In Bed Together: The Dept. of Justice and the Same Sex Agenda

dojpride_sticker_final_largeThink the battle over “same sex marriage” isn’t already over? Check out this web site and think again.

The Department of Justice (yes, THE U.S. Department of Justice) has an LGBT organization called DOJ Pride. Has had it since 1994. The organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered DOJ employees and, of course, their now-obligatory “allies,” works to “identify and address key areas affecting its LGBT employees.” Its activities include brown-bag lunch lectures “featuring experts in the LGBT community discussing issues of importance to DOJ Pride members, such as marriage equality” and a yearly Pride Month Celebration and Award Ceremony.

Its goals include “developing and implementing effective policies and practices for the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in all Departmental activities.”

The website’s Legal Discrimination page currently focuses on sex discrimination against transgender people “because they fail to conform to sex stereotypes,” inviting people who have “experienced discrimination on the basis of their actual or perceived gender non-conformity [emphasis mine]” to sue the Department of Justice.

The website’s blog page includes photos and information about recent activities: a letter from the organization to the Attorney General about benefits equity; a screening of the movie Edie & Thea: The Story Behind the Windsor Case featuring a Q&A with Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry; a DOJ Pride ice skating outing; a screening of the film Two Spirits (“Fred Martinez was a Navajo boy who was also a girl. In an earlier era he would have been revered; instead, he was murdered”); Happy Hour with attendees of the annual Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair; and photos from last year’s DOJ LGBT Pride Month Program.

The program, which had the catchy theme “The Power of Out,” featured talks by Attorney General Eric Holder and EEOC Commissioner Chai Felbum. It also featured a scene from a play about a lawsuit against California’s Proposition 8, which the event writeup described as “eliminating” gay and lesbian couples’ “right” to marry in California.

Again, this is THE Department of Justice.

Is it any wonder that the DOJ declared it would no longer argue in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, when one of its official employee organizations is hosting events with the president of Freedom to Marry? When a header on the DOJ Pride Legal Discrimination page features a photo of Ted Olson testifying for “gay marriage” in front of the Supreme Court, a copy of an issue TIME Magazine dedicated to the subject in is hand? When “marriage equality” is its own employee organization’s key interests?

Just last week, DOJ Pride emailed a pamphlet to all DOJ managers. Made public over the weekend by lawyer and conservative columnist Matt Barber, LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers suggests a few common-sense measures to create a more pleasant workplace (e.g., don’t allow your lawyers to call opposing counsel “dykes” or “pansies” — a real brain-stretcher there — and don’t gossip with others about whether or not employees are gay).

But mostly, the pamphlet is a propaganda piece about how to behave, speak, and even think in the brave new world its creators would like to create. Forget DOJ employees’ rights to free speech and religious freedom: When it comes to LGBT issues, there is only one right way to be.

“DO use inclusive words like ‘partner,’ ‘significant other,’ or ‘spouse’ rather than gender-specific words like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ (for example, in invitations to office parties or when asking a new employee about his/her home life).”

“DO use a transgender persons chosen name and the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s self-identified gender.”

“Talk openly and positively about your colleagues, friends and family who are LGBT.”

If a employees “come out,” the pamphlet says, managers should not judge them, or even remain silent. “Silence will be interpreted as disapproval,” the pamphlet says. The one correct response to this declaration is “interest and curiosity.”

But interest and curiosity is not enough. Managers should actively encourage these declarations — preferably by making their offices “safe spaces” by displaying special DOJ Pride stickers, by themselves “coming out” as “straight allies,” or by coming out as LGBT. Once you’ve made your office a Safe Place, you should also request re-education for your office through DOJ Pride’s  “Allies in the Workplace” training.

The work of a very small group of people in a very large organization? Probably. An isolated incident? Not a chance. DOJ Pride’s “7 Habits” brochure simply reflects the tactics of the activist Juggernaut that demands conformity and affirmation and has now declared that silence is not an option.

The latest effort to celebrate people “coming out” as “allies” is yet one more of a series of highly successful tactics to identify “gay rights” as civil rights, and to paint anyone opposed to them as bigots. Politicians in my city are already identifying themselves as “allies,” lest anyone — as the DOJ Pride pamphlet threatens — take their silence for disapproval.

