Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) recently introduced a bill in the Senate titled the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014. Its purpose is “to prohibit governmental entities from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider on the basis that the provider declines to provide a child welfare service that conflicts, or under circumstances that conflict, with the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions of the provider.”
Here are the headlines that followed:
And the list goes on. It’s no mystery what the liberal media think about this issue.
In recent years, some religious child welfare providers who believe that children deserve to be placed with married mothers and fathers have lost government funding and have shut down because of laws requiring them to serve the lesbian, gay, bi and transsexual (LGBT) communities,despite their contradicting religious convictions. In Illinois, unmarried heterosexual couples and homosexuals may legally adopt children and become foster parents, leading to the discontinuation of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockford’s adoption services. In Washington D.C. a similar adoption program was shut down due to another law that requires religious organizations serving the general public to provide services to homosexuals regardless of religious beliefs. Comparable cases are found in California, Massachusetts, and all across the nation—cases which offer a choice between sincere religious beliefs and punishment under law, or compliance and the forsaking of religious conscience.
Interestingly enough, LGBT adoption agencies exist all across the nation, and this bill does nothing to discriminate against their clients or services. The bill would protect the religious liberty of those adoption agencies already functioning under religious organizations while respecting the right of alternative agencies to equally serve whomever they like. Unfortunately, it may not be equality that is at stake here. Perhaps those in favor of these laws are not interested in alternative programs that respect LGBT communities and religious liberties. Perhaps they want to force religious organizations to change their beliefs—at any cost.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD ) state on their website that “equality is not the finish line. Simply removing discriminatory laws from the books should be the bare minimum of what we seek. The ultimate prize is not equality—it’s justice. We need laws that address the obstacles that we face as a community, instead of treating us exactly the same as everyone else. … Think about this for a moment. What would it look like if we weren’t content with simply making sure that our youth are not beat up in school? Instead, what if schools were required to teach about LGBT history?”
Clearly no one should be beaten up at school or mistreated for any reason. But when does one group’s concept of justice become injustice for another group? The situation in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and D.C. is one such example. In those places, the government refuses to contract with religious organizations that are unable, due to sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions, to provide a child welfare service that conflicts with those beliefs or convictions. Thus ends their “long and distinguished history of excellence in the provision of child welfare services.”
While some child welfare services are closing shop in order to maintain their religious standing and comply with government regulations, a small group’s concept of justice has become an injustice for large religious organizations with hundreds of dependent children.
LGBT issues are constantly exaggerated in the media as if in an effort to rekindle the legacy and thrill of the civil rights movement, and to smear conservatives as bigots for not agreeing with all of their tactics.
According to a Gallup Poll , U.S. adults estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian.
But reality contradicts popular estimates.
Starting in 2013, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS )—an organization charged with monitoring the nation’s health since 1957—included questions in its survey to ascertain the identity component of the sample adult’s sexual orientation. The results were significant.
NHIS reports that 96.6% of adults identified as straight, only 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% identified as “something else,” or stated that they didn’t know the answer or they didn’t answer.
That is a world of difference from the 25% that American adults have been led to believe.
With more accurate data now provided by the NHIS, Americans ought to be better informed and able to go about solving discrimination issues in a more personal, effective, and equal way. Must 1.6% of the population insist that religious institutions forsake their deeply held convictions while alternative options for child services already exist? The NHIS findings ought to raise many red flags as the government overreaches into the lives of the large majority of Americans on the pretext of protecting those who might be discriminated against.
Jace Gregory is an intern at Accuracy in Media’s American Journalism Center. For any inquiries, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.