Monday, June 20, 2005

Clark Spews More Bigotry In Response To Governor's EEO Policy

Micah Clark, already under fire for uttering false and bigoted statements concerning Governor Mitch Daniels' EEO Policy of non-discrimination for gays, lesbians and transgendered persons, has served up another helping of hate-filled bigotry to his followers. As reported by Advance Indiana yesterday, Clark sent a newsletter to his followers appearing to backpedal on his earlier statements about Daniels' policy in response to a spirited defense from the Governor's office deeming his statements as utterly "misleading." Clark informed his followers that he would have no further comment on the Governor's policy until attorneys for his parent organization, American Family Associaton, had an opportunity to prepare a legal response to the policy, which he promised to share with his followers. Jeff Newman, founder of GayIndy.Org, reported today on that Clark had just sent a new message to his followers urging them to read an article prepared by Robert Knight for the Concerned Women for America ("CWA"), a very conservative D.C. based non-profit group. Knight is described by Clark as "well-respected policy expert" for CWA. "Although this was not one of the legal reviews I had in mind when I mentioned this issue on Friday, it does include quotes from CWA's chief legal counsel about Governor Daniels' EEO policy," Clark said in the message according to Newman.

Notwithstanding Clark's assertion that Knight is a "well respected policy expert", there is nothing respectable or expert than can be taken from Knight's article. The article, which is entitled "Indiana Governor’s Memo Paves Way for Quotas for Homosexuals, Transvestites", opens with the following statement: "Indiana may soon begin hiring men in dresses in order to satisfy the governor’s affirmative action plan. That’s a possibility because of an April 26, 2005, policy statement issued by Republican Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr." As has been previously explained to Clark, the policy statement in no way provides quotas for hiring gays, lesbians and transgendered persons as he has repeatedly falsely asserted; it merely prevents bigoted persons like him from discriminating against persons on that basis. The Knight article quotes a legal expert for CWA as incorrectly asserting that "[t]here are no federal or Indiana employment laws that give special protection based on ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity." The governor is making up law, not complying with it. Executive activism is as bad as judicial activism,” according to CWA's chief legal counsel, Jan LaRue.

The article goes on to spew various absurdities and bigoted statements. The article says, "The practical effect may be that state agency executives cannot take into account anything regarding sexuality, including whether men wear dresses, makeup, high heels or other feminine garb, or act in an outrageously unorthodox manner. The article continues, "As a protected status, 'sexual orientation' can justify conduct interpreted as being part of personal identity, or 'who I am'”. The article fears the policy will "set[] the tone and pave[] the way for the homosexual agenda, including demands for marital-type benefits for same-sex partners, “gay pride” celebrations, and school programs that affirm homosexuality. It warns that "[i]t also constitutes a government endorsement of bisexuality, which means having partners of either sex, behavior that is inconsistent with supporting the institution of marriage." The article repeats Clark's often false refrain that "state agency managers will have no choice but to create informal quotas in order to prove that they are not discriminating." Lastly, the article suggests that when "government offers incentives [such as Daniels EEO policy] for people to remain trapped in homosexual behavior, it becomes that much harder for them to give it up"

Firstly, Governor Daniels simply renewed a policy which had already been in effect under his two predecessors, O'Bannon and Kernan. The "Sky is Falling" response to Governor Daniels' EEO policy simply doesn't hold water; the policy has been in effect for many years without any of the claims asserted by Clark and Knight coming true. Secondly, contrary to LaRue's assertion that no federal law protects people on the basis of sexual idenity or orientation, federal courts have found in many cases that harassment and discrimination directed at a person because that person does not conform to traditional sex stereotypes is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based upon the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. In addition, at least 16 states and hundreds of local communities have enacted civil rights protection based on sexual orientation and identiy, including Bloomington, Ft. Wayne and Lafayette among others.

The false and hate-filled bigoted statements being spewed by Clark and his so called "Christian" co-horts in defense of their support of legalized discrimination against persons based upon their sexual orientation and identity must be exposed for what they are. It is extremely frustrating that the main-stream media continue to ignore the dishonesty and extreme, bigoted nature of the attacks employed by Christian fundamentalists like Clark and Advance America's Eric Miller on the GLBT community. Governor Daniels has every right to be upset with the assault Clark, Miller and others are making on his EEO policy. Advance Indiana will continue to expose these hypocritical bigots at every turn even as the mainstream media remains silent.

For those of you interested in the Governor's automated e-mail response to Clark's e-mail alert, here it is:

"Thank you for your recent e-mail communication to Governor Daniels. The Governor read your message personally and asked that I respond. I am afraid that you have been misinformed (emphasis added) about the non-discrimination policy in place for state employees. While Governor Daniels does not believe in discrimination of any kind, the state employment policy he continued does not extend special rights to people based on their sexual orientation. It merely states that it "shall not be a consideration in decisions concerning hiring, development, advancement and termination of civilian employees."The information you received regarding establishing "quotas" for state employment practices is false (emphasis added). As you may know, "quotas" are illegal. Additionally, please know there has been no direction to establish state government agency hiring goals based on sexual orientation. Again, this is a false statement (emphasis added). I hope this clears up any confusion caused by the distortions of fact (emphasis added) that someone [Micah Clark] must have conveyed to you earlier."

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