Attorney General Eric Holder and EEOC Commissioner Chai Felbum at DOJ Pride 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder and EEOC Commissioner Chai Felbum at 2012 DOJ Pride Month and Awards Ceremony

The Attorney General of the United States is speaking at this group’s events. Pride Month (June, in case you didn’t know) isn’t just Pride Month for DOJ Pride, it’s Pride Month for the entire department — and the rest of the federal government as well. Although June has been celebrated as Pride Month by gay organizations for many years, President Obama first officially declared June to be Pride Month in 2011. Last year it was celebrated by the CIA, the Pentagon, the Department of the Interior, the National Institutes of Health, and other federal departments and agencies. The White House sponsored a “Pride Month Champions of Change Video Challenge” to spotlight LGBT “parents and students, neighborhood and business leaders, artists and advocates… united in the fight for equality.” Yes, that’s a quote from the White House web site.

So if you think the fight over the redefinition of marriage will be overseen by an impartial government, one that takes careful consideration of its own employees’ religious, political, and philosophical beliefs and rights to free speech and to practicing their religious beliefs — much less your beliefs and freedoms — think again. And consider making your office a “safe space” after you “come out as an ally,” at least if you still want a job. Because DOJ Pride is right about one thing: Silence is no longer an option. More and more, people in all walks of life being forced to ally themselves to one side or the other of what has become a defining issue of our generation.

Silence will be taken as disapproval. By both sides.

Gail Finke

By

Gail D. Finke is an author and mother living in Cincinnati, where she writes for The Catholic Beat at Sacred Heart Radio.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • James H, London

    I’m afraid the battle was already lost at the Lambeth Conference in the 1930s, when the Anglican church approved birth control in ‘certain circumstances’.

    But, as Theoden said, ‘We will meet them in battle none the less.’

  • Obama_Dogeater

    Our government has become our enemy…they’re tyrants and bullies.

  • BillinJax

    If we can assume the LGBT gained eligibility, as a minority identity, to be independently recognized within the workforce at the DOJ it is safe also to assume that Muslim employees will follow close behind with special requests and exceptions for tolerance of workplace worship breaks, religious dress code, and consideration of Shari Law if it has not already happened. Obama’s prophesy, (and hope for change) that we no longer be a Christian nation is, in his mind, part of the transparency he promised.

    God help us!

  • Richard III

    We may have lost this battle at Lambeth, but Jesus Christ already won the war through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

  • klossg

    James H. London,

    I completely agree. Legally, logically and morally we do not have the ability to say there is a difference between same sex relationships with the cultural acceptance of contraception as the elephant in the room. This is what we as a culture have harvested. It explains why things are topsy-turvy because Love itself has been unhinged from Responsibility and Life. And it is our doing, not Christ’s. Our free choice (and stubborn will) to have our cake and eat it too has given us the “freedom” to equate non-conjugal, non-marital physical union as the same, based upon our choice to allow contraception and make contraception a huge part of our cultural fiber. We are cultivating what we planted in 1930.

    How can we stop this? We cannot prune this tree. We separated ourselves from Christ a long time ago. We made contraception the vine and this is one of its twisted branches.

    The sure way to stop this is to focus on changing the culture back into a culture that sees contraception as the evil that it is. How does one do this? Any ideas?

  • klossg

    In the Kingdom of God, this is so. Christ has redeemed this and all our mistakes and sins. But, this fact does not make Lambeth go away. We are still allowed to sin and turn from Christ. We must turn back to Christ and away from contraception. It is a tough road but it begins with each of us, in our marriages, in our families. One act of openness built upon the last. Love’s default should not be closed to Christ/Life. That is not love but selfishness. We all know it. Yet it is so hard to accept and achieve.

    Our fruit will show if we are part of Christ. Or as this present scenario of ssm=true-marriage, we will produce fruit that is not of Christ. Grace can redeem us and our culture but we need the culture to accept Christ. Else we will continue to develop fruit that is not of Christ but of mammon.

  • Jim Swenson

    I’m delighted that the DOJ has implemented these gay-positive measures, and I see nothing to dislike about any of them. GLBTs are now beneficiaries of the same workplace protections as people of color, women, and Jews. Yes, Jews. I am old enough to remember the world that was depicted in the 1947 film, “Gentleman’s Agreement,” about anti-semitism in the workplace. Working women still experience sexual harassment and discrimination of the kind depicted in the “Mad Men” series.

    The DOJ has adopted such measures for the very same reasons that America’s leading corporations have done so. It’s partly a fairness issue, and it’s partly just good business sense. They have a stake in ensuring all their employees feel comfortable and accepted throughout the organization. Otherwise, why hire gays and lesbians or expect them to join the team? How could the DOJ or any other organization attract new talent without policies in place to protect them from abuse and discrimination?

