Eleven pro-homosexual congressmen have introduced a bill that would add “sexual orientation” to the list of protected categories for federal employees.
The action comes during an aggressive liberal campaign against Scott Bloch, who heads the federal Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which handles cases involving the federal merit system.
The agency is empowered to prosecute federal managers who violate the rights of employees under the Civil Service Reform Act. This includes whistleblowers – employees who seek shelter for reporting wrongdoing in their agencies. One section of the law incorporates protection based on traditional civil-rights categories such as race, color, creed and religion. Another protects conduct outside the job.
During the Clinton Administration, Special Counsel Elaine Kaplan, an out lesbian, incorporated “sexual orientation” under the “conduct unrelated to the job” portion, thus elevating homosexuality to a protected status even in the absence of any issue over conduct. Bloch last year removed the words “sexual orientation” from that portion of the OSC’s website, noting that Congress had never authorized the addition.
In recent testimony before a Senate panel, Bloch reiterated why he believes the law is clear, and that Congress’ listing of categories necessarily limits his jurisdiction.
In response, 11 congressmen, including openly homosexual Representatives Barney Frank (D.-Mass.), Jim Kolbe (R.-Ariz.) and Tammy Baldwin (D.-Wis.), have sponsored the Clarification of Federal Employment Protection Act (HR 3128). The chief sponsor is Rep. Henry Waxman (D.-Calif.), who represents West Hollywood, a homosexual enclave in Los Angeles County. Waxman is the ranking minority member of the House Government Reform Committee.
Other co-sponsors include Mark Foley (R-Fla.), Christopher Shays (R.-Conn.), Danny Davis (D.-N.Y.), Eliot Engle (D.-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D.-Md.), Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.-District of Columbia).
“Someone needs to tell these congressmen that creating a special civil-rights status for federal employees based on bedroom behavior is an insult to true minorities,” said Jan LaRue, Concerned Women for America’s chief counsel. “Who’re next, adulterers? And why should federal employees have greater civil rights protection than ordinary, hard-working Americans?"
Bloch said in a May 24 hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee that no law allows the creation of new categories of civil rights statutes, so that the OSC has no authority to go beyond what is listed. He noted that neither Congress nor any federal court has authorized civil rights “status” claims based on “sexual orientation.” He said that all employees, including homosexuals, would be protected from any discrimination based on a law protecting non-work “conduct” that does not interfere with their work, but that conduct and status are vastly different levels of protection in law.
When a media firestorm hit last year after the agency’s website dropped the term “sexual orientation,” and Democrats held a press conference calling for Bloch’s resignation, the Bush administration reacted defensively, indicating that they expected Bloch to relent. But Bloch insisted that he has no authority to prosecute cases based solely on mere “status.”
“We do not see sexual orientation as a term for class status anywhere in the statute or in the legislative history or case law, in fact, quite contrary to it,” Bloch told the Senate panel.