Deal W. Hudson
October 20, 2009
President Barack Obama has nominated a Georgetown University law professor, Chai R. Feldblum, to the Equal Employment Opportunity Council. Feldblum, a lesbian activist lawyer, formerly worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and in the mid-1980s clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade.
Feldblum faces Senate confirmation hearings before she can assume her post at the EEOC. The significance of her nomination for Catholics is underscored by the EEOC’s recent ruling that Belmont Abbey, a Catholic college, must provide coverage for contraception in its insurance plans for employees.
Feldblum’s record gives every indication that she would agree with this decision. She argued in a recent paper, “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion,” that “once a religious person or institution enters the stream of commerce by operating an enterprise such as a doctor’s office, hospital, bookstore, hotel, treatment center, and so on, I believe the enterprise must adhere to a norm of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Feldblum has a high public profile. She has gone on the record many times arguing that the state has an obligation to support relationships other than heterosexual marriage. In 2006, Feldblum signed a document titled “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships.” This petition offers a “new vision” for securing governmental and institutional recognition of “diverse kinds of partnerships.”
By signing this petition, Feldblum also expressed her support for polygamy: Among the stated “partnerships” the petition seeks to protect are “households in which there is more than one conjugal partner.”
In a paper written for the “Moral Values Project” at the Georgetown Law School, Feldblum describes one kind of polygamous relationship the government should support: NSDPs, or “nonsexual domestic partners.” She explains, “The state has an obligation to recognize and support these non-sexual domestic partnerships – these ‘moral units’ of society – as well as sexual relationships that offer care and support.”
Feldblum’s advocacy of the homosexual lifestyle is quite startling, given the fact that she teaches at a Catholic law school. As a matter of fact, she is seen in this video arguing not only that the government has a duty to promote homosexuality but also proclaiming, “Gay sex is morally good.”
Since President Obama nominated Feldblum on September 15, his outreach to the homosexual community has rapidly accelerated. His keynote speech to the Human Rights Campaign on October 11 contained all the positions advocated by his EEOC nominee: “You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.”
Obama’s declaration “to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act” reflects Feldblum’s commitment to employing the power of government to encourage the growth of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender social units, thus presenting a direct challenge to traditional marriage.
Her place on the five-person panel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will give Feldblum a powerful perch from which to pursue her “new strategic vision.” No doubt religious businesses and institutions should be put on full alert for scrutiny of both their hiring practices and their benefits packages. If Feldblum’s nomination is approved by the Senate, the case of Belmont Abbey may prove to be just the tip of the iceberg.