    So, you are quite right, Gail, that the DOJ has a bias. So do I. I don’t like to hear of employees being mistreated, and I am strongly biased against bigotry in the workplace.

    You expect DOJ employees to have freedom of speech and of religion while on the job? Sorry, but this is not and never has been a reasonable expectation. The right of organizations to restrict the onsite speech and religious practices of their employees is incontestable. When you’re hired by Microsoft, you play by their rules, not yours.

    So you really believe that a worker asking a new employee about her home life should *assume* that her partner is a man? I certainly don’t, because I believe in respecting other people’s life choices and showing consideration and tact in such matters.

    And *of course* managers should not judge employees who come out to them! If these managers can’t think of something friendly and supportive to say, then I’m sure the DOJ can give them a script. Banks do it. Retail chains do it. “Here’s what you say if someone comes out to you. Go practice it.”

    Your concerns about the “impartiality” of the government (by which you presumably mean the Obama administration) are misplaced. Administrations aren’t under any mandate to be impartial. They have agendas and implement programs. That’s just what they do. It’s the Supreme Court that you would want to be impartial.

    Brave New World isn’t here yet, Gail. If it were, you couldn’t have written your piece.

  • Lee

    Our hope is surely in Jesus Christ. May the Will of God be followed by more and more people in our future to turn this sinful society back to the Love of life once again. God Bless those of us who truly say,”Jesus, I Trust in You.”

  • http://twitter.com/gailfinke Gail Finke

    You are trying to switch the subject, which is not that all employees should be treated fairly and valued for their contributions (which of course they should) but that while “same-sex marriage” is being contested in elections throughout the United States and at the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice is hosting events about “marriage equality” and approving directives to its managers to not simply accept and tolerate certain things, but to affirm them. It is also allowing this group to pressure all DOJ employees to disregard their religious beliefs and free speech rights in regards to certain behaviors that have universally been considered immoral throughout human history. These things have nothing to do with workplace fairness, as I’m sure you know.

  • Bruce

    I’ll gladly say you are wrong and then sue you when you try to have me fired. Works or you. Works or me.

  • Droodlebug

    I have a suggestion James. We need to institute Theology of the Body educational programs in all our catholic parishes and schools. Promote the ideas in Theology on tap seminars all over this country and especially on college campuses. Have Priests & Bishops willing to really promote these ideas including solid training for engaged couples in NFP! We have neglected these weighty things since July of 1968! As a community we should be focussing our efforts in these areas… maybe even more than soup kitchen work, since larger numbers of people are spiritually starving then physically starving in the USA. We need to give folks the vision, and then the youth will carry this balm into the wounded world we have created. It also won’t hurt the cause if we pass out free CD’s of Janet Smith’s, “Contraception Why Not?” at every Christmas & Easter Mass. Catch the ChrEasters! There are so many strong arguments for getting away from contraception (STD’s, poverty, environment, depression, divorce) that only the truly reprobate are likely to be unmoved. Maybe bringing up the idea in a homily once in a while that contraception is in fact a mortal sin wouldn’t hurt either. Maybe we’d see the confessional lines get long again. We will win this battle no matter what happens. What we don’t know is whether we can win enough hearts & minds to turn the tide before we fall into the seemingly inevitable coming Dark Ages. What does the Psalmist say, “Foundations once destroyed, what can the Just do?” Ps 11

  • Jim Swenson

    Gail, if, as you say, “all employees should be treated fairly and valued for their contributions,” then why shouldn’t an LGBT group at the DOJ organize and discuss issues negatively affecting their employment (e.g., discrimination, hostility, harassment)?

    One of their contributions to the DOJ is to help root out attitudes that foster discrimination, hostility, and harassment. No organization wants there to be unnecessary friction in the ranks, and so the LGBT group is performing a valuable service for the DOJ. Bigotry has no place in government bureaucracies or in any other organization; it hinders cooperation, destroys trust, and makes teamwork nearly impossible. The organizational goal is to eliminate any obstacles to effective collaboration. Imagine working in the cubicle next to a virulently anti-Catholic employee! Can you claim that, despite your best efforts, your performance and his (or hers) would not be affected?

    The message of the DOJ is, “Leave all these issues at the door when you enter. Here, everyone is respected regardless of their gender, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation, their religion, or their politics. We have work to do. Let’s get on with it.”

