I know the following article may not set well with some traditional conservatives, but I feel that it needs to be said. We are a party whose numbers are declining every year, and part of this fact is that we discriminate against a large segment of the American population while saying that we fight for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans. Specifically, I mean the rights of LGBT Americans and their families. They deserve to live happy lives, and when we try to take away this happiness by pushing certain beliefs on them we are not doing any favors for our cause.
This is especially the case when it comes to the downright stubbornness of some conservatives to pass ENDA. ENDA, or the Employee Nondiscrimination Act, is a bill that states companies cannot fire individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, Conservative politicians are stating that this violates the rights of religious individuals who may not feel comfortable hiring gays and lesbians to work for them due to their beliefs. To me, this is absurd.
Firstly, nowhere in the Bible or the Torah does is state that it is sinful to hire LGBT people to work for you. Therefore, they have no right to use their religion as an excuse to discriminate against gay, lesbian, and transgender people. This is merely a fraction of our party trying to use any excuse that they can to make lives difficult for people who they do not agree with. While they can try to make excuses for doing this, the simple fact is that trying to ensure that certain of their fellow Americans are treated as less than due to their sexual orientation or gender identity goes against every single principle our party and movement was founded on.
The number one principle that trying to hinder this bill’s passing violates is our respect for the Constitution. If you have read it, it guarantees “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans, and trying to make it harder for a segment of the population to get or keep a job during these tough economic times goes against this statement in every way imaginable. Some conservatives say that GLBT individuals were not even thought about during the drafting of the Constitution, and this is probably true. Nevertheless, we should know that discriminating against another person due to their sexual orientation is still a violation of respecting our fellow citizens’ rights to live the way that they see fit. After all, we expect them to respect rights of certain people within our community who may not want to perform a same-sex wedding, but we don’t have the common decency to make sure that they have the right to be gainfully employed because of who they choose to be with. This just isn’t fair, and it shows the rest of America that our movement doesn’t follow the principles that we say we stand for.
This leads me to the next problem that I have with conservatives blocking ENDA. That is that we conservatives believe that we have a right to privacy in this country, and violations of people’s privacy happen constantly under the current lack of laws that protect LGBT individuals. For instance, if someone is suspected of being gay, an employer may try to pry into their private lives to determine what their sexuality is. Then, they may fire them if they have reasonable belief that a person if gay or lesbian whether or not that individual is or not. Therefore, not supporting ENDA does not only spit in the rights of gay people, but it does a disservice to any straight person who could be suspected of being gay as well. Traditional conservatives will laugh at this way of thinking,but that is because they will stop at nothing to make sure that things stay the same way they always have for the conservative movement and America in general.
These traditional conservatives currently dominate our movement’s landscape, and it is going to take work to get rid of the image of hate that our party has projected for the last forty years. Therefore, we conservatives who value tolerance and fairness need to speak up louder than those in leadership do. Yes, we may be told to shut up and leave the movement, but we need to keep fighting. We need to once again be the party who sets things rights in this country like the Republicans did during slavery, and this will help us to garner more support for our movement. If we do not do this though, our movement will continue to lose support, and this could mean doom for the future of conservatism. So now it’s your time to choose my fellow conservatives. Do you want tolerance and stronger party support or intolerance and dwindling support for our cause? Tell me in the comments section and as always…
May God Bless America,
The Generation X Conservative