Last Tuesday, we reported on the re-nomination of Chai Feldblum for another term as EEOC commissioner. Feldblum is a leading gay rights activist and an architect of President Obama’s LGBT agenda, including the notion that denying certain men (biologically speaking) access to women’s restroom facilities is unlawful discrimination.
The Feldblum nomination struck me as a betrayal of social conservatives, a key portion of President Trump’s base. Trump is sympathetic, as he should be, to gay rights generally. But he does not support the more radical aspects of the LGBT agenda. For example, his administration formally rescinded guidance issued by the Obama administration on the supposed right of transgender public school students to access to bathrooms and locker rooms used by members of the opposite sex (biologically speaking).
Moreover, the Trump administration rejects Feldblum’s view that when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, “in almost all cases, sexual liberty should win” so as to “affirm the dignity of gay people.” When religious liberty conflicted with gay rights in the Colorado gay wedding case, the administration took the side of religious liberty — correctly so on the facts in that case, in my view.
The Trump administration hoped to smuggle Feldblum’s nomination through the Senate with minimal fuss. As we reported, and Newsweek confirmed, there was talk on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of getting her nomination through committee without a hearing, during “executive session.”
However, social conservatives are rallying against Feldblum’s nomination. On Wednesday, Tony Perkins’ Washington Update denounced it:
The president can’t personally oversee the hiring of 4,000 political appointees — which might explain the latest news. In a shock to conservatives, the Trump administration wants to give one of the most liberal LGBT activists of the Obama years another term. . . .
The last thing this president wants on his EEOC is an arch enemy of his agenda on religious liberty. Even if the commission is required to have a certain number of Democrats, the White House doesn’t have to take just anyone (or, in this case, the worst possible option).
We urge the administration to withdraw Feldblum’s name from consideration and find a candidate with at least a veneer of objectivity.
If Feldblum is confirmed, she will serve until 2023. The stage will thus be set for her ascension to Chair of the EEOC in 2021, if the Democrats regain the White House. By 2021, God only knows what the radical LGBT agenda will look like. When “affirming the dignity of gay people” is one’s overriding value, an awful lot of other vales and considerations are likely to be trampled upon.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update reminds us that Feldblum once signed an online petition “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families and Relationships,” that advocates for polygamy and government recognition for diverse kinds of partnerships.” She later disavowed this position, and I assume she was sincere in doing so. But, polygamy aside, Perkins’ Update is right to say that “based on the last six years, Feldblum hasn’t earned our trust — or another chance.”
UPDATE: Heritage Action has also called on the Senate to reject Feldblum’s nomination. In a press release it states:
The Trump administration’s efforts to sneak through the appointment of a leading LGBT activist to the EEOC in the middle of the holiday season are extremely disturbing. Advocates of religious liberty in the U.S. Senate should not allow the radical left-wing LGBT agenda, spearheaded by Chai Feldblum, to hijack the legitimate purposes of the EEOC. The Senate HELP committee must reject Chai Feldblum and let her time expire.