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09/24/2009

Is Bruce Hausknecht deliberately missing the point?

by Jeremy Hooper

On Monday, we showed you how Focus on the Family writer was failing to actually acknowledge the real, on-the-ground concerns that DOMA poses to gay-headed families, with the conservative figure instead choosing to talk about children only as a liberal "strategy" or "tactic." Yesterday, Bruce wrote this:

Morality is back in style.

So says Professor Eskridge of Yale Law School at today’s extremely one-sided House hearings on ENDA. Eskridge, a self-identified gay man, seemed to be the celebrity witness of the hour or so of the hearings that I watched. He must have referenced the “moral” necessity of ENDA a half dozen times. And he pointedly referred to Congress in particular as our moral leader or example. Really? I was reminded of the
recent Rasmussen poll of what the public currently thinks of Congress. But I digress.

The point I was going to make is this: I’ve said before that almost any legislation you can think of has a moral component, but since the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, liberals have proclaimed the death of morality in legislation. Are we back to admitting that legislation has a moral component? I’m confused.

Seriously, at least Eskridge’s “moral necessity” plea ends one of the Left’s sillier arguments. Now I’m free to argue about the moral necessity for protecting the religious beliefs and freedom of conscience for all of the employers and employees who will be impacted by ENDA. Right?

Morality is back in style. [FOF Drive Thru]

So he's trying to catch progressives in hypocrisy, by comparing the morality issues in something like Lawrence v. Texas and in something like the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. Only problem for Bruce? He places no premium on the kind of morality up for discussion, or the implications that the concept has on others' civil rights (which can itself constitute a moral quagmire : gigidy-gigidy:). And failing to do so leaves Mr. Hausknecht with a completely pointless editorial comment that holds no valid argument!

What we LGBT activists have talked about vis-à-vis Lawrence, marriage equality, and other aspects of civil law is the right (or lack thereof) to legislate faith-based morality. Meaning: One's personal, discriminatory, religious views about the morality of homosexuality cannot be used to deny gay people of their fair and equal treatment. In this nation of church-state separation, we cannot have people of faith who hold a personal anti-gay agenda deciding public policy for all of us based on their theology. Doing so flies in the face of American freedom, and even the most deeply convicted among us should see and accept that point. Especially if they value their religious freedom, since this church-state separation also protects their right to preach as much anti-homosexual fire and brimstone as they so choose.

But when talking about ENDA, we are talking about the shared, wholly secular moral duty to treat all citizens fairly. We are talking about right vs. wrong, not Leviticus vs. "We the people"! In America, opposing discrimination is an almost universally accepted standard. Most of us see opposing discrimination as a thing of value. A thing of ethics. A thing of moral character. And just like we used this sense of morality to oppose discrimination in Lawrence, we are now using this sense of right vs. wrong to oppose discrimination in the American workplace!

Nobody is saying that there is to be no moral component of public debate: Obviously, our shared sense of ethics is of high consideration in most public debate. And people like Bruce Hausknecht can even continue to make their faith-based "morality" arguments in the court of public opinion -- we support his right to do so. But what we are saying is that all notions of morality are not created equal. The civil imperative to protect all citizens fairly, safely, and equally is (or at least should be) a crucial component of America's moral fabric (especially when talking about a minority that shows a high risk for unfair treatment). As for using one's personalized theology to rob certain classes of people of the their place in the moral world? Well, that is never, ever, ever going to fit the acceptable parameters of a supposedly fair and free nation of constitutional law!

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Your thoughts

Well, he does what the lying liars do all the time.. he paints himself as the victim. The, "if we're forced to give those Sodomites civil rights, then that means that we have to treat them with decency. That violates my religion," ploy to paint themselves as "victims" of equal rights for fags. Of course, completely ignoring the real victims of their bigotry. If they weren't so hatefully and spitefully anti-gay, then there would be NO reason for ENDA. He basically proves exactly why ENDA is a moral imperative, because jackasses like him still need to hate someone - and that hatred manifests as denying rights to LGBTs.

Alsn, if they are forced to grant us our due civil rights, then that might elicit from the flockers some pushback against their hate filled pulpitry. Even the white supremacists (these days) refrain from hate speech in the public pulpits, because it is unacceptable to publicly hate ethnic minorities. They fear that the flockers might not be as accepting of their public hatred of LGBTs from the pulpit as well. And, let's face it, they derive significant financial gains from that very same public hatred that they direct at us.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 24, 2009 12:37:05 PM

"The point I was going to make is this: I’ve said before that almost any legislation you can think of has a moral component, but since the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, liberals have proclaimed the death of morality in legislation."

I stopped reading here, he basically just admitted he wants lawrence overturned and gays thrown in prison again. These people are homo-hating bigots and this one just admitted his opposition to ENDA and marriage is based on absolutely nothing but making life worse for gay people.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Sep 24, 2009 2:00:13 PM

It seems to really upset him to see that his organization does not own words like "moral" as a trademark that nobody else can use without their permission. And of course, social conservatives in general have historically had a problem with the idea that there are different *kinds* of morality and theirs isn't the only one.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Sep 25, 2009 12:32:30 PM

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