Congressman Joe Donnelly’s recent decision to abandon principle and cozy up to the radical left-wing homosexual lobby is an incredible disappointment to many of us who were cautiously optimistic he would live up to his promise of being a social conservative. Though a member of a political party whose national leadership has long since abandoned any sense of traditional morality, Donnelly campaigned as one who would be willing to stand up to partisan pressure in defense of truth. A Washington Post analysis of Donnelly’s voting record demonstrates he split with the Nancy Pelosi-led left wing of his party only 15% of the time, yet the Congressman had begun to earn my respect as a man attempting to pursue a more independent course.
Sadly, this disastrous vote proves where Congressman Donnelly’s loyalties lie…and it certainly isn’t with conservative, traditional morality.
Recently, after dodging questions as to what he thought of the bill for weeks, Donnelly cast his vote in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This bill, if signed into law, would make it illegal for employers to enforce decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotion or payment based on an employee’s sexual orientation. Unsurprisingly, this decision by the House is being hailed among far-left activists and the radical homosexual lobby that continues to do all it can to cram their bedroom behavior down the throats of all Americans. Congressman Donnelly has willingly joined in their cause.
On the surface, the bill sounds noble and honorable. No one wants to be considered a “discriminator.” And that’s precisely why its key sponsors, openly homosexual partisans Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin, chose its title carefully. But far from being a piece of civil rights legislation that defends the most basic liberties of targeted minorities, this dreadful bill effectively eliminates First Amendment freedoms from the masses for the sake of granting privileges and immunities to a radical few.
Though Congressman Donnelly attempted to reassure constituents that this bill “exempts all religious organizations,” he stumbled into silence when asked about whether it exempted religious people. In other words, what about the devout Christian woman who owns a Christian bookstore? Under ENDA, she cannot maintain sexual behavior standards that fit with her conscience. What about the Boy Scouts? Under ENDA, they could no longer prevent homosexual troop leaders. Neither could the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, who would also be forced to abandon their morality requirements. Christian schools, daycares, camps, group homes, and any business operated by an individual of faith would be legally forced to employ individuals that flaunt their homosexual and anti-Christian lifestyles.
And consider this scenario: your fifth grade son joins the elementary basketball team. Initially you are overjoyed that he’s learning the values of teamwork, perseverance, and dedication. His coach, a 41 year old married man who the kids adore, is someone you are thrilled to see your son admire, respect, and look up to. Then one day this same coach decides to become gay, begins bringing his boyfriend to practice and modeling that destructive lifestyle choice for your child. Under ENDA, despite you and your fellow parents’ most strenuous objections, the school is unable to terminate or replace him as coach.
When considering these realities, Congressman Donnelly’s response that he just wants to “hit the ball down the middle on this,” rings particularly hollow.
On his own website, Donnelly boasts, “I also believe that family values are more than just a phrase. They can serve as a guide in making excellent decisions.” Indeed they can, Congressman. That you acknowledge this truth, only to reject those values for the sake of scoring political points with the homosexual lobby, is shameful.
On the day of the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on her fellow Congressmen, “It is the pride that I take in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community that brings me to the floor today to urge a ‘yes’ vote on this important legislation.” Congressman Joe Donnelly heard her plea and stood by her side. That vote speaks louder than a million words, Congressman, about your commitment to traditional family values.
Peter W. Heck