Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Harvey and Glenn: Gays Make Bad Employees

Jim Burroway

July 6th, 2011

Mission America’s Linda Harvey and the American Family Association of Michigan’s Gary Glenn spoke on Harvey’s radio program, where the two of them warned against hiring gay employees. Right Wing Watch has the details:

Glenn: Herman Miller, which is a major employer and corporation in Holland [Michigan], a furniture company, supported this so-called gay rights ordinance on the claim that it allowed them to attract the best and brightest.

Harvey: Here we go, yeah we heard that before.

Glenn: What ridiculous folly to suggest that only those individuals who engage in homosexual behavior given all of its severe medical consequences constitute the best and the brightest. It’s not really bright to engage in behavior that puts you at dramatically higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse and AIDS and cancer and hepatitis, and according to various sources, premature death. So to suggest that engaging in that type of behavior defines someone as the best and brightest, which seems to be the line coming out of corporate America, is just ridiculous.

Harvey: You’re right. And higher rates of domestic violence and unstable relationships. I would not think of a homosexual person as a good employment risk, I just wouldn’t.

There is no closet deep enough that would ever satisfy these people

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

james
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Yes, there is. A horizontal closet six feet under. They want us all dead.

Sarah
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

I feel like these two brain donors don’t have a single clue about cause and effect. They sure don’t sound too terribly bright themselves.

Ben in Oakland
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

I’m so confused.

I thought that being gy WAs a mental illness. Now thse charmers are telling me that boyloving makes you mentally ill.

Bernie
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

What an ignorant and hateful woman! How can someone have this much hate?

Regan DuCasse
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Since they don’t care about the truth, then all the information in the world that contradicts their statements doesn’t matter.
I’m just beyond happy that I know how to educate myself and have experiences that make me bulletproof against this sort of bullshit.
And those that DO believe them, never want to consult a real professional on the subject. I’ll mention my volunteer experience with an AIDS organization and subsequent information updates and they’ll bald face tell ME I don’t know anything.
I could also talk about how another marginalized minority, like black folks ALSO have disproportionate issues with the exact same things, and that a confluence of the betrayals and abuses by the medical and psychiatric establishment, made each minority gun shy when the AIDS issue was evident.
Fell on deaf ears.

And citing my credentials and information access regarding criminal data on gay people and their statistical percentages with regard to assault and any other violent crimes is exceptionally low so that this demographic isn’t the one to fear.

No one will listen to me. And forget my personal experiences.
I’m treated as if I’m the kind of brain dead bundle of jelly THEY are and can’t see or refuses to see ‘The Truth’.

Silly me thought that NOT having to fear and loathe gay people would be a good thing and these people could move on to more important issues. Important issues they claim shouldn’t be foreshadowed by the ‘homosexual agenda’.

As if the presence of gay folks compels them to take attention from more pressing concerns which only THEY are affected by and not gay folks too.

I guess I don’t have to tell you these are people who ARE so obsessed and wallowing in their anti gay pursuit, literally all else really doesn’t matter.
My parents and grandparents, and actually myself when I was younger, had discussions about racists and what busybodies they were.
And still, blacks knew more about white people than the other way around.

I’m witnessing first hand, what the former generation in my family experienced regarding racial politics.

And gay folks know straight people better than the other way around.

Bigotry is, as bigotry does. And bigots do the same shit over and over, and they dare us to deny we don’t know it for exactly what it is.

Richard Rush
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

[Glenn:] So to suggest that engaging in that type of behavior defines someone as the best and brightest, which seems to be the line coming out of corporate America, is just ridiculous.

Gays are certainly among the best and brightest, although not BECAUSE they are gay. But fundamentalist Christians are certainly among the worst and dimmest BECAUSE they are fundamentalists. Or maybe they’re fundamentalists BECAUSE they are the worst and dimmest – it’s the old chicken/egg question.

Ben in Atlanta
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

I’d like to come out publicly as healthy. I have been with my current employer for 23 years and have yet to file a claim on my health insurance. Sometimes I do begrudge my premiums paying for sick effing haters. At those times I have to remind myself that it serves a common good and perhaps a higher purpose.

Still totally gay and still calling “Bullshit”!

CPT_Doom
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

One wonders whether current LGBT employees – for instance police officers, firefighters and EMTs – should worry themselves about risking themselves to save Ms. Harvey’s or Mr. Glenn’s lives when necessary.

