by David Badash
on June 17, 2013
Tony Perkins is waging war on ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will co-sponsor. ENDA, ore similar legislation, has been introduced in every Congress except one in some form or another since 1974 — that’s almost four decades. It would finally make firing someone for being LGBT against the law. And Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, just cannot stand the thought that gay people couldn’t be fired for being gay. While it’s illegal to fire, say, Tony Perkins for being a Christian or a person over 40, and it’s illegal to fire anyone for the color of their skin or their heritage, sadly, today, in the vast majority of states across our nation, LGBT people can be fired merely for being LGBT.
Calling ENDA “a sweeping proposal that could destroy personal freedom in the American workplace,” Perkins tells his followers “the bill itself discriminates against men and women who oppose cross-dressing or blatant homosexuality on the job.”
While not explaining exactly what “cross-dressing or blatant homosexuality” are, Perkins wrongly states “ENDA creates special employment protections solely on the basis of a person’s sexual preferences.”
Those “special protections” Perkins is claiming?
In reality, being LGBT is a fact of birth — people are born LGBT — while being a Christian, or Catholic, or Muslim, or any faith at all is a choice. The First Amendment provides “special protections” for the choice people make to believe a certain way, so why shouldn’t we have a law to protect people from discrimination based on a fact of birth, as we do for most minority statuses?
Perkins quotes his own Peter Sprigg — the man who single-handedly contributed most to the Family Research Council landing on the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s anti-gay hate list — who claims that “the most fundamental standard of all” in the workplace is “that people be dressed in a way appropriate for their biological sex!”