Most reactions to advances in LGBT equality don't surprise me. Many are even understandable.
I can understand someone who has a fear of gay scout leaders when they've been taught that gay is the same as pedophile.
I can understand when someone thinks marriage is a holy and special bond between people who wear different kinds of swimsuits. From that viewpoint, marriage equality makes no sense as gay marriage would never be the equivalent of "real" marriage.
I can understand the person who is worried about their religious beliefs being overridden by the state because they won't perform gay weddings in their place of worship.
These reactions are wrongheaded and usually based on misinformation and stereotypes, but I can at least comprehend their origins.
That being said, I cannot begin to understand this email from the Minnesota Family Council (emphasis mine):
ACTION ALERT!Election Day & Dangerous ENDA LegislationBut select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens ~ Exodus
Unfortunately, on this Election Day I have some bad news to report. Last night, the U.S. Senate (with the help of our Senators--Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken) moved the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), a dangerous piece of legislation granting special privileges based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" that also denies adequate religious liberty protection, towards its final vote on the Senate floor.
ENDA is a dangerous piece of legislation that would cause serious harms by limiting employer and employee free speech and religious freedom rights, and by granting special privileges based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity"--ambiguous terms that (unlike race, which is an immutable characteristic) are commonly understood to be subjective and inclusive of behaviors.
Here are just a few examples of serious consequences that would likely arise if ENDA becomes law. First, as National Organization for Marriage noted, ENDA legislation can be used as a "Trojan horse" to further attack true marriage between one man and one woman across the nation. ENDA would prevent an employer from considering the concerns of female employees over having to share a bathroom with a biological male who claims to identify as female. Also, the Civil Rights Act allows employers to take sex into consideration if it's reasonable to do so for the job--like hiring a female camp counselor for a girls' camp. However, the ENDA bill contains NO such provision allowing employers to consider sexual orientation or gender identity, even when reasonable to do so for the job.
The ENDA bill is dangerous, unfair, and needs to be stopped. Please, contact our Senators TODAY to urge them to oppose this harmful legislation.
In what possible world is preventing employers from discriminating against employees not only wrong but DANGEROUS?! I simply cannot wrap my mind around that thought.
Also, since when is non-discrimination a "special privilege?"
And name me one job for which it would be "reasonable to [consider sexual orientation or gender identity]" for which it wouldn't also make sense to consider the applicant's gender at all.
I would hope that everything else wrong with this email is obvious enough that I need not insult your intelligence by outlining every one, but allow me to briefly expand on the religious freedom question. Currently, an employer could not tell a Jewish applicant "I'm sorry, but people who share your faith killed my savior so I'm not going to hire you." Nor could that same employer turn away a Muslim, atheist, Jain, or different type of Christian for that matter based solely on their religious profession (which is hardly an "immutable characteristic"). Perhaps the MN Family Council thinks this should not be the case, as "it tramples First Amendment rights and unnecessarily impinges on citizens’ right to run their businesses the way they choose." Still, that is the law.
Besides, your right to free speech is not being impeded in the least. You can scream about how terrified you are that LGBT people are becoming accepted as human beings until your lungs give out. The moment you do harm to someone else by making a discriminatory hiring decision based on characteristics completely irrelevant to the job, that's no longer free speech.