I have spent the better part of this afternoon, hesitating to write a post I know I should write. The skies are already dark here in Los Angeles and I’m only beginning to put pen to paper, er fingers to keyboard, to tap out on a post on a issue I really should have addressed long ago.
I guess it’s because I know this piece will stir up some controversy. Despite my predilection for speaking my mind, there are times when I would just rather not stir the pot. It’s days like these when I understand why Log Cabin leaders oftentimes seem to emulate a Hollywood star who delights in being liked.
But, if I didn’t speak my mind and stand up for controversial ideas, there really wouldn’t be much point in my blogging so I’ll risk the adverse reaction and express my disappointment with the House passage today of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). While I believe it wrong for a company to discriminate against an employee because of his (or her) sexual orientation, I also don’t believe the government should set a company’s employment policies.
Moreover, as an increasing number of corporations have adopted nondiscrimination policies (see e.g., this post referencing this article), such legislation is increasingly unnecessary. And even corporations without such policies have long since refrained from discrimating against employees because of their sexual orientation (or other factors irrelevant to their ability to do their job). Not only that, corporations which discriminate will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
Despite 365gay’s report that this passed “mostly along party lines,” 35 Republicans voted in favor enough to ensure the bill’s passage. The final tally was 235-184. Had those Republicans voted against the legislation, this statist bill would have been defeated.
It was unfortunate that the debate focused on the exclusion of protections for transgender employees in the final legislation rather than the appropriateness of the continuing expansion of the scope of the federal government.
Some might claim that it’s only fair to include gay people in the protections offered to other groups, but I contend that one doesn’t reduce the size of the federal government by increasing its scope. And for the past fifty years (and then some), American conservatives have been most concerned by the unending growth of the federal government, something which, alas, the incumbent administration has done nothing to contain.
It’s unfortunate the Log Cabin cheered the passage of a bill which will keep the federal government ever more involved in matters best left to the private sector. By standing up against ENDA, this ostensibly Republican organization could have provided an example for other GOP interest groups to follow — opposing legislation designed to benefit their group because it serves to increase the scope of the federal government.
If Log Cabin is serious about reducing the size of the federal government, then they could show it by opposing legislation which increases its scope.
It’s too bad that in the quest for that elusive goal of government-generated equality, all too many groups have forgotten the guiding idea of our party and our Republic — freedom.