Family Research Council

June 17, 2013 - Monday

Reid Keeps up His ENDA the Bargain

In the midst of so many crises, it's comforting to know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is focused on what matters: genderless bathrooms. Unfortunately, that's just one effect of a sweeping proposal that could destroy personal freedom in the American workplace. On Flag Day, Reid saluted the rainbow flag instead of Old Glory, becoming the 50th cosponsor of the Senate's latest Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), one of the most anti-business policies this Congress will consider.

After two decades of debate, the legislation has new legs under President Obama, who said earlier in the month that the Senate needs to get the measure "done now." Like most liberals, Harry Reid disguises the bill as an anti-discrimination policy when in fact, the bill itself discriminates against men and women who oppose cross-dressing or blatant homosexuality on the job. Although some people defend it as an innocent piece of anti-prejudice legislation, ENDA creates special employment protections solely on the basis of a person's sexual preferences. Businesses would be forced to comply (or face penalties), regardless of the impact on their organization.

"The gender identity provisions," FRC's Peter Sprigg warns in an op-ed for CNN, "undermine the right of employers to impose reasonable dress and grooming standards, by forbidding employers to use the most fundamental standard of all -- that people be dressed in a way [that's] appropriate for their biological sex!" Not too long ago, Sen. Reid's position -- which orders employers (like preschools) to hire transvestites, transsexuals, drag queens, and drag kings -- was considered "too radical" even for homosexual congressman Barney Frank!

And unlike past bills, Sen. Jeff Merkley's (D-Ore.) version doesn't include an exemption for bathrooms, which means that employers at daycares, public schools, and Christian businesses would all have to change their restroom and shower policies to accommodate men who dress like women and vice-versa. Can you imagine walking into your daughter's classroom and seeing her teacher dressed in drag -- or that same man using the ladies restroom with female students? Apparently Senate liberals can.

Apart from the bill's obvious problems, this legislation would be a magnet for lawsuits. "[W]ith the law in place, everyone who doesn't get hired or is removed for cause of any sort finds themselves with the opportunity to sue the employer under the new rules." HotAir goes on to talk about the financial drain this litigation would be on an already struggling and overregulated economy. "Dollars spent in such lawsuits and settlements are dollars not available to expand the payroll and get more workers off the unemployment lines."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) challenged the wisdom of such a policy in a statement last week. "By and large, I think all Americans should be protected," he said, "but I'm not for any special protections based on sexual orientation." Kudos to Senator Rubio for recognizing that this bill would be just another government club to beat businesses with. It wasn't too long ago that homosexual activists said they just wanted "to get the government out of their bedroom." Now we know why: they want to put their bedroom in the workplace!

To help people understand exactly what's at stake, FRC produced an important documentary that your church, family, and friends need to see. It takes you behind the scenes of communities where laws like ENDA already exist and exposes how destructive the legislation will be, particularly to the faith community.

Navy Tries to Torpedo Workplace Porn

After last month's shocking report, military leaders are grappling with ways to address the spike in sexual assaults. The Pentagon stunned America when it announced that an astounding 26,000 cases of sexual abuse had been reported in the first full year that open homosexuality was tolerated. Our friends at Morality in Media, led by Pat Trueman, have pointed to the prevalence of pornography in the military -- and tried to explain the link between these images and sexual violence. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel must have been paying attention, because he ordered "that all branches do a search for offensive and degrading materials" and report back to him next month.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus refuses to wait. He took matters into his own hand, issuing a command that all obscene material (including pictures, videos, electronic devices, calendars, documents, displays, and more) be removed from ships, hangers, training centers, and other workspaces.

As our own Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin said, it's a good first step in the fight to protect our servicemen and women. But it's not enough. Instead of treating the symptoms, the Pentagon needs to look deeper to the policies they've adopted for more permanent solutions to this crisis. Starting with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" then to his new push for women in combat, no one has done more to sexualize the military than President Obama. While pornography is contributing to the problem, it's time to take a long, hard look at the White House's radical social policies and start acknowledging their role in fostering this dangerous sexually-charged environment.

Big Brother, Bigger Problems...

After the latest IRS scandals, most Americans wish the government had less of their personal information -- not more. Unfortunately, the recent targeting only scratches the surface of the privacy violations that are possible under ObamaCare's vast new government data hub. Once the health care law is implemented, Big Brother will have access to a bevy of personal details, including medical records, financial information, immigration status, and criminal files at its fingertips.

This web portal, as Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) describes it, will be shared by who-knows-how-many agencies and third parties and could give the President and his allies a rich new resource for government harassment. Of course, it helps that the woman who presided over that unprecedented tax-exempt status scandal is now heading up the office in charge of ObamaCare's enforcement -- and by extension, this database.

"[E]ach year," Rep. Black warns, HHS doles out billions of dollars in grants to a disproportionate number of organizations with close ties to the White House... With control over billions in federal dollars and even greater access to personal information, HHS and IRS(with the aid of the data hub) are well positioned to carry out the President's left-wing agenda through coercion and harassment of its enemies and rewards for its allies."

As it stands now, the information entered into this portal would be shared by not only HHS and the IRS but also the Justice Department, Veterans Affairs, Defense Department, and Social Security Administration. It is Rep. Black's goal that each of those agencies certifies "under perjury of the law" that American privacy -- and personal views -- will be respected.

The closest guarantee Congress will have is if it passes her new bill (HR 2022), "Stopping Government Abuse of Taxpayer Information Act." If the President truly wants to put an end to the corruption, he'll support Rep. Black's endeavor. Your congressman should too. Call and urge him or her to protect Americans by voting yes on HR 2022!

** Don't miss this evening's edition of "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," including our exclusive interview with new Washingtonian Josh Duggar! Also, our good friend Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) will stop by to update us on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Click over to TonyPerkins.com to watch live at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) or for a complete station listing.


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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