The conservative media is falsely accusing JPMorgan Chase of giving its employees an “LGBT loyalty test” thanks to dishonest reporting by a number of anti-LGBT activists.
In a June 29 blog post, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) co-founder Robert George shared a message from an employee at JPMorgan Chase, who alleged that an internal employee survey had included a question asking employees to indicate whether they were any of the following:
1) A person with disabilities;
2) A person with children with disabilities;
3) A person with a spouse/domestic partner with disabilities;
4) A member of the LGBT community.
5) An ally of the LGBT community, but not personally identifying as LGBT.
George baselessly asserted that the survey was a warning to anti-LGBT employees:
The message to all employees is perfectly clear: You are expected to fall into line with the approved and required thinking. Nothing short of assent is acceptable. Silent dissent will no longer be permitted.
Breitbart.com's resident anti-LGBT extremist Austin Ruse picked the story up shortly thereafter, accusing Chase of giving its employees an “LGBT loyalty test”:
Ruse also reported that a second source had confirmed the existence of the Chase survey after questions were raised about the authenticity of George's original report.
In a July 4 blog post for Crisis, Ruse brought his characteristic paranoia to bear, declaring that the workplace is now “hostile territory” for anti-gay conservatives and warning that “the dominant sexually correct mafia” was coming for their jobs:
[T]he LGBTs have bent the largest company in the US to its will, to do their bidding, to force their ideology on an entire workforce. And not just JP Morgan Chase. The Human Rights Campaign publishes a list of gay-friendly corporations and it reads like the Fortune 500. And not just businesses either. Remember, they have bent the President, the armed services, the Supreme Court, even the Boy Scouts.
Christians and others who oppose the LGBT agenda are now in hostile territory at work. You cannot let your fellow employees know about your position on LGBT. I would guess that many are afraid to express their Christian beliefs at all because it might evoke a hostile reaction from the dominant sexually correct mafia.
My suggestion? If you are reading this at work, quick, get rid of it. Your boss may be watching. When JP Morgan Chase puts up diversity posters that say, “Just be you,” they don't mean you. They mean them.
The Chase story - which also appeared in the right-wing Washington Times and on NOM's blog - is precisely the kind of journalism that results when notorious anti-gay extremists are given a platform to report on LGBT issues.
But Ruse's “loyalty test” story is a complete fabrication. Neither Ruse nor George has actually produced a copy of the survey they're reporting on. More importantly, there isn't a shred of evidence that Chase is using the internal survey for anything other than basic data collection. Ruse can't point to any examples of anti-LGBT Chase employees being punished, targeted, or even acknowledged in any way. It'd be equally as absurd for Ruse to assert that the survey was being used to punish employees “with children with disabilities.” It's an entirely made-up horror story meant to promote the tired narrative that the LGBT movement seeks to persecute anti-LGBT conservatives.
Moreover, Ruse's depiction of a workplace that's endlessly solicitous of LGBT people is starkly at odds with the reality of the LGBT experience. While companies are increasingly affirming LGBT equality, anti-LGBT employment discrimination remains a persistent problem. .
This is far from the first time Ruse has used his conservative media platform to wage apoplectic attacks on the LGBT community. He is a prominent cheerleader for Russia's anti-gay crackdown, has called gay people "intrinsically disordered and abnormal," and has blamed gay teen suicide on gay rights activists. His vehement rhetoric has even proven too extreme for anti-gay hate groups; the American Family Association cut ties with Ruse in March after he called for liberal professors to be “taken out and shot.”
That such an anti-gay demagogue enjoys a forum at outlets like Breitbart says far more about right-wing media than it does about the topics Ruse covers.