National Review blogger Ed Whelan has found a terrible case of politicization at the Justice Department! It turns out that two Justice Department attorneys assigned to a case involving whether or not a religious school is excepted from federal anti-discrimination laws are in same-sex relationships!
What does this have to do with the merits of the case? Unclear, except that gay people, wanting all those special rights and whatnot, don’t really belong in a case involving a religious organization, since gay rights infringe on the rights of religious people to discriminate against gays, even though that’s not what the case is about. It’s about a teacher who claims she was fired because of her narcolepsy, and whether or not the so-called “ministerial exception” to federal anti-discrimination laws applies in this context. But you let gays near religious freedom cases, and pretty soon they’ll be…something terrible:
A reader passes along that Schuham’s same-sex partner is (or, at least as of the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll, was) Chris Anders, federal policy director for the ACLU’s LGBT Rights project.
Another of the attorneys on the DOJ brief is Sharon M. McGowan. As another reader calls to my attention, McGowan was also a staffer on the ACLU’s LGBT Rights project, and the New York Times announced last year her same-sex marriage to the Family Equality Council’s “federal lobbyist on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family issues.”
Thus, insofar as personnel is policy,* it may well be that the Obama DOJ’s hostility to the ministerial exemption in the Hosanna-Tabor case is part and parcel of a broader ideological agenda that would have gay causes trump religious liberty.
Part of Whelan’s problem is that since both Schuham and McGowan have backgrounds in civil rights law, they have no business um, working on civil rights cases. This is kind of a meme on the right these days, it’s part of an effort by veterans of the notoriously politicized Bush Justice Department to accuse the Obama administration of being just as bad.
But Whelan’s bigger problem, judging by his value-added, is that only straight people should be allowed near the law, lest it get all gayified. In April Whelan complained that the judge in the California Prop 8 case, Vaughn Walker, should have recused himself because he was in a same-sex relationship and so he stood to benefit directly from overturning the law. Of course by the logic of anti-gay rights advocates like Whelan, a straight judge trying to preserve his “traditional marriage” would also benefit directly, and should also recuse themselves. But since the latter wouldn’t have “trumped” the right of conservatives like Whelan to define and limit the civil rights of same-sex couples that wouldn’t have been so terrible.
This is getting complicated. All you need to know is there are gay people in Obama’s Justice Department. They’re doing stuff. And that’s really bad.
UPDATE: Previous version of the post didn’t have a link to Whelan’s original post.