REASONS TO OPPOSE THE EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT (ENDA)
By FPN Policy Analyst Alexander Mason
Since the Civil Rights Act was pass by Congress in 1964, local, state, and federal government bodies have enacted a variety of laws preventing discrimination on the basis of things like race, religion and national origin. In recent years, several states and localities have added ‘sexual orientation’ and/or ‘gender identity’ to ‘protected’ classes. Others have created a so called “Human Rights Commission” to investigate claims of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation. This policy paper presents the reasons for Family Policy Network’s (FPN) opposition to such legislation and policies.
REASONS FPN OPPOSES ADDING ‘SEXUAL ORIENTATION’ TO NON-DISCRIMINATION LANGUAGE:
- First and foremost, non-discrimination policies should be based on immutable or unobtrusive characteristics like gender or religion. Private sexual misconduct should not qualify for persons for special rights. There is a God-given pattern in sexual behavior that everyone is born to follow. Therefore, sexual abnormality must not be rewarded.
- Civil rights proposals were originally for the purpose of protecting underprivileged and impoverished people from being refused a job because of their status. Even now, those policies are still in place to protect those who are disadvantaged. However, homosexual activists argue that they have long been an object of discrimination. Comparing their ‘struggles’ with those of blacks in the 60s, they demand special consideration in hiring practices. Various researchers have done extensive studies on homosexuals and their findings overwhelmingly show that homosexuals are, in fact, not underprivileged. They are, on average, more educated and more affluent than heterosexuals.
Homosexuals are not disadvantaged in the following ways:
- ECONOMICALLY – Income levels for homosexuals should be far lower than the average American if their claims about inequality are to hold up under scrutiny. In reality, the opposite is true. A study by homosexual researcher M.V. Lee Badgett found that “surveys…usually find incomes for the lesbian and/or gay respondents that are higher than the national averages.”(1) Also, further demonstrating that ‘sexual orientation’ non-discrimination policies are unnecessary, some researchers have found that “regardless of the level of employment protection, male same-sex couples had the highest household incomes, followed by married couples, female same-sex couples, and unmarried different-sex couples.”(2) According to Sociological Perspectives, homosexual females are also at an economic advantage: “Limited research on lesbians suggests that they may make more than comparable heterosexual women.”(3)
- ACADEMICALLY – Studies show that homosexuals, on average, have higher levels of education than heterosexuals. A study in American Demographics found that “thirty-two percent of gays have attended college for four years or more, compared with 21 percent of the overall population.”(4) Another study in Sociological Perspectives found that “gays overall, in fact, have higher educational attainment than comparable nongays.”(5) The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management found that “men and women in same-sex couples have more education than people in different sex-couples.”(6)
- SOCIALLY – Homosexuals are often portrayed positively in the media. On the other hand, blacks struggled for years to be treated fairly in the media. Often the subject of denigrating vaudeville acts and token parts in films, the stereotypes were fueled by prevailing sentiments regarding racial equality. Homosexuals activists, however, have a lot of influence in media, thereby making their portrayal more positive. The media has certainly contributed to the desensitization of America regarding homosexuality. For example, in 1988 74.9 percent of those polled said that same-sex relations are always wrong. By 1998, the number had dropped to 54.6 percent.(7)
- POLITICALLY – Homosexuals have clout in both major political parties. They have near complete support from one party and are beginning to exert large amounts of influence over the party platform in the other. Homosexuals have contingent advocacy groups in each party and are represented in many aspects of politics. According to the Washington Times, homosexual groups gave over 2.5 million to federal candidates in the 2000 election, which was 5 times as much as the gun-rights groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the environmental groups.(8)
Since they are not disadvantaged, the legislation only serves to provide legal cover to push or promote their seuxal proclivities in the workplace. The legislation would provide new legal option with which to threaten or initiate litigation against employers for any sanctions against their blatant outward expressions of their aberrant sexuality. If the legislation is passed, there will be much greater opportunity for employees to flaunt their lifestyle in the workplace. Meanwhile the school principal, children’s day care center manager, or retail business owner have all been precluded from addressing those situations.
Just as private employers need the ability to freely hire who they choose, public employers (such as school principals), need to have the freedom to use their discretion to take appropriate actions against sexual deviants. For instance, if sexual orientation were added to the non-discrimination policy, then a lesbian elementary school teacher would be able to put a picture of her lesbian lover on her desk in full view of schoolchildren and their inquiring minds. Such a lifestyle should not be promoted to those impressionable young children.
Adding ‘sexual orientation’ into the non-discrimination policies would only create undue expense for litigation for both public and private employers. Even without having ‘sexual orientation’ as a non-discrimination category, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint that goes all the way to court may cost over $200,000.(9) Proposals like this would only add to the burden already on businesses and would do the same for state and local governments. Runaway juries, extortion cases, astronomical litigation costs, negative publicity, business disruption are all negative side effects of the current system. Adding ‘sexual orientation’ as a protected category would only worsen the problem exponentially.
1. M.V. Lee Badgett and Rhonda M. Williams, “The Economics of Sexual Orientation: Establishing a Research Agenda,” Feminist Studies 18 (3): 649-657 (Fall 1992).
2. Marieka M. Klawitter and Victor Flatt, “The Effects of State and Local Antidiscrimination Policies on Earnings for Gays and Lesbians,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 669.
3. Donald C. Barrett, Lance M. Pollack, and Mary L. Tilden “Teenage Sexual Orientation, Adult Openness, and Status Attainment in Gay Males,” Sociological Perspectives, 164.
4. J. Schwartz, “Gay Consumers Come Out Spending,” American Demographics 42 (April 1992): 10-11.
5. Donald C. Barrett, Lance M. Pollack, and Mary L. Tilden “Teenage Sexual Orientation, Adult Openness, and Status Attainment in Gay Males,” Sociological Perspectives, 45 (2002): 166, 170.
6. Marieka M. Klawitter and Victor Flatt, “The Effects of State and Local Antidiscrimination Policies on Earnings for Gays and Lesbians,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 17 (4): 662 (1998).
8. “Iowa Study Suggests Tolerance of Homosexuals is Growing,” Associated Press, March 23, 2001.