Log Cabin Calls on Bush Administration to Honor 2000 Campaign Promise to Protect Gay and Lesbian Federal Employees from Discrimination
Promise Key to Log Cabin Endorsement in 2000
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans have called on the Bush administration to follow 30 years of clear precedent and continue protecting federal employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In a letter dated March 18, 2004, Log Cabin calls on Scott Bloch, Special Counsel, to stop the rollback of protections for federal employees. "The action by the Special Counsel constitutes a dramatic rollback of basic protections. It's a sad day when we see protections taken away that have been guaranteed since the mid 1970s. We call on Mr. Bloch today to immediately restore protections for gay and lesbian federal employees," said Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.
Bloch has ordered the removal of any references to sexual orientation discrimination from the Office of Special Counsel's website and printed materials. According to a letter from the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, signed by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), this directly contradicts the pledge he made during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Mr. Bloch claims that the statute, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of conduct, is unclear. Bloch's claim is baseless and ignores 30 years of precedent. Since 1974, federal law (5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(10)) has been interpreted to prohibit discrimination against federal employees on the basis of sexual orientation. While containing no specific reference to sexual orientation, the statute has been uniformly interpreted to prohibit discrimination. In fact, current Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, an appointee of President Bush, concluded more than 20 years ago that, "it is improper to deny employment to or to terminate anyone on the basis of sexual preference or conduct that does not adversely affect job performance."
"Rolling back more than 30 years of protections for gay and lesbian employees is unacceptable, and would represent a clear repudiation of conservative principles. Men and women seeking to serve the American people through service to the federal government should be judged by their ability, not by their sexual orientation," continued Guerriero.
The decision by the Office of Special Counsel marks a clear breach of a specific promise made to the Log Cabin Republicans by the Bush campaign during the 2000 election. "As part of Log Cabin's decision to endorse Bush, the campaign pledged to Log Cabin that non-discrimination policies for federal employees would be respected. Log Cabin would not have endorsed Bush without this promise. We ask the Bush Administration to remain true to their word," continued Guerriero.
Log Cabin Republicans call on Mr. Bloch to pledge his support for 30 years of precedent in this area. We call on him to respect the principles of fairness and equality that are the basic building blocks of American society. Log Cabin expects that Mr. Bloch will protect gay and lesbian employees from workplace discrimination, and that all information regarding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation will be restored to all of the Office of Special Counsel's published and electronic information.