Tuesday, August 18, 2015

RNC Endorses Anti-Gay Discrimination

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

While the Republican National Committee (RNC) may have recently  rejected two anti-gay resolutions related to marriage equality and sex education, that doesn't mean that the Republican Party is remotely friendly to LGBT Americans.  Even as the overtly anti-gay animus inspired resolutions were defeated, the RNC took a back door approach to blessing anti-gay bigotry by endorsing passage of the misnamed Amendment Defense Act (FADA) which would grant special rights to anti-gay Christian extremists and basically grant them a license to ignore anti-discrimination laws so long as the gay haters dressed their bigotry up in the cloak of "deeply held religious belief."  Think Progress looks at the GOP betrayal of equality and non-discrimination laws.  Here are highlights:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) may have rejected two anti-gay resolutions related to marriage equality and sex education, but it apparently approved another resolution blatantly endorsing discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

The RNC wants Congress to approve the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). This bill, which the ACLU has called “a Pandora’s Box of taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children,” would prevent the federal government from acting against businesses and non-profits that discriminate against same-sex married couples. This would mean that government workers could refuse to perform their duties, and businesses and organizations — including those that operate with support of taxpayer money — would be free to discriminate.

Ellen Barrosse, RNC chair of the Conservative Steering Committee, told The Daily Signal that neither the resolution nor the bill have anything to do with discrimination, but are instead “an attempt, for those of us who are people of faith, to protect religious organizations.” She offered the following example: “Does Catholic Charities have to place children with gay couples, or will they have to shut down? This is a free market, there are other agencies that will place children with them.”

Barrosse neglected to point out that every time Catholic Charities faced this conflict, it was because the organization believed it was entitled to continue receiving state funding while discriminating against couples the state recognized as married. In each case that Catholic Charities shut down adoption services, it was a voluntary decision made because it refused to operate without state funding.

The RNC resolution specifically references multiple cases when private business owners have faced legal consequences for refusing to serve to same-sex couples in violation of nondiscrimination laws. It also mentions several individuals who faced public scrutiny for their anti-gay views, suggesting that all of these people are victims of “intensifying hatred and intolerance”:
Whereas, Many Americans, including Melissa Klein, Kelvin Cochran, Baronelle Stutzman, Angela McCaskill, Brendan Eich, Frank Turek, Scott McAdams, Tom Emmer, Jack Phillips, Elaine Huguenin, Betty and Richard Odgaard, Cynthia and Robert Gifford are losing their livelihoods or are being disciplined for courageously dissenting from gay marriage orthodoxy;

Whereas, Many on the Left exhibit an intensifying hatred and intolerance for gay marriage dissenters;
By allying with these individuals and resolving that their actions need to be “protected” by “equal treatment by the government,” the RNC has directly endorsed discrimination against the LGBT community.
In short, the RNC has sold its soul to anti-gay extremists and bought into the myth of Christian persecution. 

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