Now that the LGBT has won a victory by the slimmest of margins and longest stretch of constitutional jurisprudence, what is the next step? For us on the Right the strategy seems to be guaranteeing that religious liberties are not trampled by these newly found rights to same sex marriage. In every state where gay marriage came about democratically, their laws grant religious exemptions. In those states, there has not been too much controversy despite occasional flare ups that gain the attention of the media. For the Left, their victory before the Supreme Court is a large battle won, but certainly not their end game.
One need only look at with who the LGBT activist community interacts and calls their allies. It is youth groups, feminists, Latinos, immigrants,organized labor and environmentalists. It is a “who’s who” of the American Left.
The goal was not necessarily to change the prevailing laws about same sex marriage but more a campaign to change attitudes about homosexuality in general. The first target of attack is going to be at the state level. Using social media, a legal team, research centers and watchdog groups, the LGBT community will try to force 29 states to adopt anti-discrimination laws as they pertain to gays. At the Federal level, they will pursue a “cleaner” ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act)- one without religious exemptions. Previous efforts lost the support of LGBT activists over the fear that certain provisions would allow too many to hide behind religious objections to homosexuality in order to discriminate. Here, I think it may make some sense for the GOP to beat the Left to the punch and propose another version of ENDA with religious liberty guarantees. If nothing else, it achieves two goals. First, it shows that the GOP is more committed to ending discrimination in employment. Second, it forces the Left to espouse a more radical policy and exposes their anti-religious tendencies.
Even still, there will be push back. As recent events in Indiana and Arkansas indicated, the LGBT community will stop at nothing to further their cause. Those are only two recent cases of the agenda, but there were others. For example, in 1998 a New York Bell employee lost her job for attempting to remove himself from a mailing list that included homosexual events. They were fired for creating a “hostile work environment.” An AT&T employee in Denver was fired for refusing to sign a document stating he would “fully value sexual orientation differences.” An Eastman-Kodak employee was fired for refusing to support a “coming out event.” A Hewlett-Packard employee was fired for placing Biblical verses critical of homosexuality at his cubicle. It is not only Mozilla CEOs who are facing the wrath of the LGBT community. California already has draconian laws in this area. Discrimination against transgender people could get you a $150,000 fine.
So workplace discrimination is the first area where the LGBT community will turn their attention next. After that, they will try to incorporate crimes against homosexuals into hate crime legislation. Some states have already done so. Here, their efforts will come into conflict with another First Amendment right- free speech where it is is difficult to criminalize speech. In Europe, the LGBT activists have met with greater success. A Swedish pastor was sentenced to a month in jail for speaking out against homosexuality. Roman Catholic Cardinals from Belgium and Madrid are facing lawsuits for the same. At a Philadelphia “Outfest” an evangelical Christian group was arrested for protesting and charged with “intimidation” under that state’s hate crime law, along with criminal conspiracy and other charges.
Other areas that will be the target of the LGBT activist community, besides hate crimes and ENDA, will be a push to end the lifetime ban on blood donations by homosexuals (the FDA is already working on amending the regulations) and banning so-called “conversion therapies.” Here, some states have already done so, but the LGBT community is lobbying the FTC to have them declared a fraud and for them to be prosecuted. They will also work for transgender rights in the military (the elimination of “don’t ask, don’t tell did not address transgenders). And to push the agenda down the age chain, watch for anti-bullying laws and policies.
In this latter area, the LGBT community cites statistics regarding students overhearing a derogatory phrase (“faggot” or “dyke”) or the word “gay” being used in a negative way (e.g., “That is so gay”). Since the overall goal of the gay community is to first change the laws, but eventually change attitudes towards homosexuality, they will (and are) targeting the three institutions with the greatest influence in our society- churches, schools, and families. Already, many schools throughout the country have anti-bullying programs. But sooner or later, the advocate for the bullied becomes the bully. In effect, teachers and school administrators become a de facto thought police. Eliza Byard, a gay rights activist explains: “Education is the glue that holds society together and transmits both opportunity and shared values from generation to the next.”
With regards to religion, a statement by Believe Out Loud- an online community of LGBT Christians- says they have “a unique role to play in promoting this acceptance in the context of U.S. churches, particularly within Christianity…As we look ahead to a movement beyond marriage equality, we know that the work of affirming Christians is not yet finished…” Here, Christianity is singled out and that is because of the gay community’s animus towards Christianity in particular, and religion in general. Already, they are dispatching community organizers into churches to try to change the conversation. In a recent article in The Nation, the authors write: “Faith based organizing in every denomination creates great leaders, new frames, and a base of support.” Through infiltration, marginalization, “education,” and denigration, they will stop at nothing to try to change attitudes.
To conclude, as a conservative and as a Christian I value the inherent dignity and humanity of my fellow humans despite their sexual orientation. We are all God’s children and should be treated equally. Of course, a homosexual should not face employment discrimination or housing discrimination. But, neither should they receive preferential treatment by virtue of that orientation. One can almost guarantee that businesses and landlords will adopt a self-imposed affirmative action program to capture gays in order to avoid a potential lawsuit. We have seen that scenario played out before causing more harm than the benefits suggested.
This will be a long slog with many battles to be waged. In the short term, the Supreme Court may have done the GOP a service by essentially removing a contentious social issue from the agenda. It would be a winning strategy to accept the decision as the law of the land, but note your personal disagreement. Reword the “controversy” from one of “love wins” to “democracy lost.” But, religious liberty must trump gay rights. Estimates state that 2% of the United States population is homosexual. Although the numbers may be falling, there are more people of religion than there are homosexuals. In the midterm, the GOP needs to get out ahead of workplace discrimination laws and frame a law that addresses true discrimination without compromising the religious beliefs of others. It can, should and must be done.