Matt
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

While I’m sure crazy-right-wing-loony-comment-of-the-day posts are easy to crank out, I think it would make for a more interesting blog if you tackled some tougher stuff. You could start with the 2 articles the New York Times has decided to publish, right when the state senate legalized gay marriage, which make gay-left arguments against gay marriage, or for accepting higher levels of extramarital activity in marriage, etc. There’s Katherine Franke’s piece from June 23, and the Mark Oppenheimer/Dan Savage piece from June 30, which was on the front page of the NYT Magazine. Do you agree with these writers and their points? Savage is one of the most visible faces with one of the loudest voices calling for gay rights. What is your reaction to his public calls for a culture more permissive of extramarital activity? I think it would be difficult to argue that he has less cultural sway and power than Linda Harvey.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Matt I think Savage has far, far less sultural sway and power than Linda Harvey. Very, very few people would agree with Savage whereas probably around half of Americans agree with Harvey.

Matt
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

The article about Dan Savage made the front page of the New York Times Magazine. His “It Gets Better Project” received contributions from numerous senators as well as the president of the United States.

Anyway, you’re measuring things the wrong way. The fact that a person says something, and most of the country agrees with it, does not mean that person holds cultural sway. I could say out loud, “I believe in God,” and more than 75% of the country would agree with that. That doesn’t mean I am an incredibly influential individual.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Now now, anti-gays, you need to all get on the same page.

Glenn: “So to suggest that engaging in that type of behavior defines someone as the best and brightest, which seems to be the line coming out of corporate America, is just ridiculous.”

But from Baptist Press this week we have Pastor Don Walton: “First, it is a very affluent community made up of extraordinarily gifted people. Homosexuals are often very creative. They are frequently found among our finest artists and academics.”

So… are we creative and among the finest artists and academics or just really bad employees? I guess that depends on whether you are really trying to love the sinner (while desperately trying to find an excuse for the way you treat her) or if you’ve just decided that good ol’ fashioned undiluted hate is the way to go.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Matt, Savage made the front page of the New York Times magazine precisely because he’s way out of the mainstream, provocative, and freaky. He made the front page for the same reason unusual things often make the front page, because the are so very, very different from the norm, not because they hold any cultural sway.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Matt,

Savage’s view is neither new or newsworthy. He’s been saying that for a long long time. And he’s entitled to his opinion.

BTB generally doesn’t weigh in on what is the Correct and True Opinion To Have when it comes to how one structures one’s relationship. You can agree or disagree with Savage as you like. The only time we’d actually take that up is if Savage were trying to demand that everyone share his views or trying to restrict others or – as is the theme of this thread – just spewing lies and hate.

Personally, I think that the complications of an open relationship outweigh the advantages noted by Savage. But no one named me the Relationship Tsar (and believe me, you wouldn’t want me to be) and my opinion on the subject is relevant to, well, pretty much only me.

Now I do note that it’s amusing and ironic that while Savage is the face and voice of keep-it-open, with the passing of time it appears to me that he’s edging closer and closer to monogamy in his personal life. Maybe that could be a commentary some day. Perhaps our instincts are towards sowing our seed in youth but cuddling in front of the fire with just one when plowing the fields are too much for our old bones.

David in Houston
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

“… according to various sources…”

Oh, you mean the cherry-picked sources from disreputable organizations that have an anti-gay bias? NARTH ring a bell? …or do you mean the sources that have been discredited by mainstream medical and psychological organizations? …or do you mean the sources that you use that are decades old, and are completely meaningless to everyone except hate-mongers like you?

Regan DuCasse
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Matt, let’s consider this: how many lawmakers, who are Senators, Congressman, governors with the power to affect millions of lives, were CAUGHT cheating on their wives, having sex with prostitutes, having children out of wedlock and LYING about it or keeping it a secret as they show off their families as an example of their moral and family values: ALL the while sponsoring, signing and implementing laws against gay people because ‘they threaten the sanctity of marriage and family and children?’

Advice columnists like Dan Savage, have about as much political clout as Dear Abby. And everyone knows that.
However much visibility he has gained since starting IGB campaign, THAT campaign was an effort to give support and encouragement to vulnerable kids.
He’s not the end all and be all authority on relationships, just like Dear Abby wasn’t.

He’s not representative of ALL gay people, not at all.
But those hypocritical clergy/religious broker backed politicians deserve to be gutted of their power.
THEY can and do cause a great deal of harm, where Dan Savage, actually won’t and doesn’t want to.

