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Giving you $15 lies for free: The one time we *do* wanna use ENDA to put FRC out of business

by Jeremy Hooper

Last week we showed you a preview for a rabidly fallacious new video that the Family Research Council has produced in conjunction with its new "Fight ENDA" website. But now we can save you the $14.95 that FRC is charging for the unreasoned hit piece, as conservative videographer Derek Packard (who seems to have shot/directed the video for FRC) has gone ahead and posted the whole darn thing to his embeddable social networking accounts.

What you'll see in the clips: "Expert" commentary from Peter "I'd like to export/criminalize gays" Sprigg; Continued misrepresentation of the Ocean Grove, NJ, tax situation; use of our North American Northern neighbor as a fear-mongering tool, as if they've adopted South Park "Blame Canada" song as a guiding hymn; complete non-acknowledgement of the fact that ENDA has religious exemptions; ham-fisted usage of background music to tell the viewer whether they should be uplifted or scared; general fear all around. Enjoy:

1 - ENDA Open - Final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

REALITY: The main issue with Marcia Walden's employment situation was in how she handled her Christian beliefs while working to provide counseling services to CDC employees. When a lesbian CDC employee came to Ms. Walden for a session, rather than simply saying she couldn't handle a certain counseling assignment for unspecified reasons, the counselor made it clear that her "personal values" in opposition to same-sex relationships prevented her from doing the job, and therefore forced her to refer the openly gay person to a colleague instead. According to court documents, Ms. Walden's bosses worked with her to see how they could better handle similar situations in the future, so that they could respect Ms. Walden's beliefs, LGBT CDC employees' rights, and the fragile work that comes with counseling someone whose emotional state (especially in the first session) is unknown. But according to these same court documents, Ms. Walden was unwilling to budge, suggesting that she would be "lying" or "dishonest" to not come right out and tell LGBT people why she couldn't counsel them.

Just last month, Ms. Walden (repped by the rabidly homo-hostile ADF) lost her case in North GA District Court [**Download pdf of ruling here]


2 - ENDA Marcia's Story - Final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

REALITY: Canada is a lovely place. LGBT rights support has only grown over the past decades. Gays and not even close to the "controversy" they are in the US -- and that's a good thing!

Lifesite "news" is a VERY over-the-top organization. They have been known to go even beyond American outlets, citing discredited (and professionally disassociated)researchers like Paul Cameron as credible.


3-ENDA - Just Look at Canada - Final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

REALITY: The church pavilion in question in the next video was receiving a special tax break under NJ's Green Acres tax-exemption, which requires compliance with state non-discrimination law in order to qualify. So what they "lost" was a special break on a building that had been offered up as public accommodation, but that that they now wanted to restrict to only the heterosexual public.


4-The Ocean Grove Story - final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

REALITY: ENDA's religious exemptions explicitly state that religious schools are not subject to ENDA.


5-ENDA Impact on Education - Final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

REALITY: The Employment NonDiscrimination Act simply takes away employers' (with more than 15 employees) right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the same way similar protections prevent bias on the basis of skin color, race, sex, national origin, or yes -- RELIGION. ENDA does not take away their ability to gauge qualifications in other areas. And in terms of faith-based businesses that are not specifically covered under ENDA's religious exemptions: The owners will still retain every right to gauge their potential worker bee's skill set, dress code, work ethic, attitude towards the business' mission, competence, etc. In short: He or she will totally retain the right to say "don't call us, we'll call you" to any potential hire who doesn't fit the business' calling. The only thing ENDA prevents is the idea that one's sexual orientation or gender expression can and/or should be an immediate disqualification. It does not create quotas. It doesn't eliminate any other employment considerations. It does not eliminate the whole host of factors that go into an employer's payrolling process. It doesn't force PETA to hire a gay hunter who comes to his interview with deer guts on his vest. It simply curbs bias -- the same way that we have long worked to curb employment discrimination against religious people (a quality that's undeniably a choice, by the way)!


6 - ENDA Economic Impact - final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

REALITY: As far as we're concerned, Peter Sprigg has completely eliminated his deservedness of a microphone by suggesting that gay people should be both exported and criminalized.


7 - ENDA Policy - Peter Sprigg - final from Derek Packard on Vimeo.

Oh, and as for that "syndemic" that Sprigg talks about around 5:13? Well yes, that AIDS research, Ronald Stall, does suggest that childhood abuse, substance abuse, partner violence, and depression affect HIV rates, not only in gay men, but also in "ethnic minorities and the urban poor." Which is no surprise: Anything that would make one feel less control of his or her life and/or worth (and therefore in less control of his or her safety) is surely something that deserves focus when talking about STD transmission. There's no "irony" in looking at this position compared to Peter Sprigg's, as Sprigg suggests. Because Stall's assessment is meant to reasonably consider what might contribute to a disease -- Sprigg is out to contribute to the factors (esp. depression and substance abuse) that leave people vulnerable, and then stigmatize/condemn the person rather than the ailment!

Or forget "irony." More accurately: There is no legitimate comparison between FRC and just about ANY person or group that traffics in credible information, because this supposed "values" organization has made a decided choice to obfuscate rather than inform. The above seven videos are just more confirmation of that unfortunate (and highly un-Christian) fact.

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