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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

When Homophobes bear false witness: The ENDA Edition

Desperate Right-Wing Rhetoric Becomes Increasingly Shrill, Hate-Filled

WASHINGTON -- Homophobic right wing groups are engaged in a frenzy of lies over legislation designed to end workplace discrimination against LGBT Americans. However, the falsehoods and rhetoric have become increasingly laced with hate-filled slurs and desperate attempts to create an atmosphere of divisiveness.

On Sunday, despite numerous documented cases of workplace discrimination against gays, Tom McClusky, Vice President of the Family Research Council, (a religious right group obsessed with gay issues), refused to admit that these cases happen. He told the Associated Press that ENDA “is affording extra protection to a group that has not been disadvantaged."

Mr. McCluskey should meet Officer Michael Carney and take a moment to listen to his story at: If McCluskey had attended the hearing on ENDA last week, he would have heard Officer Carney’s story of being fired for no other reason than because he was gay. Fortunately, Carney prevailed in his lawsuit because Massachusetts offers workplace protection. However, had he lived in 31 states in this country he would have had absolutely no legal recourse for this discriminatory firing.

Additionally, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA reported findings from a 2007 study ( showing a clearly uneven playing field for many GLBT workers:

· At least one in 10 gay, lesbian, and bisexual people surveyed report suffering employment discrimination.
· At least 10 percent of straight coworkers report witnessing discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual colleagues.
· The number of sexual orientation discrimination complaints filed is similar to the number of complaints filed for sex or racial discrimination in states that have laws ensuring gays and lesbians are treated equally at work.

(To view the complete report visit:
Matt Barber, who works at an organization called Concerned Women of America, is equally obsessed with gay issues. In his anti-ENDA rant, Barber issued an e-mail laced with homophobic slurs stating “the facts show that homosexual behavior is changeable” among other falsehoods. Barber would be hard-pressed to actually document his assertions, but, when the homophobes are on the attack, they do not let facts interfere. And instead resort to outlandish claims that have no bases in science or fact and masks schoolyard type of attacks on transgender people’s appearance as credible arguments against federal legislation.

HRC’s President Joe Solmonese said, “Fortunately, the leadership in Congress is preparing a rational debate on ENDA. The religious rights hysterical gay-bashing is decidedly un-Christian behavior. But, homophobic hypocrites have no boundaries.”

Solmonese added, “We already know that hate is a cottage industry for the religious right. We know that lies and distortions are key to their lobbying strategy, too. The rhetoric of hate increasingly falls on deaf ears and their lies and falsehoods can also be obliterated with facts. We don’t know why these self designated religious leaders choose the path of hate and lies. But make no mistake, we don’t intend to let them get away with it.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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