crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

feldblum As to be expected, religious right groups aren't happy at all with President Obama's recess appointment of Chai Feldblum as commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

But their objections probably say more about their bias than it does about Feldblum. First let's look at the organization who is never at a loss for degrading terms and images when it comes to the lgbt community – the Traditional Values Coalition.

“On Friday, President Obama recess appointed 15 of his languishing nominees including radical professor Chai Feldblum to serve as a Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

“Feldblum’s extensive paper trail, showing how out of the mainstream she is, kept her from being confirmed. Fortunately, she can only serve without confirmation through the rest of the current session of Congress, which is the end of 2010.

“What does Chai Feldblum believe?

“Feldblum wants the government to promote every type of relationship as equal to traditional marriage, including ‘polyamorous’ relationships (those involving three or more sexual partners).

“Feldblum also believes that sexual liberty trumps religious liberty. She rejects the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom.

“Feldblum has criticized the Supreme Court for its Boy Scout decision. She opposes the Boy Scouts right to exclude gay (LGBT) Scout leaders and gay Scouts from its organization.

“Feldblum was the author of the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a pro-LGBT bill that will impose draconian regulations on all businesses with 15 or more employees. As a member of the EEOC, Feldblum will ruthlessly enforce ENDA against American businessmen, educators, Christian media companies, Christian day camps and more.

“The bottom line is that Feldblum believes that whenever there is a clash between religious liberty and the LGBT agenda, the LGBT agenda should win the legal argument.”

And then there is the Family Research Council's statement:

Lesbian activist Chai Feldblum was also recess appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Like Mr. Becker, Ms Feldblum believes that if the law doesn't suit her agenda, she can simply disregard it.

Ms. Feldblum is one of the architects of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which seeks to give special protections to homosexuals and crossdressers, with no regard for the religious objections of those who see such practices as wrong. In fact, when questioned about instances when religious liberty and homosexual “rights” conflict, Ms. Feldblum brazenly stated she would have “a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.” There seems to be little doubt, even in Ms. Feldblum's mind, about how she will rule in cases involving religious liberty that come before her.

Actually the link provided in this statement makes it seem that Feldblum favors “sexual liberty” over “religious liberty,” which is a total bastardization of her position but serves the purpose of implying that she favors “wanton sexuality” over “God fearing religious beliefs.”

Of course it's total inaccuracy. I've already talked about the phony belief that Feldblum favors polygamy, so now I'm going to address this notion that she favors “sexual liberty” over “religious liberty.”

She never said or implied that. The statement these religious right groups are gaining mileage out is from a piece she wrote entitled Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion.

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 LGBT people.

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.

And let's face it, she is right in her assessments.

So while they accuse her of wanting special rights for gays and lesbians, it is organizations such as TVC and FRC who are pushing for special rights for Christian owners in commercial business to discriminate.

And frankly, that isn't right.

Related posts

Religious right smear campaign fail: Chai Feldblum gets her appointment

Update (from Autumn): The TVC's talking points appear to come straight from the Family Research Council's d
ocument Nominee For Commissioner: Eqaual Opportunity Commission. As I like to point out, religious right organizations aren't stovepiped; they share & reuse information.


Alvin McEwen

Alvin McEwen