People with a marriage or relationship that needs help, should probably get it from a credentialed specialist and not someone like Dan Savage anyway. Which is still a personal choice in which someone decides to get help.
I don’t always agree with Savage, but then I don’t have to take his advice either. Which is true of everyone.

Savage is not trying to FORCE gay OR straight people to live a certain way according to his lights, but we can agree that people running for office like Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman sure expect gay people to do so.

Matt
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

“The only time we’d actually take that up is if Savage were trying to demand that everyone share his views or trying to restrict others or – as is the theme of this thread – just spewing lies and hate… But no one named me the Relationship Tsar (and believe me, you wouldn’t want me to be) and my opinion on the subject is relevant to, well, pretty much only me.”

It seems to me that during the communal-sewer gay male sex culture period of the 1970s (Savage’s own words!) nobody was demanding that gay men partake of bathhouses and backalleys and Fire Island dalliances. But Larry Kramer’s and Andrew Holleran’s cautionary words weren’t relevant only to them. They were relevant to everyone, and what they had to say deserved to be heard. The fact is, greater criticism of the promiscuity that was celebrated at the time could have saved lives.

When somebody is advocating for a cultural understanding of a major institution, I think it’s reasonable to look at what he’s saying and to question it: is it indeed likely to have the positive effects he suggests, or is it in fact a dangerous suggestion? Savage shouldn’t get a pass just because he’s gay and supports gay marriage and gay rights.

If you feel that BTB’s main purpose is/should be OMG Aren’t Fundies Dumb!?! posts, then, well, it’s your site. (And I realize that blogs need to update frequently with new content, and there’s an embarrassment of riches there.) But I think BTB is often so much more than that. You say that people “actively spewing lies and hate” is where you jump in and get involved. But what if real change doesn’t come from the 1,000,000th takedown of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, but rather a voice saying what needs to be said about something thorny, and tricky, where all too often the best lack all conviction?

Thank you for the response, by the way. I appreciate it.

Richard Rush
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Speaking of “the best and brightest” and then the legendary gay creativity, I have some personal speculation on the subject, which is influenced by the fact that I was a teenager in the late 1950s – early 1960s.

First, it should be remembered that creativity in employees is a trait that is valuable in virtually all fields – not just in fields that people commonly think of as creative.

While gays have traditionally always appeared to be disproportionately represented in creative fields, I suspect it’s an illusion, and that those traits were not so much a part of being gay as they were a part of other characteristics that gave them the strength to self-identify as gay (even if closeted), and to not go down the path of a faux heterosexual life.

Creative people, in general, are typically non-conformists, and creativity demands seeing the world in alternative ways (how many creative Christian fundamentalists do you know?). I think many (most?) creative young people are already non-conformists, outsiders, and often unpopular. And, certainly, many non-creatives are also outsiders, and unpopular. But in past decades, when the creative young people were also gay, I think it was easier for them to accept it and thumb their noses at all the conformists.

On the other hand, in past decades when a member of the young in-crowd discovered they were gay, it was much more difficult. They were much more likely to go down the faux heterosexual life path. And, today, one of the major surprises of my life is knowing and hearing about all the people who are escaping from that life in their forties, or beyond.

There is a fundamental difference between gays of the past who had the courage to live a gay life (typically not openly, though), and vast numbers of today’s gay young people. Today, we see gay young people of all types coming out, including conservatives, in-crowd types, and conformists. Just think of the GoProud crowd, who would have surely followed the faux heterosexual life had they come of age forty or fifty years ago. I suspect there are few, if any, creative types in GoProud.

So, I suspect that over time gay men will be no more likely to be creative that straight men. Among straights, unless there is a study to show otherwise, I don’t perceive men to be any less creative than women – so even if gay men have some female traits, I don’t see why they would be more likely to be creative.

But, actually, I hope I’m wrong about all this.

Oh, and Harvey and Glenn do have just a little bit of creativity that seems unique to fundamentalists: It’s limited to devising new variations on the same old lies and delusions. In the end, though, they are just pi$$ing against a strong wind.

Cowboy
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

I cannot believe the level of gross generalizations by Harvey/Glenn.  By their logic, they probably would prefer not hiring people with a weight problem, or with diabetes or Mormons (or anyone that doesn’t fit their ideal demographic).  
 
They are so full of animosity nobody would want to work for them.   And for that matter, nobody would want to hire Harvey nor Glenn.   They’re just too polarizing to be on any sort of job that involves teamwork.     

