The DOJ's 'Do's and 'Don't's
When the Justice Department is done violating journalists' First Amendment rights, it looks like they'll move on to employees'. In a chilling memo to DOJ staff, the Obama administration is warning managers that they'd better start embracing homosexuality--or else. The email, which a Justice employee leaked to Liberty Counsel, is a scary reminder of how far this administration will go to crush free speech and expression in America.
In advance of June, the DOJ is priming its staff for a four-week in-your-face "gay pride" celebration that demands, not only the participation of--but affirmation by-- all staff. Based on this new directive, "LGBT Inclusion at Work: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Managers," it's no longer acceptable to be quiet or even neutral on homosexuality. In a not-so-veiled threat, the administration tells staff that when it comes to homosexuality and cross-dressing, "Silence will be interpreted as disapproval."
That's absolutely outrageous. Even criminals have the right to remain silent! President Obama's so-called Department of Justice is actually telling workers that there's no place in the government for people with unspoken objections to homosexuality. In fact, writes NRO's Ian Tuttle, "there is no longer a place even for private, unexpressed disapproval..."
Forget tolerance. The DOJ wants--and expects--vocal support for sexual deviance. Nowhere is that more evident than in this latest list of "DO"s and "DON'T"s, which includes some eye-opening advice for staff leaders. "DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you're saying" (sound ominous?) "and will read what you're writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document)." "DO attend LGBT events sponsored by DOJ Pride" and decorate your office accordingly. "DO display a symbol in your office (DOJ Pride sticker)." "DO use a transgender person's chosen name and the pronoun that is consistent with the person's self-identified gender." "DO use inclusive words like 'partner,' 'significant other,' or 'spouse' rather than gender-specific terms."
"If an employee mentions her same-sex partner in passing, as in 'My partner Janet and I saw the best movie this weekend,' DO react the way you would had she said, 'My husband Jeremy and I saw the best movie this weekend.' Ask about the movie, where they saw it, if they went out to dinner beforehand, etc." Even if you aren't gay, DOJ instructs supervisors to "Come out--as a straight ally." And just think: Congress hasn't even passed ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act! Imagine the level of workplace harassment Christians would face if viewpoint coercion were official U.S. policy!
As FRC has said for years, this debate has never been about tolerance. It's about forced acceptance. President Obama admitted as much when he praised the NBA's Jason Collins. Read what he said when Collins announced he was gay: "The LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality. Not just tolerance." Now, the bullies at DOJ are leading a parade for which your attendance is mandatory. How far we've fallen. In just five years, America's Justice Department has evolved from an agency that enforces our rights to one that forces its employees to trample them.
Lighting Company Beams over Circuit Court Chances
With headlines full of the President's mistakes, one of his biggest is being debated in courts across America. Although the fallout from the President's contraception-abortion pill mandate is somewhat lost in all of the scandals, the country continues to feel its effect. Several lawsuits are working through the appellate courts as we speak, including two of the most prominent: the Hobby Lobby and Grote Industry cases.
Today, Grote, the family-owned auto lighting company, pled its case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, represented by our good friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Of the 60-plus lawsuits filed, Grote was one of first for-profit companies to challenge the constitutionality of the mandate. With almost 500 full-time employees, the owners of Grote are fighting for the ability to operate their business in accordance with their Catholic faith--a cause Hobby Lobby certainly understands.
In what may be the most high-profile case of all, the Green family is following Grote into court on Thursday in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty will be representing the chain which resents being forced to pay for drugs that may cause abortions. Of all the plaintiffs, Hobby Lobby may have the most to lose financially. "[I]n less than six weeks, [the Green family] must either violate their faith by covering abortion-causing drugs, or be exposed to severe penalties--including fines of up to $1.3 million per day..." Until Congress or the courts correct this problem for everyone, institutions will still have to choose between civil disobedience with large fines--or violating their faith. Let's hope they agree on a solution sooner rather than later!
BSA Supporters Try to Put It 'Delegate-ly'
Regardless of what happens in Grapevine, Texas tomorrow, history will be made. Will the Boy Scouts of America stand by its rich legacy or cave to liberal and corporate bullies? More than 1,400 Scouting leaders will decide during Thursday's meeting of the National Council. Before the vote, FRC is doing everything it can to defend the BSA's current policy, including an ad in tomorrow's Dallas Morning News that lists the top five reasons to "Vote NO" on the resolution. (Click here to see it.)
Other organizations, including ADF, are also making a last-ditch effort to influence members. Yesterday, the group delivered a petition signed by 19,000 Americans, urging the BSA to "uphold the values that have defined the organization for over 100 years." (Nearly 12,000 of the signatories are or had been members of Scouting families.)
Another 50 of America's top religious leaders added their names to a statement Tuesday asking the Boy Scouts to reaffirm their membership standards. "We strongly support the Boy Scouts of America current prohibition on open homosexuality and retaining it without revision. Nearly 70 percent of BSA troops are hosted by churches and religious institutions. Upholding traditional morality is vital for sustaining this partnership, for protecting Scout members, and for ensuring BSA has a strong future." The statement is signed by officials of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Anglican Church in North America, Evangelical Presbyterian Church and several Pentecostal denominations, among others.
Even Congress, thanks to Eagle Scout and Freshman Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), is taking a strong stance. This week, Rep. Bridenstine took to the House floor to fight for the organization that helped mold him into the leader he is today. Join him and Scouting families across America in praying for tomorrow's vote.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.