The Christian, conservative right wing is vehemently opposed to ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act), which would ban discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity." As part of their baseless opposition to this bill, the religious right has concocted a whole range of bogus talking points which, not surprisingly, include public bathrooms and - wait for it - religious freedom. The opposition also includes the standard conservative Christian trope that being gay is a "choice" so why, they ask, should they be forced to accommodate a choice that, in their playbook, is a ticket to the deepest depths of hell. This past Wednesday, official Fox "news" man, Bret Baier did a piece on ENDA that demonstrated, once again, that the "fair & balanced" Fox has chosen to promote the politics of hate and distortion.
The title of the Fox video, "Which Matters More Religious Freedom Or Sexual Freedom" was an appropriate one for Baier's piece given that Baier is a practicing Catholic and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops officially oppose ENDA because, they believe, it rewards sinful sexual conduct, curtails - wait for it - religious liberty, and bathrooms.
Baier began with the statement that "religious freedom has always motivated immigrants to come to the US but tonight we learn some people want religious freedom to take a back seat to another kind of freedom." (Ewww, evil and licentious gay sex). A visual of a Christian church, with large cross, was shown over the words "freedom fight." He tossed to Fox News' official mouthpiece for anti-lgbt discrimination, Miss USA runner up, and Liberty U. graduate Shannon Bream.
Bream reported that the US Senate is preparing to vote on ENDA. She described the "stated goal" [Get that, it's what "they say" but we know differently] as "prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; but "critics of the measure have long cautioned that while the bill might be well intentioned, the results could end up putting religious employers in a tough spot." She cited, as an example, "a Christian school that could be forced to hire a transgender teacher," a concern that was allayed by a Democratic House member. But that wasn't enough for Bream who reported that "opponents" are concerned about statements from EEOC commissioner Chai Feldblum who, in 2006, said that "when sexual and religious liberties conflict with quote 'I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win'."
Bream played part of Feldblum's testimony, during her nomination hearing, in which she said that she respected religious difference. Bream added that "skeptics" are "unconvinced" by "what they call Feldblum's confirmation conversion and the bill's language on religious exemptions." A clip of *Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, who accused the Obama administration of "ignoring religious liberties of chaplains," was shown. Bream closed with the comment that while the senate supporters have 59 votes in favor, they need 60.
While the Fox video ends with Baier thanking Bream, Raw Story's video includes Baier's final question: "What do you think? Do you think businesses should be forced to hire people whose beliefs conflict with that company's goals?"
So not only did Baier advance the Christian right's belief that being LGBT is just a personal choice but he also promoted, albeit in the form of a question, the idea that religious institutions will be forced to hire those whom they, let's face it, revile. But those institutions shouldn't worry because under ENDA, they will be free to discriminate. Its "religious exemption guarantees that any organization that is already protected under law to discriminate on the basis of religious identity will be allowed to continue discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."
If Bret Baier is part of the official Fox News, wouldn't ya think that he should have mentioned that religious institutions are protected. Oh, right, I forgot, that would have cut into the anti-LGBT propaganda that Fox was peddling. Once again, we see why Fox viewers are so misinformed - but hey, ignorance provides fertile ground for propaganda that breeds the kind of divisive and hateful bigotry that Fox News specializes in. If Bret Baier thinks he's "fair & balanced," he can keep on pretending!
*The inclusion of the Lafferty clip was noteworthy in that Ms. Lafferty (and the entire religious right) was vehemently opposed to Feldblum's appointment as EEOC head. This opposition to Feldman, an openly gay woman, was advanced by Fox News which ran an article that stressed the opposition to Feldblum by Andrea Lafferty and the religious right. It seems that history is repeating itself.
11/29/19 Update: Video is no longer available.
Yeah, as in “I believe that I am sexually attracted to Joey, not Jane.”
Not to mention how classy it is for a network that broadcasts how Christians will be strung up for believing to go out saying “well, it’s ok to hurt these people for their beliefs!”
Yes, this fraudulent “news” outlet has gay employees. You won’t here from this untalented “news” hack.