Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-09-17
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THEATER NEWS THEATER NEWS
FWD event to feature Tony winner Mueller Eight veteran actors, directors, writers, ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

BUSH DENIES SALVATION ARMY PLEDGE
by Bob Roehr
2001-07-18

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


"The Bush administration is working with the nation's largest charity, the Salvation Army, to make it easier for government-funded religious groups to practice hiring discrimination against gay people, according to an internal Salvation Army document," began a front-page story in the Washington Post on July 10.

It charged that the White House had made a "firm commitment" to revise regulations to allow this discrimination, while the Salvation Army pledged to lobby for the administration's faith-based initiative. It quoted extensively from the leaked document.

The Salvation Army is concerned that a growing number of state and local governments prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians when contracting for social services programs such as those run by it and other religious groups. It suggested that an Office of Management and Budget regulation, Circular #A-102, be amended so that federal regulation supersedes state and local nondiscrimination laws when it comes to religious organizations running social programs.

Buried on an inside page was a response from White House spokeswoman Anne Womack, "This issue has been brought to our attention, but no such commitment has been made."

That morning at a news conference aboard Air Force One, spokesman Ari Fleischer reiterated the message. "The White House told them that would be reviewed. And that's the extent of it." He added, the administration is "committed to our nation's civil-rights laws," which have bipartisan support and are not likely to be changed.

NEWS CONFERENCE

Gay-rights supporters were taking no chances, hastily calling a noon briefing at the National Press Club with Winnie Stachelberg, political director of the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) , and Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights, a coalition of 185 organizations.

"Today's report suggests that that the administration is willing to throw the rights of some citizens overboard in return for political support from the Salvation Army," said Henderson. He called on the Bush administration to support three fundamental principles.

"No federal funds should be used to discriminate against any American, that should be inviolate." He asked the administration "to reinforce that fundamental principle."

He also asked them to "repudiate" the press account of negotiating "to help override the responsibility of state and local governments to protect the interests of their citizens." He pointed to the inconsistency of an administration that claims to want to return power closer to the people.

Finally, Henderson asked the administration to reconsider "charitable choice initiatives" that would allow religious organizations to evade existing civil-rights laws in implementing social service programs. He said, "The civil and human rights of our country should be measured by a single yardstick and every American should be free from discrimination."

Stachelberg called the news report "a serious mistake that must be challenged." She hoped that spokesman Fleischer's view that the Army misinterpreted White House intentions was accurate, but called upon the administration "to further clarify its position and fully disclose their objectives."

She accepted that religious freedom allows religious groups to discriminate when it comes to operations that apply directly to their religious function. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act ( ENDA ) allows this as well.

"What we cannot support is federal funds being used by organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation," said Stachelberg. Conferring these "special protections to religious organizations" is a debate that should be carried out in Congress.

This "back room deal" to override state and local law "is reprehensible," she said. "It appears that the Salvation Army is attempting an end run around the Congress, with the assistance of the Bush administration."

The 1964 Civil Rights Act established "a very important principle, that people should be judged on their performance in the workplace," said Henderson. "To have the administration now willing to work out a deal to override local protection of this important principle is deeply troubling."

Twelve states and 122 local jurisdictions have enacted legislation protecting gays and lesbians, though Maryland's law is being held in abeyance pending resolution of a petition to put the measure before the voters.

Henderson said that the administration has the authority to change the Circular #A-102 regulation, but that must be done through established procedures. They include publication of proposed changes in the Federal Register, a period for public comment, and issuing of a final rule.

But, said Henderson, "If a religious entity chooses to participate in the public marketplace, using federal dollars to carry out its program, then it should be regulated by the principle that no federal money should be used for discriminatory purposes." It can discriminate with its own money.

SKEPTICISM AND OVERSIGHT

Log Cabin Republican spokesman Kevin Ivers believes the story was poorly handled by the Post and has been overplayed. He said the White House contacted them on the evening of July 9, alerting them to an inquiry by the Post reporter a few hours before the article went up on the newspaper's website.

The contact told Ivers that the Salvation Army had an opportunity to express their views but that there was no commitment by the administration to support those views.

That made sense to Ivers. He remembered that in the heat of the primary campaign candidate Bush passed up an opportunity to comment on California's anti-gay Proposition 22, saying that it was a local matter not a national one. Ivers didn't see the administration "doing a 180" degree turn on an issue like federalism.