    The DOJ is *affirming* its LGBTs, as it should. Its message is, “You belong here, and we value you.” This needs to be said, because gays and lesbians cannot always *assume* that they are either welcome or valued. Let’s not forget that the DOJ needs to attract and keep talent.

    The DOJ has acted completely within the bounds of its mandate. It must function efficiently as a government department, and it cannot do so without following “best practices” of management. I know this. I work with business students at a state university.

    Again, the Obama administration is under no obligation to be “impartial.” It was elected with a mandate informed mostly by progressive values. As one who voted for Obama, I expect him to push the progressive agenda as far as he can within constitutional limits. When you get a conservative back in the White House, you can do the same.

    BTW, the Supreme Court is NOT beholden to the Obama Administration. Nor are the district courts. The administration exerts its influence mainly through appointments. Whether judges are swayed by positions taken by the DOJ is an entirely separate matter.

  • Anonymous

    I am really getting sick of these gays & their agenda. Prepare for the long, painful slippery slope America

  • BillinJax

    Jim, you say “I believe in respecting other people’s life
    choices and showing consideration and tact in such matters.”

    Would some of those life choices include those with an avowed love of and/or predisposition to prostitution, pedophilia, witchcraft, or Satanism?

    Would you be alarmed if the DOJ or any other government bureaucracy in the “brave new world” you are looking forward to gave special protection to and honorable recognition of employee associations with these chosen life styles?

    These are all growing segments of our society with advocacy
    groups pleading for recognition and the right to be accepted.

    You need not answer yes or no to the questions but rather give
    us advice on how far we as neighbors of such as these should go to welcome them into our/your brave new world to live out their lives without discrimination or abuse especially when they often have proven talents and high IQ’s employers are looking for.

  • Jim Swenson

    BillinJax, the DOJ does not operate within the fantasy universe of Catholic theology, where homosexuality is on a par with prostitution, pedophilia, witchcraft, and Satanism.

    What if the DOJ were to announce that it cannot hire Catholics because it might open the door to rank superstition, ignorance, bigotry, child sexual abuse, and historical revisionism?

    What if the DOJ refused to protect its Jewish employees from antisemitic harassment because that might entail a similar obligation to protect shady business practices, avarice, and Bolshevism?

    What if the DOJ offered no protection to its female employees because doing so might open the door to polygamists, drug addicts, and serial murderers?

    Do you see any connection between hiring females and opening the door to polygamists, drug addicts, and serial murderers? Neither do I. Nor do I see any connection between homosexuality and prostitution, pedophilia, witchcraft, and satanism.

    One of the surest indicators of bigotry is making up cockamamy analogies to discredit entire classes of people.

  • catholicexchange

    Hello everyone,

    I’d like to urge a return to the subject matter of the article, since the article is not about who the DOJ should hire or not hire but about the DOJ giving special treatment to a particular category of employees and pressuring others to do the same. For Catholics, in particular, it is especially offensive because the category includes a public lifestyle that we believe is morally wrong.

  • Jim Swenson

    CE, organizations that cannot offer employees a safe workplace are not likely to attract job applicants. Human Resources departments must not only find qualified applicants but offer them incentives to stay and assurances that they will not face harassment or discrimination.

    If the DOJ or any other organization perceives a potential problem in the workplace, how would you expect them to deal with it except by giving it some “special treatment?” This is what well-run organizations do. Schools, corporations, universities, hospitals, sports teams, and government departments all address workplace issues by fostering programs and policies that promote understanding and tolerance toward targeted groups. Intolerance is not conducive to teamwork, and poor teamwork leads to poor performance. No “special treatment” should ever be given to religious-based intolerance. Employees are told when they join the company, “Leave this stuff at the door. We’re here to achieve our goals.”

    If Jews were still a vulnerable as they were in 1948, I would expect any well-run company to issue directives to deal with the problem. I would expect them to encourage Jewish employees to form support groups and report harassment. I would expect them to train their staffs in how to be tactful and considerate toward fellow employees. This is all just standard business practice throughout corporate America and in most schools and universities.

    You are no doubt aware that the U.S. military gives “special treatment” to the matter of sexual harrassment in the ranks. This is because women are vulnerable in such an environment. If my religion tells me that women should be sex slaves to men (not that far-fetched, you know!), should I be exempted from the military’s regulations regarding harrassment? Would you support a superior officer who said to his troops, “We’re having no sexual harrassment here unless it is motivated by religious belief?” I don’t think so.

