In advance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month in June, the Department of Justice was internally circulating a document entitled “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.”
Considering the Obama Administration’s appeals to progressive politically active homosexual activists and President Obama’s public shift in approval for same sex so called marriage, it is not surprising that the Executive Branch would push “DOJ Pride”which has been around since 1994 to encourage acceptance of non-traditional mores and alternative lifestyles.
There are some sensible suggestions in the departmental policy propaganda, such as avoiding offensive jokes (and cracking down on subordinates who engage in such off color humor). But this extends to adjectives that might be considered pejorative, like “sissy” or “pansy”.
The DOJ document mandates some double speak. Managers are mandated not to use terminology like “trannny”, “the gay lifestyle” or “sexual preference” that some might consider offensive. Manager are told that inclusive words like “partner” or “spouse” ought to be used rather than gender specific “husband” and “wife”.
Aside from scrubbing language from common descriptive words that have no negative intent but are not inclusive or recognizing traditional social arrangements, DOJ Pride gives a place of pride to alternative lifestyle activists. The document “suggests” that employees should be allowed to attend LGBT-focused professional professional advancement activities, like the LGBT Bar Association and Out and Equal Workplace Advocacy conferences, presumably on company time and the taxpayers dime.
What is really troubling is mandating what must be done if an employee comes out to you. Rather than state the law or the Department’s presumed policy of non-discrimination or being judged on your work performance, the pamphlet notes that managers should not judge them or remain silent. The document deigns that "Silence will be interpreted as disapproval”. The only correct response to such unsolicited sharing is “interest and curious.” And managers are muscled to display LGBT paraphanalia in their office to let their subordinates know that it is a safe workplace. So if a manager holds contrary mores, they must not state their preference or bite their tongue but ought to approve of their employee’s choices
DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document), and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful.”
Of course professionalism is expected in conducting oneself in a workplace. But it is a little troubling about having the expectation that “LGBT employees and THEIR ALLIES” (my emphasis) watching over one’s shoulder. With the broad swathes of group-think (banishing husband/wife language, or references to sexual preference and the gay lifestyle), this is creating an adversarial environment which accusations of politically incorrect statements (not even using unprofessional expressions for an office place) could well be used as a cudgel against traditional Christians. It could be an undefensible accusation which does not use a reasonable person’s standards but operates on the contingency if someone claims to be offended.
This arbitrary and ambiguous standard sounds similar to the new Department of Education edict which lowered the standards of what constitutes sexual harassment”. A joint letter from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued to the University of Montana on May 9th is intended to serve as a blueprint l for colleges across the country. Sexual harassment is broadly defined as "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature"—will now satisfy federal statutory requirements. This explicitly includes "verbal conduct," otherwise known as speech. This enshrines the right not to be offended as a federal mandate.
The Wall Street Journal notes that unsuccessful requests for a date, or having a controversial book like “Lolita” assigned to a student, a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” or even a discussion of “gay” marriage could now be construed as sexual harassment under a the low threshold of the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) believes that this resolution agreement will be impossible to enforce in an evenhanded and comprehensive manner.
In addition, schools may be forced to institute a “sentence first, verdict after” system, since the DOJ/DOJ letter states:
[A] university must take immediate steps to protect the complainant from further harassment prior to the completion of the Title IX and Title IV investigation/ resolution. Appropriate steps may include separating the accused harasser and the complainant, providing counseling for the complainant and/or harasser, and/or taking disciplinary action against the harasser."
Aren’t you proud of the fabulous work of the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice?