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05/11/2010

King/Perkins Audio: They just don't want LGBTs treated fairly, ENDA discussion

by Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef0133Ec815734970B-1Alright, so check out this clip about ENDA. The participants are the thoroughly gay-obsessed Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council, and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a man who seems to get more homo-hostile with every passing year (and bill). Be sure to listen to the last minute and a half in particular:

(click to play audio clip)
*FULL AUDIO SOURCE: Perkins/King [Washington Watch Weekly]

Okay, so hear that little aside at 2:19 about how the pro-equality activists "should have known" the sexuality of Iowa State Sen. Jerry Behn? Yea, that demonstrates as well as Kinganything just how much the far-right does not understand (or will not admit that they understand) what ENDA actually does, and how hypocritical they are in their attempts to refute it!

In terms of what ENDA does: The sole point of ENDA -- THE. SOLE. POINT. -- is to remove sexual orientation and gender identity from the bases on which one can be fired/harassed/denied employment. And that goes for ALL sexual orientations. So the goal is for state senator Behn, like all Americans, to be judged not on the basis of his sexual orientation, but rather on his qualifications. What the far-right refuses to admit is that ENDA protects everyone, not just LGBT people! Everyone has a sexual orientation. Everyone has a gender identity. Every employer, including LGBT ones, have the capacity to unfairly discriminate on the basis of gender/sexuality. So therefore, everyone benefits from a world where education and training and experience and merit and viewpoints (which very well might include contrasting ideas about work related to causes, even LGBT/anti-LGBT ones) are the qualities of job consideration. But the only reason why any of this is painted as problematic is because the far-right would rather benefit their own hetero$exist/homo-$hunning agenda, with which they have managed to misguide others in their own self-centered wake!

And in terms of hypocrisy: Where the flying, falsified frick does Rep. King get off saying that "they should have known" Behn's sexuality? People like King and Tony Perkins go on all the time about how a gay person's sexuality is only apparent if the person makes it known. Literally seconds after King made his comment about state senator Behn, he talks about how sexuality must be "projected" or "advertised" or "worn on the sleeve" if it is to be known. Yet that same rule doesn't apply to apparent heterosexuals like Senator Behn? People "should have known" just from looking at him? Why the double standard?!? Why is one's bio automatically "militant" if they are openly gay or lesbian, yet just a "should have known" kind of benign normalcy if it skews towards opposite-sex relations?

The obvious answer: Folks like King hold a double standard in every single way that they deal with LGBT people. Folks like Perkins have no problem saying that gay people are "being held captive by the enemy." They just don't see as normal or fit for equality. That's why they have to flip every piece of legislation that pertains to sexuality and (a) overlook the way it protects all of us, and (b) flip the script so that heterosexual Christians are the supposed victims. We saw these same kinds of talking points last year, when Perkins and King were teaming up to oppose basic hate crimes protections designed to make us all safer. They oppose because the majority on their side of the fence really don't want parity. Instead, most of the professional discriminators are working towards a world where people "should have known" that Jerry Behn is heterosexual, by default, with anything that falls from that supposed "norm" being some sort of affect that people "wear on their sleeves" like a monogram. And again: In holding these views, they dupe thousands of others into misguidedly following fallacious suit.

If these folks are going to keep holding such offensive outlooks in regards to a rich, vibrant, sizable portion of normalcy's spectrum, then it's way past time that we start calling out their agenda for exactly what it is. In print, on the web, on TV, to their faces, on the floor of Congress. A staunch, principled message delivered directly to the eye: "Your work is harming the good of the world, and it's time you stop it RIGHT NOW! Go find all of the other reasons you can and will to deny LGBT people from working in your offices -- we know you will anyway. But stop foisting your "culture war" views on those of us who never signed up for such a senseless fight!"

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