In attacking anti-discrimination laws and ordinances which would give lgbts equal protection in instances of housing and employment, religious right groups are quick to use the claim that such laws would endanger the safety of women and children.
The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) already published various inaccurate pieces including one claiming that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would lead to students being "forced" to be taught by drag queen teachers.
It's just a simple a matter of time before TVC and other religious right group pull out the "ace card" in opposing all non-discrimination ordinances in general, i.e. the claim that such laws would lead "male predators" dressing as women and invading women's bathrooms and locker rooms in order to assault prospective victims.
However before any right-wing religious group makes this claim, they would do well to read the words of Concerned Women of America's president, Wendy Wright.
Concerned Women for America is another religious right group which opposes any and all pro-lgbt non-discrimination ordinances and the organization does like to use the "men in women's bathrooms" claim. But Wright, while defending the usage of this claim in an article with the Missoulian (and attacking a pro-lgbt ordinance in Missoula), demonstrated a degree of candor in her comments about the claim:
Even one of the most staunch opponents of those laws can't point to increases in frivolous lawsuits or sexual predation. Still, Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright said such ordinances lead the country down the wrong track.
"We have a constitutional protection for religious freedom in our First Amendment," Wright said. "There is not a constitutional protection for sexual orientation, and yet judges and city councils and others are acting as if sexual orientation trumps religious freedom."
. . . Wright couldn't point to places that have counted increases in sexual offenses because of such laws, but she said such data is beside the point.
"It doesn't go back to numbers," Wright said. "It goes back to the issue that people will have legal rights that will trump other people's rights. The right of a woman or a girl to feel safe in a fitting room, a locker, a restroom, their rights will be trumped by a person who is claiming their sexual orientation right has legal protection."
While there should be some appreciation of Wright's admittance that the "men in womens bathrooms" argument is without proof, she shouldn't be able to get away with claiming that the lack of proof is beside the point, mainly because the lack of proof is the point.
In the next sentence after she admits the inaccuracy of the "men in women's bathrooms" claim, she says that that the right of women or girls to feel safe would be trumped by pro-lgbt laws.
But Wright's concern leaves me scratching my head. Didn't she just admit that she doesn't know of any example in which the safety of women and girls would be threatened?
Wright further admits why CWA opposes pro-lgbt non-discrimination ordinances and of course it has nothing to do with "safety issues."
Wright said one big reason Concerned Women opposes such laws is because the group does not want local ordinances to be used as stepping stones toward making gay marriage legal and teaching it in the public schools.
In other words, lgbts having the right to be free from discrimination is just another way to "force gay marriage."
Oh the horror!
It's sad that Wright and the CWA sees so many blissfully wedded lgbt boogeymen that they have to stoop to fear tactics which they freely admit aren't rooted in reality.
It's not very Christian, is it?
Hat tip to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch.
Follow Alvin McEwen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/holybullies