Equal Pay

Wisconsin GOP House Candidate Glenn Grothman Speaks Out Against 'The War On Men'

As we wrote earlier today, Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman is running in the Republican primary this year against U.S. Rep. Tom Petri , which promises to bring extremism in the GOP primaries to a whole new level.

In our round-up of Grothman’s extremism we mentioned a speech he gave to a 2010 Tea Party rally, in which he claimed that “gals” are unfairly getting promoted ahead of men when really “in the long run, a lot of women like to stay at home and have their husbands be the primary breadwinner.”

He also blamed the downfall of America on single mothers on public benefits, even though he claims to have met many single moms while protesting outside abortion clinics: “Now, I know a lot of gals who are having kids out of wedlock, and I love them. I’ve been outside abortion clinics, and I’ve encouraged them.”

“Our country is not going to survive if we continue this war on men,” he concludes.

Although Grothman’s speech has been reported on a number of Wisconsin blogs, we believe it deserves a wider audience. Here’s a slightly shortened version of the legendary speech, via Blogging Blue.

Also in the speech, Grothman claimed that the government is forcing businesses to hire women and people of color and thereby attempting to “divide Americans by race.”

“In addition to the unfairness, the reason that will destroy the country is we are telling people they are not Americans,” he said. “And particularly we are telling our new immigrants, when you come here, if you’re from the Philippines, if you’re from Costa Rica, if you’re from Nigeria, if you’re from Pakistan, you should walk around with a chip on your shoulder and ask your government, ‘What are you going to give me, because I’m from the Phillipines?’ and ‘What are you going to give me because I’m from Pakistan?’ and ‘What are you going to give me because I’m from Mexico?’”

Liberty Counsel: DADT Keeps "Moral Perverts" Out Of The Armed Services

Last week, Brian noted how Religious Right leaders have seized upon reports that Wikileaks-leaker Bradly Manning is gay in order to argue for the continuing need to enforce Don't Ask, Don't Tell. 

The topic came up in the Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom Radio" program today as Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed the issue and cited a report from the 1950s claiming that gays were "moral perverts" and therefore a national security risk:

Staver: According to news reports, Manning decided to turn traitor after a fight with his boyfriend, which somehow motivated him to send hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange, who's alleged also by some to be gay.

But at any rate, if you go back and look at this, go back to the reports of the 1950s when a series of Senate committee reports concluded that "moral perverts are bad national security risks because of the susceptibility to blackmail" and that homosexuals are "vulnerable to interrogation by a skilled questioner" due to emotional instability or moral weakness.

And that comes from The Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, October 1, 2001. So this is not some ancient document, but it looks back at what happened in the 1950s with regards to why homosexuality was automatic excluder for someone in a national security position.

Barber: This shows specifically why, this highlights why we have the policy in place that seeks to keep sexual deviancy out of the ranks of the armed services.

I guess it is worth pointing out that Staver is completely misrepresenting the 2001 "The Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory" by suggesting that it supported the findings of the reports from the 1950s when it did the exact opposite:

Barriers to security clearances for gay men and lesbians: fear of blackmail or fear of homosexuals?
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory - October 1, 2001
Gregory B. Lewis

Historically, the federal government has been a far-from-model employer of lesbians and gay men. It officially prohibited their employment in the 1950s, did not remove homosexuality as grounds for dismissal until the mid-1970s, did not pledge equal treatment in the granting of security clearances until the mid-1990s, and continues to deny equal pay for equal work by denying the same benefits to domestic partners of gay employees that it grants to spouses of heterosexual employees. (1) This article focuses on federal policies that denied security clearances to homosexuals until the 1980s and subjected gay applicants for clearances to intrusive questioning about their sex lives until the 1990s. Because approximately two hundred thousand federal employees and federal contractors require clearances to do their jobs (GAO 1995), and because clearances are essential for advancement toward the top of several federal agencies, these policies created a so-called lavender ceiling for gay employees in some agencies and firms. A concern that closeted homosexuals could be blackmailed into revealing the nation's secrets justified the policy, but both administrative documents and survey data indicate that distaste for homosexuals undergirded it.

I begin this article with a brief history of federal policy, showing that although explicit bans on both security clearances and federal employment emerged at the same time from the same roots, court actions led the policies along different trajectories. I will then look at the weak evidence that gay people were at increased risk of betraying the nation's secrets and the reasons that evidence was sufficient to uphold the policy. Although the courts rejected immorality as grounds for dismissing gay employees, their deference to administrative expertise and administrators' reliance on a common sense standard meant that distaste for homosexuals bolstered national security concerns. In the third section I will use survey data from the 1990s to show that those who disapprove of homosexuality and gay rights are more likely than others to support intense questioning about sexual orientation before granting security clearances.

