We alert you, for what it's worth, that the University of Richmond's Career Development Center, according to the September 6 Richmond Times-Dispatch, earned a bronze star ranking in the 2010 LGBTQ* Career Center Certification Report from an organization called OUT For Work. Surely, its students feel a sense of relief and redemption, perhaps cleansing, from the horrible shame it endured last spring. (*The "Q" is for "Questioning.")
If you are interested in what former Governor Tim Kaine has been up to since he left office in January, below is a truncated version of a letter sent to DNC members recently. Let's just say he's taking a lot of "pride" in his work. The letter was sent for Mr. Kaine by Organizing for America, President Barack Obama's nationwide community organizing group, which is an official "project of the Democratic National Committee." The president also declared June "Gay Pride Month" (see CBN News).
From: Tim Kaine
Subject: Share your voice this Pride Month
LGBT Americans have helped build the Democratic Party into what it is today. And, as a leader of the party, I'm proud of our role in the struggle for equality.
That's why it's important to me — and to the future of this party — that we hear from you.
At times the pace of progress has not been as fast as some — myself included — would like. And, while equality cannot be achieved overnight, the President and our Democratic leaders in Congress have made important strides over the past 16 months to address barriers that LGBT Americans face.
- Last year, we passed the Matthew Shepherd & James Byrd, Jr., Federal Hate Crimes Act — which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity and became the first federal law to provide protections for transgender Americans.
- In April, the President issued a directive, making critical changes to federal regulations and allowing gay and lesbian Americans to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners.
- And now we are on the verge of living up to President Obama's pledge to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The House just passed historic legislation to end this discriminatory policy, and the full Senate is getting ready to vote in the coming months.
But we are not satisfied. And we are not finished.
We must remain committed to making greater strides toward the fundamental American principle of equality.
Make your voice heard:
Thanks, and happy Pride Month,
Governor Tim Kaine
The following is an excerpt from a statement I released today concerning Governor Bob McDonnell's recent "Executive Directive" regarding "sexual orientation." For the full statement, including several examples of "sexual orientation" conflicting with religious liberty, click here. For a PDF of the entire statement, click here. Below, you will find links to sourced research studies, a legal analysis and an action item.
Response to Governor McDonnell's Executive Directive No. 1
The reactions to Governor Bob McDonnell's recent decision to issue an "Executive Directive" that includes "sexual orientation" as a protected class in his administration's hiring decisions have been varied. While some, including the Commonwealth’s largest homosexual political group, Equality Virginia, who advocated for the policy change, have praised the Governor, they have also expressed disappointment that the Directive didn’t go far enough. Others have questioned why the Governor issued the Directive at all. Many are confused about its implications.
News outlets that increasingly have less print space for substance, only address the surface-level point of "discrimination." It is not acceptable, however, for thoughtful, forward-looking policy organizations to limit their review of the Directive in this manner.
At issue is not, in fact, the simple question of whether the Directive's undefined label of "sexual orientation" disqualifies one for a state job or requires special compensation/treatment in state employment. Instead, nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, whether enshrined in law or implemented through internal constructs, and regardless of their legal weight, highlight the inevitable and unavoidable clash between the unalienable fundamental right of religious liberty and the postmodern era of sexual freedom. It is a clash that isn't taking place simply in the realm of ideas, but in courtrooms across the country, affecting the lives of everyday Americans. Potentially, there is no greater threat to our Constitutionally protected right of conscience, and as importantly the right to exercise our faith publicly, than that of the continued advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) "rights."
And perhaps no one has put this battle more succinctly and honestly than respected Georgetown University Law professor, lesbian, LGBT activist and Obama nominee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chai Feldblum, who stated:
There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases sexual liberty should win. I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.
Those who advocate for the advancement of sexual behavior protections in our law have little or no room for those who have religious convictions on those issues. In her paper, Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion, Feldblum, who authored the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), argues quite openly that it is the primary goal of the LGBT political movement to elevate (either through legislation or the courts) homosexual orientation to moral equivalence with heterosexual orientation and to do so at the cost of religious liberty.
She admits in her assessment of the clash that, "we are in a zero-sum game: a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side," but "in making the decision in this zero-sum game, I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the [sexual] liberty of LGBT people."
