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The Bad News from Bush: Attorney General Nominee John Ashcroft
It didn't take long for President-Elect Bush to start proving the doomsayers right, far right, with this disastrous nomination.

by Deborah Levinson

Let's say that you even voted for Bush or that you don't think he'll be too much of a problem. After all, how much can somebody who works a nine-to-five day while holding 24/7 responsibilities get done without delegating to one or two folks who actually know what they're doing?

Unfortunately the trouble can be classified as "a lot" when one of those nominees, who does know what they're doing, has one of the worst ever records on civil rights.

Gentle readers I give you John Ashcroft, President-Elect Bush's choice for Attorney General of the United States:

  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.
  • Voted NO on the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
  • Vote YES on the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Voted NO on a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
  • Voted YES on an amendment to prohibit flag burning.

Let's see what was so horrible in that first one, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act of 1996 (ENDA).

Hmmmm. It appears that it would have prohibited discrimination:

SEC. 4. DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED.

A covered entity shall not, with respect to the employment or employment opportunities of an individual--

(1) subject the individual to a different standard or different treatment on the basis of sexual orientation;

(2) discriminate against the individual based on the sexual orientation of a person with whom the individual is believed to associate or to have associated; or

(3) otherwise discriminate against the individual on the basis of sexual orientation.

His objection could not have been on religious grounds, the act included an exemption:

SEC. 8. RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION.

(a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act shall not apply to a religious organization.

(b) FOR-PROFIT ACTIVITIES- This Act shall apply with respect to employment and employment opportunities that relate to any employment position that pertains solely to a religious organization's for-profit activities subject to taxation under section 511(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The U.S. Military was also exempt.

SEC. 9. NONAPPLICATION TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES;

So what can it be?

Here's a hint: I suspect bigotry.

Ashcroft is a member of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal faith, a rather fundamentalist Christian denomination. Its distinguishing feature is personal exposure to the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by speaking in tongues.

Here's what Assemblies of God has to say about gays and lesbians: "Christians are not only concerned with what the Bible teaches about homosexuality, but also what the attitude of Christians should be toward those involved in this practice. Some sins seem more reprehensible than others because they not only affect the pervert but often involve recruitment as well. For this reason Christians must be sure their attitudes toward homosexuals are in harmony with the teaching of Scripture. They must on the one hand avoid the sentimental credulity which results in tolerance of this behavior."

Read the last line again --- Gays and lesbians are not even to be "tolerated" according to the teachings of Ashcroft's church. If not even tolerated, how then can Ashcroft be expected to ensure that gays and lesbians are treated fairly and equally under the laws of the United States?

Next page > Even Log Cabin Won't Support Him > Page 1, 2


 

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Questions? Comments? Submissions?
Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson