Power grab defeated . . . for the moment.
We talked on Friday about how the federal government uses the tax code and the allocation of federal funds to control the behavior of as many people as it can. That tax break you need? Here are our terms. That federal funding you can’t do without? These will be your policies if you want the money. By making the federal government so big and all-encompassing, Democrats have managed to make it virtually impossible for much of society to conduct business without some sort of favor from Washington – and the price of course is your total compliance with everything they want you to do.
Another way they do this is through the letting of federal contracts. For many businesses, the holy grail of success is to get into the game as a federal contractor. There’s lots of money available – they can print their own, you know – and there’s almost no end to the kinds of work you can get. But if you’ve ever known anyone who went through the rigamarole of trying to become a federal contractor, you know that they had to jump through hoops unlike anything you’ll ever see in the private sector. That’s because Washington uses the carrot of federal contracts as a way to make you fall in line with its agenda.
This is usually done through executive branch contracting policies, but last week, Democrats in the House tried to slip through an amendment that would have actually given this practice the force of law with respect to Obama’s transgender and gay/lesbian sexual agendas. Fortunately, they failed, at least for now:
On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to reject the Maloney Amendment. The Maloney Amendment would have ratified President Barack Obama’s executive order barring federal contractors from what it describes as “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in their private employment policies.
And, of course, “discrimination” on the basis of gender identity can be something as simple as having a bathroom policy based on biological sex, not gender identity, as we learned last week from Obama’s transgender directives. And “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation can be something as reasonable as an adoption agency preferring married moms and dads for orphans than other arrangements.
Employers should respect the intrinsic dignity of all of their employees, but as I explained in greater detail at The Daily Signal two years ago, Obama’s executive order undermines our nation’s commitment to pluralism and religious liberty. So a vote for the Maloney Amendment is a vote to support Obama’s radical agenda.
Obama’s executive order, like the Maloney Amendment, does not contain any religious liberty protections—though it does leave in place an older federal regulation that permits religious organizations that favor employment of co-religionists to continue such practices. But there is no protection for organizations that hire based on mission—not on affiliation—to continue to do so. This in effect excludes taxpayers who hold conscientious beliefs about sexuality that run counter to Obama’s from being eligible for federal contracts funded with their own tax dollars.
As writer Ryan Anderson explains in the passage quoted, Obama also hoped to make it impossible for a Christian organization – as an example – to give preference to Christian employees on the basis of the belief that a Christian would be more supportive of the organization’s mission. The Maloney Amendment would have forced you to prove you do not engage in such hiring practices before you could even be considered for federal contracts.
And of course, it would have given Obama the right to force every federal contractor to adopt the same transgender bathroom policies he is now pushing on public schools as a condition for receiving federal funds. Kudos to House Republicans for stopping this, but a warning as well: You know the Democrats will try again as soon as they think they have a chance to succeed. Those of you who are willing to let Hillary become president for the sake of the “conservative movement” should think about that.