Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities
of the Conservative Movement in Washington
Issue 168 * June 25, 1997
The National Center for Public Policy Research
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Fax (301) 498-1301
E-Mail: [email protected]
Activities at the June 17 Family Forum meeting chaired by Mike Schwartz of the U.S. House of Representatives Family Caucus.
Employment Quotas for Homosexuals?
Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition spoke on S. 869, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, popularly known as "ENDA." According to Robert Knight of the Family Research Council, the legislation, if approved, would raise "sexual orientation" to a protected status under the law. This would expand federal government control over private employers, increase business-related litigation, prevent employers from taking into account sexual activity of any kind on or off the job, and pave the way for "sexual orientation" quotas of the kind that currently afflict businesses with regard to race and gender. The legislation, if approved, also would put the federal government officially on record as in support of sexual promiscuity, as the legislation defines "sexual orientation" so broadly as to include all proclivities, from pedophilia to bisexuality. Knight says that "Under ENDA, 'sexual orientation' is defined as 'homosexuality, bisexuality, or heterosexuality, whether such orientation is real or perceived.' This covers everything from foot fetishes to starring in gay porn films." Sheldon noted that ENDA would expand EEOC power over businesses with 15 or more employees, and would affect the ability of business owners to operate their businesses according to their own beliefs. For instance, he said, a homosexual or an atheist could have legal standing to become employed by a church under this legislation. Rev. Sheldon said that this legislation could be approved: in the 104th Congress, the Senate vote against it was 50-49. He suggested that participants contact Senators Trent Lott (R-MS), Ernest Hollings (D-SC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Breaux (D-LA) with their views. Contact Rev.Sheldon at 202/547-8570.
President's Legislation's Loophole Would Make Human Cloning Legal
Sheena Talbot of the American Life League discussed the recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Human Cloning (both proposed and introduced) regarding the issue of human cloning. Talbot reported that the Commission's recommendations reveal that the Commission is willing to have embryos/fetuses cloned for study, but advocates having them destroyed before birth. She noted in particular that Section 5 of the cloning legislation, advocated by President Clinton, provides a loophole to other language so that the legislation doesn't ban cloning at all. Talbot mentioned the possibility that in the future, due to changing moral standards, cloning could become a way to "farm humans" for necessary organs and tissues for the use of others, and then have the "farmed" humans destroyed. Finally, Talbot discussed bills introduced by Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) and Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI). The American Life League is working with these offices to produce legislation enacting a true ban on human cloning. Contact Sheena Talbot at 540/659-4171.
Corporations Continue to Fund the Rope That Hangs Them
Austin Falk of the Capital Research Center discussed his research into corporate giving patterns. His study revealed that corporate donations to left-of-center political advocacy groups continue to far outweigh the donations given to free market pro-family groups. Falk described some case studies of corporations giving to groups working against the corporation's own interests, and explained why this happens: 1) corporations fear negative attention from Jesse Jackson types who threaten to go public with boycotts or other negative actions unless the corporation "shapes up," and 2) corporations see a big-name charity with a "feel good" name (such as the Children's Defense Fund) and want to gain good publicity by making a donation to such an organization. Regarding this practice, Falk noted that many of these "feel good" big name groups do not produce the results in terms of service that many smaller, more community-based groups, do, but because the smaller groups lack large publicity departments, they cannot compete with larger groups for corporate funding. Falk also distributed information about some donations, such as gifts to NOW by Capital Cities/ABC and May Department Stores, gifts to Planned Parenthood by Corning, General Mills and Chase Manhattan, and others. Contact Austin Falk at 202/483-6900.
Homosexuality Conference Held
Diana Bannister of Craig Shirley and Associates discussed the Marquette University American Public Philosophy Institute's conference entitled "Homosexuality and American Public Life." The conference, held at Georgetown University, was protested by groups which object to organizers' belief that homosexuality is a learned rather than genetic disorder. Despite the protests, she said, conference attendance was twice what organizers expected. Contact Diana Bannister at 703/739-5920.
Bulletin Board: Activities of conservatives in Washington.
Rally Calls for Inclusion of Sojourner Truth
Members of the conservative African-American leadership group Project 21 will join other protesters on June 26 at the east side of the U.S. Capitol from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm to call for the inclusion of African-American suffragist Sojourner Truth in a statue placed in the Capitol Rotunda to honor the Suffragette Movement. Since the statue, better known as the Portrait Monument, has already been placed in the Rotunda, the protesters will request that the statue be draped to hide it from public display until a new statue including Sojourner Truth is constructed. The protesters will include representatives from conservative and liberal groups. "We cannot be proud of any statue, purporting to represent the Women's and Suffrage Movements that does not include Sojourner Truth nor will we participate in any public commemoration that does not honor her and the contributions that many black women have made to those struggles," said Project 21 member Phyllis Berry Myers, who used to head the Congressional Affairs Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact Project 21 at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected] or visit http://www.project21.org/p21SojournerTruth497.
Preferences Hearing June 26
On June 26 the House Judiciary Committee on the Constitution will hold a hearing on H.R. 1909, the Civil Rights Act of 1997, which would prohibit the use of race and gender preferences by the federal government in employment, contracting and other programs. The bill was introduced by Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL), and a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Witnesses will include participants in several recent cases in which preferences were found to be unconstitutional. Contact Michelle Morgan at 202/225-1252.
Supreme Court Decision on RFRA Spurs Complaints
The Rutherford Institute, the Family Research Council and the
Home School Legal Defense Association have all released statements
on the Supreme Court's June 25 ruling calling the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA), which was approved by Congress almost
unanimously, unconstitutional. Rita Woltz of The Rutherford Institute
explains the issue: "The Supreme Court today bulldozed the
last barrier of protection for religious Americans. After the
Supreme Court's reckless decision in Smith whereby it emasculated
the Free Exercise clause, Congress created RFRA to protect the
fundamental right to religious free expression. But now, that
protection has been lifted, and religious Americans will have
to turn to their state legislatures or lobby Congress for a Constitutional
amendment to protect religious exercise." Contact Rita Woltz
at 804/978-3888, the Family Research Council at 202/393-2100 and
the Home School Legal Defense Association at 540/338-5600. A copy
of the Supreme Court's full decision is available at http://www.nationalcenter.orgBoerne.