  • Gail Finke

    The message of the DOJ is, “Leave all these issues at the door when you enter. Here, everyone is respected regardless of their gender, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation, their religion, or their politics. We have work to do. Let’s get on with it.”

    No, it’s not. If it were, there would be no DOJ Pride, no re-education programs, no “safe spaces,” no special awards for LGBT people — just people doing their jobs. This is the opposite of leaving an issue at the door.

    As you seem to be a professional blog post-answerer, one particularly proficient at attempting to change the subject, I’ll let you go at it elsewhere.

  • Jim Swenson

    Me? A professional “blog-post answerer?” I wish. Maybe I could get another revenue stream going. How about you? Do you write for pay?

    About “people just doing their jobs:” that is precisely what will NOT happen without programs to address workplace discrimination and harassment. When GLBTs are no longer made to feel uncomfortable and even unsafe, then there will be no need for “safe spaces,” no special rewards to encourage and support them, and no re-education programs to set standards of proper behavior toward them.

    My own church went through this process over two decades ago. It signed on to a denomination-wide “Welcoming Congregation” program to (1) demonstrate to GLBTs that we are serious about not maligning them, and (2) to raise our own consciousness about their issues.

    For a period of several years we had workshops, special events, services, and music oriented around acceptance of gays and lesbians. This was necessary for the transformation to occur, and it did. I saw that process unfold, and I witnessed what remarkable and healthy affirmations resulted from it. The church eventually voted to apply for denominational certification as a welcoming congregation.

    Now we don’t need the special programs. GLBTs come and go freely without shame, they feel welcome among us, and everybody is happy. Furthermore, our entire denomination is now widely recognized by GLBTs as welcoming and affirming. We could not have accomplished any of this without giving the issue some “special treatment” for all the years that we did.

    I think the DOJ has embarked upon a similar effort. The trouble with your approach is that it doesn’t address real problems that already prevent people from “just doing their jobs.” Believe it or not, such problems usually DO arise when there is no intervention. The DOJ has decided that the “status quo” is no longer acceptable, and that is proof of their good business sense as well as their concern for … Justice.

  • Tim Brock

    Mrs. Finke, you’ve done an outstanding job of taking something that is in every way positive and framing it as something negative and scandalous. I see nothing at all wrong with the DOJ’s consciousness-raising efforts. On the contrary, they are to be applauded.

    I don’t know what your hope for GBLT workers would be, but I do hope that you can at least recognize that they are often ostracized and harassed on the job. This should not be too surprising, considering the amount of rabid homophobia that is currently expressed in our society. New York City’s recent rash of anti-gay violence shows that there is much work to be done.

    What suggestions can you offer for dealing with the attitudes that produce such violence as well as the “soft violence” of workplace discrimination/harassment?

  • catholicexchange

    What you are suggesting, and what the DOJ has done, simply results in reverse discrimination. The best policy that respects everyone is to forbid any and all acts of harassment, hatred, and violence. But that is a policy that is already in place in our society, and it is codified into law in various ways (including the means to punish violators). What you are proposing is that we force people, even people who are simply minding their own business, to positively acknowledge behaviors and lifestyles of which they do not approve (which is their right). That flies in the face of the very fairness we wish to promote.

  • klossg

    God is good. His love is the only thing that can save us. Politics can’t. The United States can’t. If we can convince everyone that a relationship with Jesus is the way to true life and true happiness, then we can turn around the entire world. It is amazing that everyone runs with all their might toward the great darkness that contraception is, as if pure logic and freedom requires them.

    What people need to understand is NFP sets a married couple free, improves communication and teaches each individual about the other. Free: NFP allows the same percentage in birth regulation as contraception, without turning from the love of Christ. Communcation: If a married couple can discuss/weigh the short term benefit of having love/soul binding sex during the woman’s fertile time and their readiness to having children, a married couple can grow closer and then easily handle anything life throws at them beyond this most serious love-centric issue). Teaching: NFP enables the man to understand how pregnancy is a part of a normal woman’s life. She has to consider it every time she engages in sexual intimacy with her husband. NFP enables the woman to see how urgently a man seeks sexual union with his wife. Divorce would plummet. Sacrificing for one’s true-love is part of love. It is what love is all about (Christ on the cross)!