Ivers did go on the attack against the Salvation Army, saying, "This is an organization that discriminates against gays and is proud of it." He believes that the incident will "raise serious questions about their credibility" to deliver social services in an unbiased manner.

Openly gay D.C. city councilman David Catania contacted local and national Salvation Army officials after reading the article. He said that both officials assured him that they do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation with their government funds and that they had no such reported commitment from the White House.

Catania chairs the Committee on Public Services with oversight responsibility. He said that if he suspects discrimination, "I will not hesitate to conduct hearings and subpoena them into appearing before the Council."

CODA

By that evening most of the players seemed to want to wrap up the matter and move on to other things.

The Salvation Army issued a statement saying that their concerns were raised in the context of being asked "to identify barriers in government-provided social service funding." It noted that federal law provides an exemption for religious institutions where policy conflicts with faith.

It maintained that its "hiring policies fully comply with federal laws with respect to fair hiring on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, and ethnicity." Which was a bit disingenuous because federal law does not protect sexual orientation while it does protect the other categories. And the crux of this disagreement was an attempt to override state and local protections for gays that do exist.

The White House released a statement saying that it will not pursue the change in the Circular #A-102 regulation suggested by the Army. It believes existing laws and the faith-based legislation passed by the House Judiciary Committee offers sufficient protections both of civil rights and of religious organizations' "right to hire individuals who share their religious faith."

HRC spokesman David Smith was pleased in that "the status quo has been maintained." It demonstrated to him that their quick response had an impact. "It struck me how quickly the White House backed down," he said. But it still left unanswered the question of whether federal funds can be spent in a manner that discriminates against gay and lesbian Americans.

Rep. Barney Frank had offered a clarifying amendment to the faith-based legislation in the Judiciary Committee that would require charities to adhere to all state and local nondiscrimination laws. It was defeated in a party line vote. Attempts to pass the amendment are likely to be made in other committees considering the bill, perhaps on the floor of the House, and when the Senate considers the measure.

Stachelberg said that HRC has some concerns with the concept of the faith-based initiative. It "has great concerns with the lack of protections for gays and lesbians" in the version that came out of the Judiciary Committee. But their position will depend in part upon the final language of the bill.

Many observers believe that this public flap has improved chances for passing the Frank amendment even while it may have decreased chances for passing the entire faith-based initiative that the Bush administration has made one of its priorities.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Sophia Bush to speak at 2014 Chicago HRC Gala 2014-09-19
Pelofsky, Madonna tribute, Artemis Singers, Kate Bush 2013-08-14
Laura Bush in marriage-ad flap 2013-02-27
Lady Gaga tops DoSomething.org's 'Top 20 Celebs Gone Good' List; Sophia Bush named 'Fan Favorite' 2011-12-28
Barbara Bush Supports Marriage for Same-Sex Couples 2011-02-04
Count Me Out: National Coming Out Day 2010 Social Media Ambush 2010-10-11
Bush's former campaign manager and RNC chairman comes out gay 2010-08-25
Laura Bush in favor of marriage equality 2010-05-12
Bushnell, Palahniuk coming to Chicagoland 2010-05-05
Bushnell, Palahniuk coming to Chicagoland 2010-05-01
Transnation: Bush is out, RuPaul is in 2009-02-01
Next Abusharif hearing June 18 2008-04-30
Bush Budget Shortchanges AIDS 2008-02-20
OPINION: Will President Bush Veto Gay Hate-Crimes Protection? 2007-11-07
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-09-12
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-09-05
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-08-29
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-08-22
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-08-15
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-08-01
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-07-25
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-07-18
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-07-11
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-07-04
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-06-27
The Last Days of George W. Bush: 2007-06-20
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-06-13
The Last Days of George W. Bush 2007-06-06
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-05-30
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-05-23
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-05-16
The Last Days of George W. Bush 2007-05-02
The Last Days of George W. Bush 2007-04-25
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-04-11
The Last Days of George W. Bush: 2007-04-04
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-03-28
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-03-21
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-03-14
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-03-07
The Last Days of George W. Bush: A Tale of Family Values 2007-02-28





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Trans* woman claims self-defense in case
 
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck
 
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame selects next inductees
 
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage
 
Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.