualified and performing well, they should not be refused employment or career advancement based on these immutable or constitutionally protected characteristics.
However, in the United States House of Representatives, a battle is shaping up to radically expand this list to include the highly controversial and questionable categories of “actual or perceived sexual orientation”and “actual or perceived gender identity.” Similar battles have been fought or are looming in other countries around the world. All of these efforts take what is a legitimate concern and extend it in ways that are dangerous to society.
The fundamental problem with expanding employment nondiscrimination to include these new categories is that it is based on a false premise. “Sexual orientation,” which is defined in the proposed federal legislation as “homosexuality, bi-sexuality or heterosexuality is not an innate and immutable characteristic such as race, sex, or age. It is a behavioral characteristic. People can and frequently do change their sexual orientation. No one ever changes their race or their age.
“Gender confusion” is even more problematic. It also is certainly not innate and immutable. Yet some of its manifestations, such as “cross dressing,” or sex change operations can be profoundly disruptive in many situations, including in the workplace.
Might the sales of a sporting goods store be adversely affected if one of the sales clerks dealing with customers was a man with a five o’clock shadow and dressed in a miniskirt and high heels? Or how about a man who has had a sex change operation teaching girls physical education classes?
Yet under the legislation that many are pushing in the House, individuals in these hypothetical situations could not be denied employment on the basis of their gender confusion alone. (For a somewhat humorous take on another real gender confusion situation, see our “Have We Gone Mad” section below.)
Applying those legal mechanisms that now prohibit employment discrimination to these behaviors will cause severe problems and gross injustices. As any good and successful manager knows, hiring employees who will be a real asset to an organization requires balancing a number of factors, characteristics, skills and traits. The most experienced or technically proficient person on paper is not always the best fit, no matter how good their resume looks. This is one reason for job interviews.
Yet if a person who appears qualified on paper and who is also homosexual is not hired or promoted, what will be the likely conclusion? Many will assume they were discriminated against because of their “actual or perceived sexual orientation.” Many of them will file suit. In fact, the likelihood of lawsuits is increased because the bill provides for the recovery of legal fees. It will be very difficult and expensive for an employer to defend himself from such a suit.
The real goal of these efforts is not so much the actual discrimination issue as it is legitimizing these behaviors by gaining governmental recognition for them. This is the same motivation underlying the demands for legalizing same-sex marriage, or including “tolerance” education in public school curricula.
While it may seem at first that employment laws do not directly affect the family, it is essential to understand that the ultimate result of all of these efforts is to radically change society. It is that radical change that poses such a serious threat to the natural family. This is just one of many points of attack.
If we are to be successful in defending the family and protecting society, we will sometimes find ourselves fighting in unusual arenas. This is one of them.
News Items of Interest
Guatemala Attacked for Pro-Family Legislation
Human Rights Watch, (HRW) an anti-marriage, anti-family pressure organization is now attacking Guatemala for instituting laws that protect marriage between a man and a woman, and the natural family. The legislative initiative is called the Integral Protection for Marriage and Family Act. Not surprisingly, the letter, written by Scott Long, the Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program for HRW, quotes United Nations documents and invokes the imaginary authority of the Yogyakarta Principles, a radical and dangerous document drafted by “experts,” demanding special international rights based on sexual orientation. For more information on the danger of the Yogyakarta Principles, read Family Watch International’s Policy Brief here. The Human Rights Watch letter to the Guatemalan Congress is here.
United States Senate Votes to Extend Hate-Crimes Law to Gays
The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate has passed a hate-crimes law that would add sexual orientation to race and religion in the definition of a hate crime. The hate-crimes provision was attached to a Pentagon spending bill. It is predicted that President Bush, who has stated that all individuals should be protected from violent crime, will ultimately veto the special interest legislation. Read more here.
UK Doctors Allowed to Keep Sexual Information to 13-Year-Old Children From Parents
An outrageous proposal from the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK is recommending that 13-year-old children who consult with a physician regarding contraception, abortion, or STDs should be treated without the knowledge of their parents. While children ages 12 and under are recognized as not being capable of consent, the GMC considers 13-year-old children to be capable of making medical decisions on this nature on their own. Read more here.
UNFPA Funds Abortion Advocacy Despite Denials
In spite of their repeated denials that they do not support abortion, the evidence against The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is mounting. A report by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reveals that, according to the financial records of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a large pro-abortion organization based in the United States, UNFPA has donated tens of thousands of dollars to them. UNFPA also donated the International Planned Parenthood Federation, one of the largest abortion providers in the world, over $160,000 in 2005. Read more here.
Oprah Winfrey Promotes Pornography and Infidelity on Talk Show
Oprah Winfrey, one of the wealthiest and most influential women in America, hosted several guests on her nationally acclaimed talk show who promoted the use of pornography, casual sex, and the practice of infidelity in the form of open marriage. One doctor who appeared on the program, suggested that women whose husbands are addicted to pornography should become involved in it themselves to help them overcome their concerns. There was no mention of the thousands of violent sexual crimes committed by individuals who are addicted to pornography. Read more here. To learn more about the dangers of pornography, read Family Watch International’s Policy Brief on pornography here.
Washington Court OKs Same-Sex Marriages From Foreign Countries
The Washington State Court of Appeals has ruled that the mayor of Seattle can legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries. Vancouver, Canada where same-sex marriage is legal, is a quick trip across the border from Seattle. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels issued an executive order in 2004 forcing all city departments to provide benefits to married homosexual city employees. Read more here.
Have We Gone MAD?
FWI Communications Director Lynn Allred offers some bizarre, real-life examples that make us wonder. . . Have We Gone MAD?
Now pay attention, or you’ll get confused. Scottsdale, Arizona bar owner Tom Anderson has a problem. The chairwoman of the city’s Human Relations Commission, “Michele” deLaFreniere, a man who has dressed as a woman since 2004, has filed a discrimination complaint against him. Seems the women who dress as women complained to Mr. Anderson about sharing their bathroom with the men who dress as women. The men who dress as men weren’t crazy about sharing a bathroom with the men who dress as women, and the men who dress as women didn’t like it when the men who dress as men harassed them when they used the bathroom for the men who dress as men.
So Mr. Anderson did what he felt he had to do for the safety, comfort and privacy of his customers. He barred the men who dress as women from his club so that the women who dress as women and the men who dress as men could use their respective bathrooms without feeling threatened or uneasy. Mr. Anderson says he has nothing personal against men who dress as women, but he simply cannot afford to build a special bathroom for transgendered individuals. Or would he really have to add two? One for men who dress as women and another for women who dress as men. Equality, after all. Golly, I get a little flushed just trying to keep it all straight.
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