    NFP isn’t just a negative … stopping pregnancy … it is a positive. NFP builds up marriages. NFP requires work and sacrifice but it magnifies the couple’s love and builds up their marriage, even when they are sacrificing their intimacy due to their better understanding of the power and life giving reality that each and every sexual union contains. It contains God himself … and that is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

  • Tim Brock

    CE, you write that the best policy is to forbid and punish all acts of harassment, hatred, and violence. But words—and even silence—can be used to stigmatize people, and they are a form of “soft violence.” Discrimination does not have to be “overt” to be harmful.

    Rather than stress punishments, which is a negative approach for organizations to take, the DOJ is attempting to change the underlying attitudes that lead to all forms of harassment and discrimination. They’re doing this by demonstrating their own respect for GLBTs and by promoting consciousness-raising efforts.

    That said, I think it is entirely fair for an organization’s management to say to their employees:

    “Look, if one of your gay colleagues announces to you that he is getting married, we expect you at the very least to say, ‘Congratulations!’ Silence, smirks, and moral censure are not appropriate responses. This organization supports its gay and lesbian employees and we expect you to be civil toward them.”

    As another blogger commented, this is standard operating procedure now in almost all this country’s leading corporations. Here are a few where you can find policies nearly identical to those of the DOJ:

    Adobe Systems, Aetna, Alaska Airlines, Alcoa, Amazon.com, Apple, The Bank of New York Mellon, Bankers Trust, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Car Toys, Caesars Entertainment, Cisco Systems, Credit Suisse …

    And that’s just A-C.

    I think this article was a thoroughly bad idea, and I’m surprised that it was accepted for publication.

  • BillinJax

    Jim, with your “the DOJ does not operate within the fantasy universe of Catholic theology, where homosexuality is on a par with prostitution, pedophilia, witchcraft, and Satanism.” you have pretty much let all of us know where you and your theology are coming from and where you’d like us to go. Sorry, but we would much rather follow the path our “Universal” Church has taken for 2000 years than the one GLBT’s and the DOJ has decided is best for us. And we will pray that some day you will find it in your heart to forgive our assumed ignorance and hopefully in your mercy try to tolerate our stubborn behavior. God Bless and Peace to You.

  • Jim Swenson

    BillinJax, did you find my paragraph about Catholicism offensive? Of course it did not represent my views of Catholicism. It was meant to evoke in you the same sense of outrage that your linkage of homosexuality with pedophilia, prostitution, witchcraft, and Satanism does for most homosexuals. These kinds of linkages are disgusting and vile, and I believe they should never be made, especially not by a person who claims to be a Christian.

  • catholicexchange

    You write generally of discrimination against GLBTs, but no one claims that such was occurring at the DOJ. At the same time, you keep ignoring the specific, actual acts of discrimination that we know are going on right now at the DOJ, namely against those who believe that homosexual activity and lifestyles are immoral. Your ideas force this latter group to accept and even give acclaim to that which they find repugnant. Your ideas use the very same “soft violence” you mentioned to compel everyone to behave in ways that go against their consciences, with no less than the power of the DOJ backing it up. You would make people choose between remaining employed (and providing for their families) or sacrificing their principles. It doesn’t matter if every major company in America adopted the same policy, this would still be an inhuman way to treat your fellow citizens. Let law be that by which we govern our society, not the intra-office mob rule disguised as “consciousness-raising” that you are effectively proposing.

  • BillinJax

    Jim, you need to relax your anger somewhat. Your comments do not offend us. They actually are every informative for
    us. Regardless of your intent they do not cause outrage in us. They serve to give us perspective on your cherished beliefs. We are sorry if the dialog going on here has offended you to the point you need to attempt to provoke us into feeling offended or outraged by your postings. We would only ask that you may somehow find it in your heart to forgive us of our assumed ignorance in these matters of social morality and in your mercy give us a measure of tolerance as we attempt to stubbornly hold to our Catholic faith and values. Peace to You.

  • Timothy Brock

    CE, organizations like the DOJ, Microsoft, and Alaska Airlines don’t generally throw resources at problems that don’t exist. If they have a non-discrimination policy, it’s because discrimination has occurred and has disrupted work. If they are cautioning employees not to express their “repugnance” at their colleagues’ sexual orientation, it’s undoubtedly because some, like yourself, would do so.

    What would your principles have you respond to a fellow employee who announces that he is to be married to his partner? The DOJ is simply telling you that it is highly inappropriate to respond with silence, with a righteous smirk, or with an expression of your repugnance.

    You have admitted that you find homosexual acts repugnant. Do you need to say so at every opportunity? Couldn’t you muster a smile and say “Congratulations,” if only for the sake of smooth teamwork and positive relations with others on the job? If I were your manager, this is what I would expect of you.

