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Radical Religious Right: As If It Were Only About Marriage

May 1st, 2008 | by Daniel DiRito |

The religious right likes to be seen as the moral compass of the country…though they rarely want the country to fully understand that their focus on denying any rights to gays is their primary objective. Yes, they talk incessantly about same-sex marriage and frame it as the pivotal issue facing the American family. At the same time, they seek to keep the bulk of their mean spirited efforts working quietly in the background. The latest to surface is an attempt to force Wells Fargo to remove all protections for their gay employees.

From 365Gay.com:

(San Francisco, California) A motion by a Wells Fargo shareholder to remove protections for LGBT workers from the company’s non-discrimination policy was defeated this week at its annual meeting.

The motion called for the company to “to formulate an equal employment policy …that does not make reference to any matters related to sexual interests, activities or orientation.”

It said that homosexuality has been “condemned by the major traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam for a thousand years or more”.

The motion was crafted by Pro Vita Advisors, a group that helps promote conservative values.

The motion said that “While the legal institution of marriage between a man and a woman should be protected, the sexual interests of, inclinations and activities of all employees should be a private matter, not a corporate concern.”

The proposal was easily defeated.

Conservative groups have attacked Wells Fargo for the past three years over its “pro-gay policies”.

In 2005 Focus on the Family withdrew its funds from Wells Fargo.

“Focus on the Family has elected to end its banking relationship with Wells Fargo, motivated primarily by the bank’s ongoing efforts to advance the radical homosexual agenda. These efforts are in direct opposition to the underlying principles and purpose of Focus, and thus a decision of conscience had to be made, and a stand taken,” said a statement from FOF at the time.

Little did I know that protection from being fired for one’s sexuality or providing health care for one’s partner is a radical concept. Little did I know that protection from being harassed at work for one’s sexuality is a radical departure from basic civil rights.

What I do know is that these fanatics have always had the punishment of gays as their goal though they like to couch it as simply being against special rights for gays. Frankly, their argument is ludicrous. The reason the rights of gays need to be recognized and documented is primarily because these fanatics see nothing wrong with denying them.

In their perfect world, gays would be ostracized and pressured to remain in the closet. Beyond that, I suspect they believe that those gays who expose their sexual identity should be chastised and condemned by those in their midst. After all, the mindset of these bigots justifies the punishment of ’sinners’ and don’t think for a minute that they wouldn’t happily administer it.

Take a look at an excerpt from the resolution that was voted down.

From Christian News Wire:

The resolution reads in part:

Whereas, our company seeks to hire the most qualified person and has never had a policy discriminating against any person, or groups of persons, for any reason.

Whereas, it would be inappropriate and possibly illegal to ask a job applicant or employee about their sexual interests, inclinations and activities.

Whereas, it is similarly inappropriate and legally problematic for employees to discuss personal sexual matters while on the job.

Whereas, unlike the issues of race, age, gender and certain physical disabilities, it would be impossible to discern a person’s sexual orientation from their appearance.

Whereas, unless an employee chooses to talk about their sexual interests or activities while working, the issue of sexual orientation is, essentially, moot.

Whereas, domestic partner benefit policies pay employee benefits based on the employee engaging in unmarried, homosexual relations. These relations have been condemned by the major traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam for a thousand years or more.

Whereas, the Armed Forces of the United States is one of the largest and most diverse organizations in the world. They protect the security of us all while adhering to a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” regarding sexual interests.

Whereas, marriage between heterosexuals has been protected and encouraged by a wide range of societies, cultures and faiths for ages.

Statement: While the legal institution of marriage between a man and a woman should be protected, the sexual interests of, inclinations and activities of all employees should be a private matter, not a corporate concern.

How ironic that they disguise their hatred of gays with statements intended to sound unbiased. Do these idiots think gays don’t know that it’s inappropriate to be asked about their sexual orientation? It isn’t the actions of gays prying into the sexual lives of their co-workers that have facilitated the need to protect gays in the workplace. All too often busy body Christians seek to expose their gay co-workers and begin the process of making them the object of derision and discrimination…all in the name of upholding their Christian values.

Truth be told, this effort is akin to the application of a scarlet letter. Many of those opposed to gays want to be able to identify them for the purpose of shaming and ridicule while simultaneously demanding that gays be forced to remain silent with regards to their plight. In essence, actions of this nature seek to establish that the sin of homosexuality is accompanied by a preordained guilt that allows society to judge while also requiring gays to accept that judgment in silence.

The notion suggests that the sin of being gay is so great as to nullify the possibility that those who aren’t gay could ever commit a sin large enough to exceed the punishment that God wants them to impose on gays. After all, they believe the Bible justifies far worse than scorn. As such, gays should be happy that society is willing to allow them to exist.

In the end, one of the prevailing problems with religion is that its doctrines often seek to make measures of sin nothing more than a numerical holiness hierarchy. As such, practitioners often feel embolden to attach labels premised upon cursory information about the individual…while frequently ignoring any cumulative measure of the many transgressions they themselves have committed.

Last time I checked, God’s alleged words still posit that only he can judge what’s in the hearts of those he created. I’m happy to leave it at that. Of course, given the certitude of many of my Christian friends, maybe their ability to judge others leads them to think they can slap a scarlet letter on the one who supposedly created all these gay people. Then again, I’ve always had my doubts about who created whom.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

  1. 5 Responses to “Radical Religious Right: As If It Were Only About Marriage”

  2. By Alex on May 2, 2008 | Reply

    Good post :)

  3. By Craig R. Harmon on May 2, 2008 | Reply

    Well, I still have my accounts at Wells Fargo. No plans to withdraw them.

  4. By Alex on May 2, 2008 | Reply

    I would guess that if someone was fired for being a Christian “Focus on the Family” would take offense to that as well. One form of hateful discrimination is okay, as long as it suits the platform.

  5. By Lisa on May 3, 2008 | Reply

    Just goes to show we have a longer way to go.

  6. By Paul Watson on May 3, 2008 | Reply

    Lisa,
    True, true. The problem is both sides think we have a longer way to go, they just want to go in opposite directions.

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