Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Letter to Dan Burton

My aunt sent an email today describing a bill coming up in the US House of Representatives. I decided to send a letter to my representative, Mr. Burton. Here it is:

I urge you to vote no on ENDA, H.R. 3685. If this bill were passed into law, it would violate the consciences of people like me. I am currently a student, and while I'm not in a hiring/firing role as of yet, I have been on the other side of the interviewing table. What bills such as this one seem to forget is that a person hiring for a job must be selective. Some jobs can only be done by certain individuals. A person who is not fit for one job may be fit for another.
For example, as a teenager I worked with kids in a summer program for about 6 years. I understand how kids, especially younger kids, believe much of what a person in authority tells them. Because of this vulnerability, kids need to be protected. Different people (parents and child caregivers) have different standards on what they want their kids to be exposed to, and those businesses which deal with childcare should have the ability to make hiring decisions based on those standards.
Before I was hired for my summer job with kids, I had to have a background check cleared. If a person applying for this same job had had a past history of molesting children, they would not be eligible for this type of job. Why? Because there would be significant risks involved in hiring such a person -- that person might become a repeat offender.
The person in the hiring role has a significant responsibility in selectively determining who would and who would not be suited for the job they are filling. In our society, it is at least recognized that child molesters are not typically suited for jobs involving childcare. But what about a more grey area: hiring a lesbian for a job involving childcare.
Previously I mentioned that parents and child caregivers can have different standards when it comes to their children's exposure. Some parents and caregivers would invite exposure to lesbian workers while others would prefer that their child not be cared for by someone who was lesbian. Shouldn't a childcare provider be able to respect their own beliefs, and the preferences of the parents whose children they are caring for?
The reality is that many people involved in "alternative lifestyles" are very eager to recruit others to join with them. Some parents realize that a child of five is not ready to handle questions such as "do I want to be a lesbian?"
Forcing any individual to hire someone against their conscience is a grave error.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
God bless you

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