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Wherein we Focus on the Veracity

by Jeremy Hooper

 Assets Images Fof Logo4CContinuing their quest to make the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) seem as if it would unfairly discriminate against anti-gay Christians rather than protect gays from unjust bias, the folks at Focus on the Family today say this:

If Congress passes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA – HR 2015), stories like the following could become commonplace across America:

— A transgender podiatrist sued St. Luke’s Hospital of Allentown, Pa., claiming she was fired because “she” had stopped being a “he.” Terms of a court settlement were not disclosed, but the hospital said it agreed to add “gender identity and expression” to its patient bill of rights and educate hospital staff on gender identity and sexual orientation issues.

— A California software maker paid a settlement and legal fees totaling more than $1 million because the company did not promote a man who had come to work dressed as a woman. It did not matter that the company did not even know the “woman” was a man. The “victim” sued under California’s “sexual orientation” law. To cover for the settlement costs, eight employees were laid off, with the number eventually growing to 20.

Picture 9-51Okay, so the first case they mention is that of Dr. Gwen Greenberg (pic.). And our primary reaction to Focus on the Family's claim is "Yea. So?" After all, by all accounts, St Luke's terminated Greenberg's contract as director of the podiatric surgical residency program out of fears concerning her gender reassignment. Such biased terminations are absolutely, unapologetically the sorts of situations to which we are seeking an end with ENDA.

The second situation, however, is far more complicated. Ya see, this very same "California software maker" has been used countless times by the "pro-family" movement over the past decade to protest against measures like ENDA. However, the ONLY place you can find any information on the situation is from their own press outlets. Look, here is the way the Concerned Women For America used the situation back in 2002:

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And if you were to scroll down to the footnotes, you would see that their information source is a Family Research Council document, which, conveniently enough, was written by the exact same authors of the CWA piece, Robert H. Knight and Kenneth Ervin II:

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Now, we weren't aware that it's acceptable practice to use your own document to support another of your documents. But hey, in the "pro-family" world, all ethical bets are off.

So yea, if you go the 1997 Knight/Ervin FRC document (pdf) that is used as the source of the 2002 Knight/Ervin CWA document, you will see this:

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So an interesting story, right? One that you would imagine would be easily backed by court documents and media reports, considering the nature of the case, yes?

Well, let's go down to the footnotes and see the one and only source of this information:

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Oh, a private telephone conversation in which the employer asked for confidentiality. HOW FRICKIN' CONVENIENT! And it must be that the sort of software they make is that which can wipe out public court documents and media reports from the Internet in order protect company confidentiality, as there is NOT ONE PIECE OF INFORMATION ANYWHERE to verify that this situation ever happened! We're talking about an alleged two year legal battle involving LGBT bias. Not only would we expect the gay media, the anti-gay media, and the respective advocacy groups to dedicate much ink to such a scenario, but we would also expect the mainstream media to cover such a case. But nope -- complete blackout except for this one 1996 phoner conducted by those who detest gay rights. It's fishy, to say the absolute least!

Yet here we are, 14 years after this alleged incident took place, and we still have our "pro-family" opposition dragging out this case's uncorroborated, non-verifiable existence without any attempt to give more background. Because, of course, they know that the vast majority of their readership will never take the time to actually investigate the veracity of their claims, as they are the "moral" and "righteous" team for whom lies are simply an impossibility. We, however, have not bought into their self-aggrandizing press. And we are now reaching out to all our contacts at Focus and asking that they either provide some sort of verification for these mythical situations, or STOP USING THEM! We'll post their responses as soon as we hear back.

Or then again, maybe we will just SAY that we had a private conversation with an FOF employee who told us that James Dobson is a pathological liar. After all, if a "because we said it happened" precedent is good enough for their journalistic endeavors, why can't it be good enough for ours?

ENDA: Workplace is the Wrong Place for Sexual Politics [FOF CitizenLink]

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Your thoughts

Yeah, that would be the same Robert Knight that ridiculed, demeaned and degraded his won brother while he lay on his death bed dying of AIDS and continued to sully his good name for political purposes even after his death?

Would it be the same Robert Knight who turned on his own son with the same level of hate and vitriol upon his coming out as gay? A son who happened to be one half of a couple that was married in San Francisco during the "gold band" rush of 2004 and a son who was disowned by his good Christian father who hasn't had anything to do with him for years?

Is it that beacon of Christian values Robert Knight?

If so, they can have him!

Posted by: Zeke | Sep 25, 2007 1:36:34 PM

I think you are thinking of California state senator Pete Knight. Robert Knight used to be at "Concerned Women for America". He is just as wretched as the Knight to which you refer but they are not the same people.

Posted by: Jon-Marc | Sep 25, 2007 3:19:35 PM

You're right.

My bad.

Posted by: Zeke | Sep 27, 2007 12:25:54 AM

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