While President Obama had originally nominated Feldblum to the post last September, her nomination was put on hold over concerns from at least one Senator, prompting the President to give Feldblum a recess appointment in March 2010. As a newly approved appointee she will serve on the EEOC through July 2013.
The HRC applauded the Senate’s appointment of Feldblum, noting that she “has spent decades working to protect those most ignored and maligned by our society. The civil rights of all Americans will be in good hands with Chai Feldblum’s continued service on the EEOC.”
However, because the EEOC oversees the enforcement of federal employment laws and monitors cases of supposed job discrimination, opponents of Feldblum’s appointment expressed their concern that she could use her new position to further a liberal homosexual agenda. The Baptist Press reported that Feldblum has gained significant notoriety for her efforts to establish federal workplace protections based on “sexual orientation,” as well as for arguing that “sexual liberty” is more fundamental than other liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
“I am convinced society should come down on the side of protecting the liberty of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people,” Feldblum has written. “Protecting one group’s identity liberty, may, at times, require that we burden others’ belief liberty.”
Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America warned that President Obama’s appointment of Feldblum “represents one of the most serious threats to religious freedom we have seen in a long time.” Calling her a “radical homosexual activist,” Diaz quoted Feldblum as writing, “As a general matter, once a religious person or institution enters the stream of commerce ...I believe the enterprise must adhere to a norm of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Diaz warned that under Feldblum’s take on rights, “a Christian person running a daycare could not refuse to hire a man who dresses as a woman from a job taking care of your kids. You, as the owner of that business, must suppress your religious beliefs, which are again expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, just because you want to work to take care of your family.”
Another vocal opponent of Feldblum, Peter LaBarbera of the group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, pointed out that Feldblum “was one of the authors of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which is a bill which would federalize homosexual activist rights.” The ENDA has been introduced in nearly every Congress since 1994, most recently by Representative Barney Franks (D-Mass.) with support from President Obama.
Calling her “a sort of general counsel to the Forces of Darkness,” the pro-family Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) noted that Feldblum has done duty with the American Civil Liberties Union, the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign (the same group that applauded her confirmation), “and she founded something called the Moral Values Project, a ‘gender equity’ group meant to sound like something conservative.”
Arguing that she has been a major player “in pushing the LGBT agenda in American culture for the past 20 years,” TVC’s Executive Director Andrea Lafferty concluded, “Once again, President Obama has demonstrated there is no one too radical to serve in his administration. By picking Feldblum, he has signaled to his many fringe group fans on the Left that he will help them accomplish all of their goals to undermine the Constitution and overturn biblical morality and decency in America.”
Photo: Chai Feldblum