No rights for gay federal employees?


Geraldine Sealey
March 24, 2004 1:50AM (UTC)

The Daily Misleader points out an interview given by Scott Bloch, a Bush appointee in the Office of Special Counsel, to the Federal Times, in which he says, basically, that federal employees can be fired for being gay. Bloch made some news in recent weeks by saying he's reviewing just what job protections extend to gay, lesbian and bisexual employees, and stripping information about those protections from the agency's Web site. The OSC investigates claims of "discrimination, whistleblower retaliation and prohibited personnel practices," the Federal Times says.

Here's a bit from the Federal Times interview published Monday with Bloch.

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FT: Just simply being gay and being denied a promotion or being denied a job or whatever, just for that fact alone, unrelated to anything else, is not an issue that that person could appeal to this office?
Bloch: Right. They can file a complaint in this office . . . but there will have to be a showing of conduct that does not adversely affect that person's job performance or the performance of others.
FT: Do you have any cases under review now related to this issue?
Bloch: Yes, there are two or three.

Misleader.org points out that, contrary to what Mr. Bloch says, Bush in 2000 claimed that homosexuals "ought to have the same rights." "Not only does the new directive contradict the president's own promise to treat homosexuals as equals under the law, but it also contradicts what the Administration told Congress. As noted in a bipartisan letter from four Senators to the Administration, 'During the confirmation process [of the president's appointee], you assured us that you were committed to protecting federal employees against unlawful discrimination related to their sexual orientation,'" the Daily Misleader says.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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