Some of this is a reaction to Attorney General John Ashcroft’s unwillingness to provide special benefits to Justice Department employees simply because of their sexual orientation. The “Special Emphasis Program” described in the memo will make it all but impossible for the next Republican attorney general to eliminate the program. The creation of bureaucratic inertia through the program described in the memo makes it extremely difficult to undo the program.
But the new program is troubling for a bigger reason. Tolerance and respect, these days, are apparently inadequate. The modern Left demands more. Stopping discrimination against gays isn’t enough. Once that is accomplished, the new mission involves collective status, slogans, and using taxpayer money to institutionalize divisions among Americans. This is not a “celebration of differences” as the proponents would have you believe. This is an organized political demonstration, sometimes using large gatherings in the Great Hall, other times using less traditional methods of special-interest organizing.
“Special emphasis programs” don’t belong in the Justice Department, or anywhere in a government based on equality, where a deep egalitarian tradition informs hiring decisions. Dedicated employment recruitment programs based on sexual orientation are contrary to the explicit goals of these groups just a decade ago, namely equality and tolerance.
We are witnessing in just a few years among LGBT groups the devolution that it took the NAACP decades to accomplish. Groups with a once noble cause of ending discrimination now exist to institutionalize disparate treatment. That it took the LGBT movement only a few years to reach this rot is astounding, though unsurprising given the leftist radicals who now run the Justice Department.