- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 31, 2013

In more than 30 states, the people have said loud and clear that they want to keep the ages-old definition of marriage. But judges insist on using not the law, but their personal prejudices (if not practices), to overturn tradition. Judges in Massachusetts, Iowa, California and New Jersey have imposed the urges of the homosexual activist groups on the rest of us. Now, 14 states recognize same-sex unions.

With a $2 million lobbying campaign, the activists at the Human Rights Campaign are turning the screws on senators and congressmen with thousands of emails, postcards and phone calls in support of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The act would compel the actual opposite of what the title suggests, and grant privilege to homosexual men, lesbians and others who can’t figure out who and what they are. An employer who fails to hire, or fires, someone in this newly protected class courts expensive litigation.

Discrimination on the basis of race is rightly prohibited under existing law. Race is a factor that’s not something an individual can change. For the first time ever, “mannerisms” would be added to the definition of a protected class. This would prevent the firing of an employee for misbehavior, regardless of how egregious it might be or how much it interferes with business.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will likely pass the Senate. It cleared the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in July on a 15-7 vote, three of which came from Republicans, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah. Susan Collins of Maine is a co-sponsor, and there’s certainly another squish in the Republican ranks who will provide a fifth vote for this bad policy. That would give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the filibusterproof votes he needs to bring the measure to the Senate floor and pass it next week. All 55 Senate Democrats, including those from red states up for re-election next year, support it. That’s a testament to the vastly disproportionate clout of a militant special-interest group that makes up a small percentage of the population. Few they may be, but they contribute big bucks at election time.

This is more of the Obama agenda. Obamacare was used to trample religious freedom, forcing individuals to pay for contraceptives and abortions for others, even if it means violating personal beliefs. It could be used, and probably will be, as a club to bully religious institutions into violating their precepts, even rewriting the Bible to avoid giving offense to the irreligious.

Employers, religious and secular, should have the right to insist that men dress like men in the workplace; he can dress in milady’s frilliest frock where such frocks on men are better appreciated. It’s up to the Republican-controlled House to defeat this unnecessary and divisive legislation. Special privileges have no place in the law.