    I live in a metropolitan area where a lot of large corporations are sited, and I’ve worked at some of them. Their employees are extremely diverse. Catholics work alongside Hindus and Buddhists. I can’t imagine anything more inappropriate–and indeed unacceptable from an HR point of view–than showing repugnance toward another person’s faith, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, etc. Employees are expected to *make an effort* to get along. I find this entirely reasonable. Companies that allow employees to express repugnance toward each other soon find it hard to recruit qualified people.

    I think describing these policies as “intra-office mob rule” is a little exaggerated.

  • Gail Finke

    I suggest that the DOJ not tolerate any sort of harassment of any employee for any reason, and that the DOJ reward employees for their job performance. Perhaps things are different at the DOJ, but I have worked with many gay and lesbian people and have never seen them either harassed or ostracized. Accepting a co-worker as a colleague and fellow human being does not mean that one has to approve of whatever he or she does.

    Being told that they must affirm something they believe is morally wrong and physically harmful is also harassment for employees. Being told that they must call men women, and women men is harassment. Being told that they must deny reality and pretend that a relationship is a marriage when it isn’t — and that goes for many heterosexual relationships — is harassment.

    What the DOJ has done here is not in every way positive, it is not positive at all.

  • catholicexchange

    “CE, organizations like the DOJ, Microsoft, and Alaska Airlines don’t generally throw resources at problems that don’t exist.” Oh, of course they do. It’s part of their marketing strategy–a certain amount of any major corporate budget goes toward building (what they want to be perceived as) a positive public image.
    As for the specific behavior you expect of me when I personally encounter someone who has publicly embraced an LGBT lifestyle, what business is that of yours? But, of course, that’s the point: you’ve decided to make it your business to force me to react in a certain way. But I’m just not going to. So what do you do now? Put the social pressure on, right? Maybe deny me a promotion at the DOJ? Worse? A fine? Where does the discrimination stop?

  • Jim Swenson

    BillinJax, I held a mirror to your own face, and what you saw there was anger, which you then attributed to me.

  • Timothy Brock

    CE, your behavior (when you personally encounter someone who has embraced an LGBT lifestyle) is of no concern to me unless it causes harm to that individual. Certain words and actions do cause harm, as you know, and I think we are morally bound to speak out against harmful behaviors.

    But your behavior in such circumstances should be of great concern to any company that has hired you as well as GLBT individuals. At every moment on the job, you represent the company’s values and must abide by their rules.

    If you do not abide by their rules, then, let’s just face it, you are not a team player. That’s the reality of the modern workplace.

    You are free to express any opinion you like, but you are not free to work for any company you like.

    The American people are getting wise to charges of “reverse discrimination.” Let’s be clear: When you oppose racial discrimination, that does not make you a discriminator except in the positive sense of the term (as one who can discriminate between moral and immoral behaviors). When you oppose intolerance of others’ religious beliefs, that does not make you intolerant except in a positive sense (as one who will not stand silent while others are maligned.) When you oppose anti-gay bigotry, that does not make you bigoted in any way whatsoever. So don’t make yourself out to be a “victim” of the very people who would like you to stop victimizing them.

  • catholicexchange

    You keep avoiding all the particulars of the article and of my own arguments in favor of making vague general “stop the violence” statements which serve only to earn you cheap “points” and have the twisted effect of making it seem as if I or anyone is arguing in favor of bigotry.

    The DOJ is not a “company”–it is a federally funded government entity which has made the decision to pressure all of its employees, regardless of what they believe, to give public praise to lifestyles and behaviors which many people oppose. Anyone employed at the DOJ who is even remotely uncomfortable with the idea of giving such public affirmation is now being bullied by a radically pro-homosexuality machine–anyone who would like to be employed by the DOJ (and by extension any government job) must now conform or be cast out. If this isn’t reverse discrimination, then such a thing doesn’t exist. Are you going to continue to ignore our country’s various laws which make it a crime to discriminate in this fashion, or are you going to keep supporting these unmandated efforts to shove people around?

  • Richard III

    Neither the Catholic Church nor any individual Catholics I know claim that homosexuals always engage in 1 or more of the other horrors you mentioned, and the only connection we give them is that they are all grave sins, destructive to the sinner, his or her family and friends, and to society as a whole.

    Well, actually there are 2 links that connect those sins. The first is that they are all serious sins, and the second is that they can all be forgiven if repented of sincerely.