Meet Tim Walberg: The Birthers’ Man in Washington

Following the midterm elections, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Today, meet Tim Walberg, who “was a tea partier before there was a tea party”:

Tim Walberg, who is returning to the House next year after representing Michigan's 7th district for one term from 2007-2009, brags that he “was a tea partier before there was a tea party.” Indeed, Walberg enthusiastically embraces the most extreme aspects of the Tea Party—from corporate pandering and vowing to cut social safety-net programs to far-right views on social issues and a predilection for conspiracy theories.

Walberg is perhaps most famous for his unabashed embrace of birtherism. Asked by a radio show caller if he thinks President Obama is an American citizen or a Muslim, Walberg responded:

"You know, I don't know, I really don't know," Walberg responded. "We don't have enough information about this President. He was never given a job interview that was complete."

"But that's not the issue now," Walberg went on. "He is President. Right now, we need to make sure that he doesn't remain as President. Whether he's American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it."

While other candidates have tried to tiptoe away from their own birther claims, Walberg later doubled down, saying that he would “take [Obama] at his word that he’s an American citizen”…and then suggested that Congress impeach Obama in order to obtain a copy of his birth certificate.

But birtherism isn’t the only right-wing conspiracy theory that Walberg backs. He has repeated the bizarre—and completely debunked—theory that the Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Florida. And he continues to repeat discredited ideas about the origins of the Iraq war. He said that Saddam Hussein funded the Al Qaeda terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks, and insisted in a debate last month that Iraq “absolutely” had weapons of mass destruction before the American invasion—something that even George W. Bush now admits is not true.

Walberg backs an extreme pro-corporate economic agenda. When Walberg first won election in 2006, the ultra-conservative Club For Growth counted his victory as its own, bragging that its PAC “scored its first-ever knock-out of an incumbent” when Walberg defeat a moderate incumbent in the Republican primary. The Club for Grouth had poured millions of dollars into Walberg’s 2006 campaign, spending $1 million in the primary, and then producing vicious attack adds against his Democratic opponent in the general election. This year, American Future Fund, an especially shadowy group with ties to Big Agriculture, spent over $500,000 to run an ad attacking Walberg’s opponent with false claims about health care reform and clean energy legislation.

And, it seems, Walberg’s big business backers will get what they paid for. The League of Conservation Voters named him to their 2010 Dirty Dozen, the second time he had made that list. During his one previous term in Congress, LCV said, “Walberg opposed every major clean energy reform…earning a 0% LCV score.” LCV continued, “During his two years in office, he was on the wrong side of conservation and clean energy on 32 out of 33 votes. He even voted against the No Child Left Inside Act, designed to help educate children about the natural environment.” Indeed, no clean energy effort is too small to earn Walberg’s disdain: on the campaign trail, he slammed Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for riding her bicycle to work.

Walberg wants to dramatically cut social safety net programs, and directs much of his scorn on Social Security. He’s advocated for privatizing the program, and agreed with a supporter at a Tea Party event who said Social Security is unconstitutional and “a Ponzi scheme.” In 2006, he called Social Security “socialism at its finest,” adding, “That’s defined as socialism when the government is required to take care of us all.”

Walberg’s Religious Right credentials are also stellar. He opposes abortion rights, including in cases of rape or incest. As a member of the House, he cosponsored two bills that, according to NARAL, “would end all legal abortion, most common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization". He voted against a bill that would have provided for stem cell research.

In 2008, Walberg was the only member of the House education committee to vote “no” on extending funding for the Head Start program. He objected to a provision in the bill that prohibited Head Start preschools from discriminating based on religion, warning that a Christian parochial school might have to hire a Muslim or “a Wiccan from a coven in Ann Arbor.”

In the House, Walberg voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and against expanding hate crimes legislation to include gender identity and sexual orientation, and against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also opposed equal pay legislation and the 2008 Paycheck Fairness Act.


A Taste of What's To Come on ENDA

It was just last week that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was introduced in the Senate, so the Religious Right campaign of screaming their heads off is just getting off the ground. 

But Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries gives us a nice preview of the sort of hyperbolic nonsense we can expect to see:

On Aug. 5, the GOP's Maine kleptocrats, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, joined Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and longtime sponsor Ted Kennedy in reintroducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which we'll call the "gay quota bill" for short. ENDA is profoundly dangerous. It turns private sin into a public right and brings the force of government against morality itself. Any such law is a violation of our unalienable rights as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. To put it more simply, a statute that directly contradicts God's moral law is illegitimate. Laws embody and reflect morality, or they are not laws. They are tyranny. That's why so-called same-sex "marriage" laws are absurd and treacherous. Forcing citizens to accept a counterfeit as the real thing is an act of despotism.

