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Let's Call This FOTF Position What It Is: It's Actively Advocating Discrimination

From the May 29, 2010 OneNewsNow article, entitled Should homosexuality be a ‘litmus test’ for high court?:

Focus on the Family‘s judicial analyst, Bruce Hausknecht, recently told liberal blogger Greg Sargent that Focus would not oppose a Supreme Court nominee solely because of their homosexual behavior. “Our concern at the Supreme Court is judicial philosophy,” Hausknecht said. “Sexual orientation only becomes an issue if it effects their judging.”

Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst at Focus, says just like a nominee’s ethnicity and life experience, homosexuality should not be a litmus test.

“Someone’s sexual orientation or their preferences, none of these things should come into consideration when we’re talking about evaluating someone who will make decisions based on precedent under the law [and who will] practice judicial restraint,” Horne explains. “Those are the things we look at for whether or not someone would make a fit justice on the Supreme Court.”

Back then, the American Family Association of Michigan had publicly decried Focus On The Family’s stated policy position:

“Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, contends the position held by Focus on the Family is the equivalent of ‘moral retreat.’  ‘It’s not just the damage caused by Focus on the Family’s moral retreat on the issue,’ Glenn argues. ‘[That explanation] will be used by homosexual activists and their allies in the media to further marginalize and delegitimize any pro-family organization that continues to take a Biblical standard.'”

Peter LaBarbera has reported that given the upcoming vacancy in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), he asked  if FOTF’s then publicly stated policy was still the same as it was reported to be back in May of 2009. The response from Tom Minnery, the senior vice president of Government and Public Policy for Focus on the Family:

“It has been reported that we would not oppose any U.S. Supreme Court nominee over their ‘sexual orientation.’ Our Judicial Analyst [Bruce Hausknecht] made a statement to this effect in an interview with The Plum Line. To be honest, this is one of those conversations we’d like to ‘do over.’ We can assure you that we recognize that homosexual behavior is a sin and does not reflect God’s created intent and desire for humanity. Further, we at Focus do affirm that character and moral rectitude should be key considerations in appointing members of the judiciary, especially in the case of the highest court in the land. Sexual behavior — be it heterosexual or homosexual — certainly lies at the heart of personal morality.”

In other words, Focus On The Family would oppose any gay or lesbian judicial nominee only  because he, she, or ze were gay or lesbian.

I think it’s significant that Focus On The Family has gone from passively supporting workplace discrimination by opposing ENDA, to clearly and actively advocating discrimination against qualified gay, lesbian, and bisexual (as well as presumably transgender as well) nominees for the federal courts — especially the Supreme Court.

Can one imagine what that kind of advocating regarding discrimination being mirrored by Focus On The Family, or any other nonprofit organization, would mean if this kind of advocating of discrimination were applied to potential jurists based on their religion, gender, ethnicity, veteran status, disability, etc.? Focus On The Family is advocating for discrimination against people for sexual orientation, and given their rhetoric on trans people and bathrooms, they now doubt would also advocate for discrimination  against people because of a person’s gender identity and/or gender expression.

I think that’s worth noting: supporting others’ discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is different from advocating for specific discrimination against LGBT people in a non-religious workspace.

If one considers workplace hiring discrimination against someone because their ethnicity to be an act of hate, then one would logically have to also draw the conclusion that workplace hiring discrimination against someone because their  gender identity or expression, of because of their sexual orientation, would also be an act of hate.

It’s something to condider.  

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Autumn Sandeen

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