The Fox Nation -- Fox News' bastion of “fair and balanced” -- is currently blasting this headline: “Obama appointee: 'Gay Sex is Morally Good,'” below a picture of Chai Feldblum, President Obama's appointee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It links to a FoxNews.com article about how social conservatives oppose Feldblum's appointment because they're “disturbed by her work to promote gay, lesbian, and transgender rights” and are convinced that she'll impose her agenda on federal workplace discrimination laws. The article also mentions that she once said, “gay sex is morally good.”
Three things about this stand out:
One: The Fox Nation is clearly gay-baiting by pulling a “gay sex” one-liner out of a news article about Feldblum and trumpeting it in a headline. Need evidence? Check out some of the comments on The Fox Nation's excerpt of the article. Commenter “pckt chng” wonders “where all these sick b@$tards come from, seems like an explosion of them since they elected this qu-er president.” Commenter “MSG” says: “A very sick person and should be listed as a sexual predator. It appears this is all this sex freak thinks about. You are discrace to a normal society and your a pervert to SAY THE LEAST.” I could go on, but I won't.
Two: Feldblum made the comments at a 2004 UCLA panel discussion titled “Election 2004: The Gay Vote, Gay Marriage and Prospects for Gay Rights Legislation.” She was specifically arguing that it is no longer strategically viable for the gay rights movement to push for legislation based solely on the fact that gay men and lesbians deserve the same rights, regardless of how people feel about morality. Instead, she said the movement needs to consider working to change some people's (particularly politicians') belief that gay sex and relationships are the not the same as heterosexual sex and relationships, i.e., not the same morally. She said that people need to believe “gay sex is morally good” in order for the movement to be successful.
You can listen to her whole speech. Check it out: Feldblum starts speaking around 58 minutes in.
Three: So what? Feldblum is a lesbian who does not want to be denied rights because of her sexuality, and she has been vocal about it. This doesn't have anything to do her qualifications (she's a Georgetown University law professor) to sit on the EEOC. The EEOC enforces federal laws dealing with workplace discrimination, like the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equal Pay Act. Clearly, Feldblum's duties as a commissioner do not relate to her views on whether or not gay sex is “morally good.”
Social conservatives, according to the FoxNews.com article, argue that Feldblum will “use her powerful post to enforce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit private employers with more than 15 employees from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” But, ENDA is not law yet -- it's up to Congress to pass it, not Feldblum. If ENDA does become law, it seems to me that everyone at the EEOC, regardless of their sexual orientation, would enforce it because ... it's the law. Social conservatives should direct their ire elsewhere.