ENDA adds not only "sexual orientation" but "gender identity" to federal workplace anti-discrimination law. Thus, it takes an ax to the idea that sexual behavior has a natural normalcy or any relation to morality. It falsely equates a changeable condition (sexual desire) with race and ethnicity. Worse, it turns traditional values into a form of bigotry punishable under the law.

First of all, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act already has a short-hand name: ENDA.  So we don't need your suggestion that it should be called the "gay quota bill" because a) that's false and b) it's longer than the one we already have.

And secondly, it looks like efforts to pass this legislation are going to run into the same sort of Religious Right lies that plagued the hate crimes legislation, with right-wing activists claiming that it will grant "special rights" to those in the LGBT community. 

Of course, that will raise the exact same problems as their efforts to make that claim about hate crimes legislation, considering that there are already a number of federal laws on the books that outlaw employment discrimination based on things like race, religion, gender, and disability: 

    • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

    • the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

    • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

    • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;

    • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government

So, once again the Right will have to explain why gays shouldn't receive similar protections as say, Christians. 

And once again, they'll fail to do that because they have no reason other than claims that God hates gays and therefore it should be okay to discriminate against them, leading to pieces like Knight's where the Right is reduced to bellowing that any "statute that directly contradicts God's moral law is illegitimate."

What You Learn At Liberty

Kevin Roose, author of the new book "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University" about his time at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, has a new piece up in Esquire explaining that there are two types of classes at the school:

I'm finding that my favorite courses, like Old Testament and Theology, have something in common: they're surveys, classes in which the professor's goal is simply to introduce a body of new information. The information always has a literalist slant, of course, but on the whole, the classes are fairly straightforward. You'd find the same thing at a hundred other Christian colleges and Bible study groups. There's another type of class, though — the agenda-driven class. In these courses, professors aren't teaching new knowledge so much as teaching students how to think about the world around them.

The second type of classes, known as General Description of the Contemporary Issues or GNED, are designed to "establish undergraduate students in the Christian worldview, and to equip them to apply it through a biblically centered decision making process in relation to various contemporary issues."

Roose provides some insight into what such classes entail:

A week or two before spring break, I started sitting in on GNED II, a mandatory second-semester extension of my GNED course. I'm only at Liberty for one semester, so I'll never get to take GNED II for a grade, but people on my hall kept talking about it, and I wanted to get the flavor. The GNED II class I've been going to, like my GNED I class, is taught by Dr. Parks. In it, Liberty students are taught to view sociopolitical topics like homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia through an ultraconservative Christian lens. And unlike its first-semester counterpart, GNED II pulls no punches. Its workbook contains fill-in-the blank sections like:

In today's GNED II class, Dr. Parks announces that we will be talking about gender roles in the evangelical world. Dr. Parks spends the first ten minutes of class laying out the two main positions evangelical Christians take on gender issues. The first position, egalitarianism, means exactly what you'd expect it to mean — men and women are equal, both in the church and in the home. Women can be pastors of a church, they can teach Sunday school, and husbands and wives share equal authority in marriage. The second position, called complementarianism, means, in Dr. Parks's words, that "God created man and woman with different roles that complement each other." Complementarians believe that only men can be pastors, that only men can teach Sunday school or other Christian education classes (unless it's an all-female class). Complementarians also maintain that the husband should be the head of the household. They quote Ephesians 5:24, "As the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything (NIV)."

"You can obviously tell where I am on this," Dr. Parks says. "I am definitely a complementarian, without apology. I think the egalitarian view is greatly skewed."

Dr. Parks clicks a few buttons on his laptop to start a PowerPoint slideshow. The text is accompanied by photos of white, midthirties couples clutching each other, loving gazes plastered on their faces. As the presentation plays, we fill in the blanks in our workbooks:

Dr. Parks realizes that to a nonevangelical, the complementarian view of gender roles can sound misogynistic, but he assures us that it's not. Women can still hold high-power jobs under the complementarian model, he says, and they should still get equal pay for equal work. But when push comes to shove, a woman's priority should be her family. "For a woman," Dr. Parks says, "if the career is most important, and the family gets left out, that's a problem."

As Roose says, these classes are the types of class "a liberal secularist would invent if he were trying to satirize a Liberty education. It's as if Brown offered a course called Secular Hedonism 101: How to Smoke Pot, Cross-dress, and Lose Your Morals. But unlike that course, GNED II actually exists."

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