* * * * * *
In responding to Governor McDonnell's Directive granting protection to LGBT people seeking employment or who are currently employed in his administration, Kent Willis of the ACLU takes Feldblum's statements to their logical conclusion:
We hope this is only the beginning, and that the Governor's example will inspire legislators to finally pass a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in both private and public sector employment. [Emphasis added]
Willis' may be the most honest statement thus far. As both Willis and Feldblum clearly articulate, there is no religious liberty interest that can withstand the interest of LGBT people to self-identify and express their identity publicly.
The Bible is an acceptable source for young people to look to for greater educational understanding? Yes! Educating young people in sexual abstinence and securing their physical health as well as emotional and relational well being as a result. No!
These answers colorfully highlight the great juxtaposition of worldviews that currently are playing out in America today. However, don’t think for a moment, as many in the punditry class stress, that the "Yes" answer is a red state exclusive, while the "No" answer is a blue state domain. Both answers were given right here in The Old Dominion recently by people elected to guide the education of our children.
On Tuesday, November 10, the Chesterfield County School Board voted unanimously to allow county high schools, as one supporter said, "to teach the Bible as an elective from an academic perspective."
On the other hand, on Tuesday, November 17, (as we wrote here), the Richmond Times- Dispatch reported this about a Henrico County high school:
The scheduling of an abstinence-only speaker today at Douglas Freeman High School has drawn protests from some teachers, an abortion-rights organization, and a gay and lesbian education network. (The speaker's engagement was upheld by the principle and school district, thankfully.)
Simply put, this isn’t a red versus blue thing. These issues are the very seasonably unfashionable colors of black and white. Some in our commonwealth are working to stay the forces of secular progressivism and others are looking to promote it. Two questions face each of us:
Am I managing to see the actual worldview that the children in my public school district are being taught?
Am I encouraging those leaders who stand up for truth in spite of the criticism?
If your children attend public schools, please take some time to uncover what dominant worldview they are being taught. Find out what they are being told Yes! and No! to. From that color spectrum, the answers will quickly emerge from a hazy purple to a very poignant "Yes" or "No."
Not but a few minutes after we posted the last thread, the Richmond Times-Dispatch puts out this report: Apparently, so impressed with former Delegate Brian Moran's answer to the same-sex marriage question at Saturday's Democrat gubernatorial debate, that an organization called Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club endorsed him. Said the group's president, Charley Conrad:
"Throughout his career, he's fought alongside us — not just in his voting record, but also in the leadership positions he has taken in support of equality. And even now, during this campaign, he continues to push pro-equality positions, despite any potential political risk. The LGBT community is standing firmly with Brian because he has always stood up for us."
For those who don't know, LGBT is short for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender. Some homosexual lobby groups include transvestites in their coalition.
At the debate, Moran said:
"Equality is a fundamental value that makes us Democrats. Virginians know where I will stand on this issue because they know where I have stood. Leadership isn't easy."
Translation: According to Moran, if you believe in equal rights — as opposed to special rights — you can't be a Democrat.
Once again the California Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could have frightening implications across the nation. The court's recent decision allows the government to force doctors to perform medical treatments that violate their religious beliefs. In this case, two Christian fertility doctors refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian who wanted to have a baby. Never mind that there are hundreds of other doctors who would have gladly taken the money and done the procedure, and this is hardly withholding treatment in a life threatening situation, but the lesbian in question sued. The doctors in this case even referred the woman to another clinic — but she refused (and they paid for the referral). Obviously, this was not about a medical treatment. This was about forcing one's morality on someone else and using the courts to do so.
This is just another example in the ongoing battle between sexual liberty and religious liberty that has more often been played out in the abortion debate. Most recently, abortion activists have fought attempts to protect pharmacists who do not want to distribute abortifacient drugs because it violates their conscience. Again, its not like there isn't a Rite-Aid on every corner, giving people plenty of options. Medical providers are not allowed to have a choice in the matter of conscience.
No, this is about forcing people to act against their religious beliefs. And in America today, religious liberty is the least protected right in existence. In nearly every case thus far, sexual liberty wins out over conscience.
Does no one feel a chill when they read about the government forcing doctors to act against their conscience? Does history not teach us the danger of such oppression?