  • Richard III

    Does anyone else think it’s significant that this movement is called “DOJ Pride” and not “DOJ Humility” or “DOJ Love/Charity”?

  • Timothy Brock

    CE, I am fully aware that the DOJ is not a corporation. However, like a corporation or indeed any organization, it must have HR policies and procedures that help it function smoothly and efficiently. As a taxpayer, I expect the DOJ to adhere to best business practices in the areas of accounting, HR, management, and so forth.

    The DOJ belongs to the executive branch of the government and is led by the Attorney General, a presidential appointee. The significance of this fact is that the DOJ may implement the President’s own agenda (unless that agenda is unconstitutional). If the President supports same-sex marriage, then we would naturally expect the DOJ to do so as well.

    I think your concerns about employees being “bullied” into giving “public praise” to gay marriage are totally unwarranted, not to mention overdramatic. When you hear of anyone being “shoved around,” let me know. I seriously doubt that any employee with beliefs like yours would be expected to do more than be friendly and civil. The point is to preserve good working relations between employees. Surely you can find something in your Catechism that would justify your being cordial and friendly?

    Furthermore, I don’t believe anything that the DOJ is requiring of its employees would qualify as “reverse discrimination.” All they’re asking is that people be nice to each other. Is that such a hardship for a Catholic?

  • Tim Brock

    Ms. Finke, I’m afraid your anecdotal evidence showing the non-existence of harassment is not of much value. The prevalence of anti-gay harassment in the workplace is very easy to research, and I’m surprised you haven’t done it. You are, after all, a writer with Internet access.

    Here are the numbers from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy. They represent an aggregate of several surveys, which ensures a high degree of reliability:

    Fifteen percent to 43 percent of gay and transgender workers have experienced some form of discrimination on the job.

    Eight percent to 17 percent of gay and transgender workers reported being passed over for a job or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Ten percent to 28 percent received a negative performance evaluation or were passed over for a promotion because they were gay or transgender.

    Seven percent to 41 percent of gay and transgendere workers were verbally or physically abused or had their workplace vandalized.

    The figures are higher in organizations operated by churches. (Surprise!)

    You object to calling a man a woman, and so you may. But workplace rules at the DOJ state that you must respect the naming preferences of transgendered individuals. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a rule for myself: Let other people decide how they will be named and referred to. It’s just a common courtesy. If you find this impossible because of your religious beliefs, then maybe your religious beliefs are a bit brittle.

  • catholicexchange

    All you’ve done is here is clarify what one would suspect by reading your comments–that you think that Catholics are not as morally advanced as you are and ought to be made to adhere to whatever pop zeitgeist you or anyone else is in favor of. I’ll tell you what is a “hardship” for any Catholic or any human being on earth: to be harassed into behaving in ways that they find morally offensive by elitist snobs who have managed to temporarily snatch control of the cultural leash. By the way, are you ever going to answer the question: what do you propose we do with people who refuse to comply with your standards?

  • Timothy Brock

    CE, I’ll start by answering your question about people who refuse to comply with an organization’s HR standards of conduct. They should be reprimanded and, if necessary, fired. Every company or government agency has a right to set standards of conduct and to expect compliance with them. You needn’t characterize such policies as unfair or discriminatory. They are put in place to ensure the organization’s optimal functioning and performance. There’s nothing at all radical about such a notion. Show me a Catholic school or hospital that does not require compliance with its codes of conduct.

    And yes, I regret to say I do think many Catholics have lost their moral compass on this issue. Your characterization of human rights, gay civil rights, and anti-discrimination/harassment policies as “pop zeitgeist” is a symptom of this moral failure.

    You are in a very difficult position because your church’s teaching about homosexuality is retrograde and completely lacking in any scientific basis. Your church’s rejection of modernism has created an ever-expanding gap between its teachings and the real world. You are resentful that progressives (whom you characterize as “elitist snobs”) have taken the moral high ground and that the Church no longer holds “the cultural leash.” I think change is called for, but I’m afraid the Church’s attitude toward change has doomed it to fall farther and farther behind along the moral arc. Many progressive Catholics understand this, but the hierarchy does not.

  • catholicexchange

    Thank you for officially going on record as calling for public reprimands and mass firings for anyone who refuses to acknowledge what you personally believe about people’s sexual lives. Your candor, though it took a long time to finally surface here, is refreshing.
    Meanwhile, we Catholics will continue calling for respect for universal human dignity and protection of conscience under the law. God bless.

MENU