Monday, June 20, 2005

Men in Dresses. Brought to You by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

If there is any proof that we are seeing just how far off the mainstream the religious right is, one need not go any further than the latest action alert by Concerned Women for America. The Republican Governor of Indiana, former Bush Administration offical Mitch Daniels has a policy in his office of not discrimating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. For CWA, this is going to far. The lead paragraph in the action alert reads:

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.

Hmmm. Here in Minnesota, we do have anti-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation and gender identity, and I don't see a whole lot of guys wearing dresses. I mean, I would have to shave my legs and well...I'm not about to do that.

One could look that this action alert and simply say that CWA is off its rocker and it is. But there is a deeper issue at work here. Concerned Women for America, is one of many that loves to talk about values and morals. So, we need to ask those who seem so hell bent on shoving people on me back in the closet, what is so moral about firing an employee because they are gay? What is so moral about letting six linguists who are fluent in Arabic go because they like people of the same sex, especially at this time post 9/11? What is so moral of not allowing the same sex partner of a spouse to not see their loved one when they are in the hospital?

These are the questions those of us who believe in gay and lesbian equality need to be asking. Far too often, the gay rights movement fights a rear guard action and simply talks about equality as if it was just a nice thing to have. I don't think we fight this as much with our hearts. Gay rights is not about special rights or about overturning society. Heck, what do gay people want to do today? They want to get married, join the Boy Scouts and join the Army. This is radical? My liberal friends might not like it, but the gay rights movement has become conservative. Not a Pat Robertson kind of conservative, but more an Edmund Burke style. Gays have accepted and want to enter the institutions of society, they don't want to turn them over.

For those of who are gay as well as those who support gay eqaulity, we should be asking those who wrap themselves in the flag and the Bible, what makes their crusade so moral. I'm a devout Christian, and nowhere does Jesus seem to endorse firing people from their jobs, taking their children from them or not allowing one partner not see another when they are sick. That is what we need to be throwing back at the religious right.


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