Gay Pride at George Bush’s EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency is a polluter’s worst nightmare. If there is a toxic waste dump, the EPA is on it like grease on a mechanic. If there is a noxious emission, the EPA gets its nose out of joint faster than ice melts at the equator.

Now, it seems, the agency itself needs a cleanup of sorts. Thanks to some sleuthing at the American Family Association and Concerned Women for America’s Culture & Family Institute, we know that this agency is doing a little polluting of its own by celebrating Gay Pride Month.

Six years into the Bush Administration, your tax dollars are still being used to promote behaviors that many understand to be immoral and profoundly unhealthy.

This is America. Everyone should be treated with respect and dignity. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to declare groups that organize around a type of sexual activity “protected minorities” with rights to special privileges under the Civil Rights Act.

On May 28, 1998, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13087, which added “sexual orientation” – the gay activist’s buzzword – to the list of protected minorities in the federal civilian workforce. That was a big mistake!

The failure of Congress and the Bush administration to rescind that order was another big mistake. This has led to a crude assortment of mismatched policies at our various federal agencies and with our workforce abroad.

Yesterday, the EPA Office of Civil Rights Diversity Program for Sexual Orientation, in concert with the EPA-approved chapter of Gay, Lesbian, Or Bisexual Employees, or GLOBE, held an opening ceremony for Gay Pride Month at the Ronald Reagan Building. The EPA will follow up with other “gay pride” activities in Washington and at its regional offices and laboratories over the course of the month.

To Mr. Bush’s credit, he has never signed a presidential proclamation giving Gay Pride Month the official government stamp of approval as President Clinton did. However, Gay Pride Month has been observed in various ways at other federal agencies during his administration.

In addition to the programs at the EPA, there are a number of observances orchestrated by the Gays and Lesbians In Foreign Affairs Agencies. On Tuesday, one was held at the main State Department office building.

Recent State Department actions have been troubling and dangerous. The Bush Administration lifted the HIV/AIDS ban for overseas visitors coming into this country to attend the “Gay Games” in Chicago, and endorsed three homosexual activists groups to be official observers to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Congress and the Bush administration left in place a policy enacted in the last days of the Clinton administration that calls for supporting the “unmarried partners” of U.S. Foreign Service workers. The State Department does not officially recognize “domestic partners” as eligible for spousal benefits. However, unmarried partners of Foreign Service workers stationed abroad can receive the benefits and support awarded “Members of Household,” which includes accommodations in embassy-provided housing at no cost.

Earlier, the Bush administration gave the same government payoffs awarded spouses of 9-11 victims to domestic partners and pressured Congress to drop a long-standing provision in the D.C. appropriations bill that had prevented government funds from flowing to domestic partners.

Since taking office, Bush’s actions indicate that he has no center when it comes to the homosexual agenda.

Should domestic partners be awarded the same benefits as married couples? The answer from the U.S. government is “occasionally.” The regulations left in place from the Clinton administration and others enacted under President Bush have given us a tangled web that is untenable.

It is no wonder that Bush’s recent low-profile endorsement of a proposed constitutional amendment to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman, but would permit all the benefits of marriage to flow to domestic partners, was not greeted with enthusiasm by all conservatives.

The timing of the Bush endorsement was unfortunate. Many saw it as a way to distract his conservative base from an attempt to ram an outrageous amnesty immigration bill through Congress.

As a country, we must decide if marriage and the benefits of marriage are worth protecting.  Likewise, we should decide if protected civil-rights status should be given to individuals based entirely on behavior and sexual activity – or any activity with the exception of “religion,” which is protected by the Constitution.We need an honest discussion on these issues – not lip service – followed by definitive action so that there are no ambiguities in our laws and policy.

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