Monday, November 19, 2007

ENDA Lines Up With Republican Values

Karen Bell, President of the Indiana Log Cabin Republicans, pens a letter to the editor in today's Star reminding folks that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is consistent with Republican values in response to U.S. Rep. Mike Pence's predictable, outspoken opposition to the legislation. I should note that every GOP member of Indiana's congressional delegation voted against ENDA, while Indiana's Democratic congressmen voted for it. Rep. Steve Buyer (R) and Rep. Julia Carson (D) were both absent for the vote. Bell explains her position:

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is in line with real Republican values. Republicans have always stood for the values of personal freedom and individual liberty. It is this set of values that are reflected in ENDA. When passed into law, ENDA will protect Americans from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

ENDA would protect hardworking gay and lesbian employees who are the best candidates for the job from getting fired simply because of their sexual orientation.

U.S. Rep Mike Pence, R-Ind., recently spoke out in opposition of ENDA, as the House of Representatives voted to support it.

Pence's statements about ENDA do not represent the majority of Republicans. A June 2007 poll by GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio showed that 77 percent of Republicans believe an employer should not have the right to fire an employee based solely on their sexual orientation. ENDA is in line with Republican values. The Indiana Log Cabin Republicans commend the 35 Republican members of the House who voted in support of ENDA.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

In an ideal world, an employer would seek to keep the best qualified and capable employees regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation. In the interest of maximizing profits and the talent of their organization, this makes sense.

The issue with legislation like ENDA is that it assigns rights to special groups that is presumed to trump the "freedom of association" rights of others.

In a truly competetive, free market world, legislation like ENDA is not necessary because a non-discriminating employer would have a larger talent pool to draw from, would be more competetive over the long-term and would ultimately be more successful.

While this kind of legislation is understandly desired by the segment of the community it's intended to protect, generally, making one self an invaluable employee is the best protection and legislating restrictions on hiring/firing is always percieved to open the door to frivilous lawsuits just as much as it might protect those it's intended to.

Anonymous said...

Again perfect example of how the Red Indiana vote anybody in office as long as the is an (R) behind their name. It could Satan (R) and the party would line up to jump off the cliff with him!!!!!!!

donna said...

anonymous 9:11 why is it that when securing civil rights based on sexual-orientation does proponents always label it "special rights"?

If the following were true:
"...generally, making one self an invaluable employee is the best protection ..."
then there would not be non-discrimination laws based on religion, ethnicity, race, sex.

Non-discrimination protection in employment based on sexual-orientation is not a "special right". It is a constitutional right.

Wilson46201 said...

While it's nice and sweet that Karen and other Log Cabin Republicans say that ENDA lines up with Republican values, the sad fact is that the Republican Party, as a functioning political party, opposes ENDA. The GOP Caucus in Congress officially opposes ENDA. It is in the Republican Party official platform to support an anti gay marriage amendment.

The Log Cabin Republicans may issue whatever letters and manifestos it wants but the real official power in the GOP is firmly anti-LGBT.

The Democrats, as a party, support and got ENDA passed at last in the House. It was the previous GOP obstructionism for 12 years that prevented the vote from even reaching the floor until this year. Sadly, that's the real Republican values about ENDA.

Wilson46201 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I still dont understand how someone can be gay and still be republican...they hate gay people

Erin said...

2:03- There is a big difference btwn political theories of proper governance and the individual behavior of those who purport to ascribe to a party. Many elected Rs (and constituents) are indeed quite anti-GLBT, that doesn't make their positions actually fit the political theory of the Republican Party.

Anybody can be prejudiced in any party. And, unfortunately, anyone can use political philosophies to advance their prejudices. Easy example is the "states rights" argument. In the 1800's, very progressive states (such as Ohio) used the states rights arguments to refuse to honor the runaway slave laws (which were passed in Congress- Fed. gov.). Move to the 1950s and racist individuals perverted the states rights argument to try to continue the ugly and unconstitutional policy of segregation. Truth is, neither political philosophy is inherently racist or nonracist- it all depends on the motives of those invoking the philosophy. what is required of BOTH parties is that people of goodwill see through the mantras and catch phrases that go with their personal political philosophy and speak out. In that tradition we have the Log Cabin Republicans. If the Rs dropped their ridiculous homophobia tomorrow it would not make a wit of difference in any actual true conservative (small government, pro-civil liberties) political philosophy, but would remove an anomoly. And I say all that as a Democrat!

Jeff Newman said...

Wilson is right on this one, but anon 2:03 is not. With obvious exceptions, Republicans do not hate gay people. It is the power structure of the Republican party that has chosen to align the party with the religious right, and the anti-gay stuff resonates with this base.

I don't think even people like Eric Miller or Ann Coulter actually hate gay people. But they do love money and power, and the anti-gay message serves their purpose well.

I have more respect for people who are anti-gay because of their religious principles, no matter how misguided or based in ignorance, than I do for people like those I just named.

Anonymous said...

anoymous 9:54 - that comment may apply equally to Democrats. It could be Monroe Gray (D) or Julia Carson (D) and they'd still get elected. Both parties have robotic followers.

And DONNA - If everyone already has these rights than there is no need for additional legislation. And, specifically, legislation that trumps an individuals right to decide who he or she may or may not want to associate with. I know this sounds crass, and I certainly wouldn't subscribe to discriminating based on sexual orientation by itself (a man showing up to work in a dress obviously being outside the scope of that statement) but I should never fear terminating someone because they could just cause trouble and expense for me because they are part of a "protected class."

Again, we ALL either have these rights or there is special legislation required to grant them? If a company refuses to hire gays or lesbians let the public know and the free market can work to dimish their business for being jerks (or worse).

Sean Shepard said...

Anon 2:03 - I don't know any Republicans who "hate gay people". I do know many that, I believe, are misguided in demanding the government further regulate marriage out of the belief that it would better serve to "preserve family values."

In my opinion, law doesn't drive values and the government should not be involved in marriage whatsoever. It is a personal and religious decision and no special privileges (aka: government manipulation of behavior) under the law should ensue.

There's a lot more to this that I wish I could rant about in this limited space. Maybe in a future blog posting of my own.

Peter said...

In an ideal world, an employer would seek to keep the best qualified and capable employees regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation. In the interest of maximizing profits and the talent of their organization, this makes sense.


Well, we don't live in an ideal world, for one thing. We live in a world in which people are discriminated against for all kinds of reasons unrelated to their ability to perform a given job.

In a truly competetive, free market world, legislation like ENDA is not necessary because a non-discriminating employer would have a larger talent pool to draw from, would be more competetive over the long-term and would ultimately be more successful.

Yeah, economists raised this argument years ago when discussing race discrimination. And it is probably true for certain fields where one outstanding individual can make real difference...fields such as sports or maybe even high level physics. But this doesn't really work for most jobs - there are few superstar Target cashiers or bank tellers.

And more to the point, if you live in a racist or sexist society, customers may well be willing to pay slightly higher prices or suffer slightly slower service to shop or eat in an establishment with no blacks or gays.