Despite the complaints of her critics that she supports same-sex "marriage" as well as previously endorsing polygamous relationships, the Senate HELP Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Chai Feldblum to be one of five commissioners on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and sent her nomination to the Senate for a full confirmation.
“At this time of challenge, Americans need committed, capable public servants working full time on their behalf,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on Thursday. “These nominees will serve Americans by protecting workers from discrimination, facilitating public service and preserving our rich national traditions in the humanities. I am pleased to move their nominations forward.”
The nominations for all the EEOC members were not considered by the HELP committee indivually but were instead voted on "en bloc," according to a press release.
Feldblum, who was nominated to the EEOC by President Obama on September 15, is not a stranger to controversial topics.
She served as one of the leading expert in the creation of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would create a federal ban on workplace discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Feldblum has also worked to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights throughout her career.
Another action of Feldblum's that has drawn criticism is her signing of a manifesto titled, “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for all Our Families and Relationships.” The declaration was released on July 26 of 2006 and supported the idea of “committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner.” The document was signed by various activists, writers, artists, clergy and academics, including Feldblum who has taught at the Georgetown University Law Center since 1991.
In November of this year, after her nomination to the EEOC in September, Feldblum asked for her name to be removed.
Despite her efforts to tamp down controversy, pro-family and pro-woman organizations remain unconvinced.
“Chai Feldblum is absolutely dedicated to granting rights for engaging in non-heterosexual, non-monogamous sex that would be superior to religious freedom,” Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America (CWA) told CNA.
“She seeks to change the social and sexual mores of America which would take a jackhammer to America's foundation.
“Her end goal, as she has stated, is 'Gays win; Christians lose,'” Wright warned.
When asked about the significance of Feldblum's nomination to the EEOC, Wright told CNA that “as an EEOC commissioner, she would have inordinate power to impose her ideology on Americans by requiring workplaces to conform to her views on sexuality and (this would result in) delegitimizing religious beliefs.”
“Judeo-Christian values on marriage, family, children and sex – bedrock virtues for a functioning society – would be targeted for punishment by Feldblum,” continued Wright. “Feldblum would have federal regulations deny human nature. She would require people to ignore nature and embrace – and subsidize – unnatural and harmful behavior and living arrangements.”
“For Feldblum, 'sexual liberties' trump religious liberty,” Wright charged. “For a lawyer, this is an extraordinary and deliberate deviation from the constitution.”
Wright's claim was also echoed by the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), which sent a letter signed by dozens of pro-family groups and individuals to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
"Ms. Feldblum has a system of identifying rights which is separate and very different from that in the Constitution," said TVC Executive Director Andrea Lafferty.
"She uses terms like 'belief liberty' and 'sexual liberty' and concludes generally that a 'sexual liberty' claim always trumps any objection or claim of those who are asserting a religious belief.”
Chai Feldblum's nomination now goes to the full Senate for confirmation.