BB
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Who cares what these two idiots think? Seriously, their inept conversation is about as insightful and thought-rpovoking as a one-toothed member of the KKK talking about hiring black workers. Again, who would care? We give these sorts of creepy panty-wastes too much airtime and column inches. They are nobodys. Their opinion, besides being utterly stupid, means nothing.

These are the sewer-dwellers, the bottom of the heap of humanity. Once we give them any kind of creedence, we have to crawl down to their level. No thanks. I’ll stay up here…in my high paying job rather than bother with dimwit and dumbass.

MattNYC
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

I realize this is spinning off into a tangent, but…

I have not read Dan Savage’s article, but I know what he has stated in the past. As Timothy notes, Dan is not telling anyone that they should follow his opinion nor is he even stating that HE wants to live in an open relationship. He’s always acknowledged that people–especially men–can be dogs and that, rather than dissolving a marriage the instant that infidelity (or boredom) creeps in, people should be encouraged to make their relationships work.

Despite “dalliances,” relationships still STILL stabilize society and people make mistakes–sometimes really awful ones that hurt others. But there are unrealistic expectations placed on those in relationships by themselves, by religions, by society, and ONLY those inside the relationship should have any say on what happens–everyone else should mind their own business.

My personal beliefs are such that I cannot even imagine a situation in which I would cheat on my partner–even if every fantasy in my head were able to come true. That said, I know that is **possibly** a minority view among men (straight or gay), and I would NEVER hold that against others who believe differently and can work things out.

How many couples break up due to infidelity (or–again–boredom) and then neither is happy and both wish they could have made things work out? I can only speak for gay male couples I have known, but I do think that those who have had open relationships, DADT relationships, or forgiving relationships (as long as everyone plays “safe”) have something to teach hetero couples who stay in miserable marriages or divorce at the drop of a lipstick-smeared collar.

SirAndrew
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

I won’t address the idiocy of their statements about our lives and lifestyles. I will say, though, that they may be right about the threat posed by hiring us…at least to their non-gay staff.

We are generally smarter, nicer, better educated and more professional than non-gay workers at large. As a result, we tend to progress to the top faster than [heterosexuals], often leapfrogging entire departments as the company leaders promote the best and the brightest rather than those with longevity. It wasn’t always like this, but company leaders with their eyes on the bottom line are figuring out that antigay bias is not in their best interest. Ever!

So these two can continue preaching this hatred. No one is listening anymore.

Soren456
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

@BB:

I do think that with every statement like those reported above, the speakers edge themselves nearer the margins. Whether or not we give them too much time, I don’t know; I do think that exposure hastens the departure.

It’s not only what they say, it’s their tone. Many people won’t know WHAT is wrong with Harvey’s words, for instance, but they will recognize the ugliness of her tone, and will react to that.

It’s discouraging to see this constantly in our faces. But I do think it works, eventually, to our benefit.

Regan DuCasse
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

Matt, apparently you haven’t been paying attention. The 70’s was the advent of similar behavior among STRAIGHT people too. The Pill made it possible for women to have sex without fear of pregnancy, and they were also changing their attitudes about sexual parity with men. That is to say, sex without ‘strings’.

MEN are more promiscuous than women, therefore, gay men, without the spectre of pregnancy had a different sort of perspective about their sex lives AHEAD of straight people.
Who CAUGHT up, eventually.

But then the spectre of AIDS brought EVERYONE down from those headier times.
EVERYONE.

And the pendulum has now swung back to a period of appreciating the prospects of monogamy. With the revelations now, that those people in power, whose picadillos were kept secret and weren’t all over the media like it is now, these leaders don’t have the credibility now to persuade their constituents or maintain their trust in the way necessary as before.

Dan Savage wasn’t talking JUST about gay people, he was ALSO talking about hetero people, who ARE the only ones who can be married anywhere.
He’s not the only columnist who has written an article on the likelihood that monogamy isn’t possible, or at the very least, a couple might consider being flexible in that area.

And WHY isn’t there the same hew and cry as an authority, for all the straight people who in their way AGREE with Savage?

It might be nice if people would remember that.

Eddie89
July 6th, 2011 | LINK

“Higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse…higher rates of domestic violence and unstable relationships.”

Well, of course we do! It’s because of anti-gay bigots like you that cause this!

If we were loved and accepted just as we are, then these rates wouldn’t be so high!

Rob in San Diego
July 7th, 2011 | LINK

Can anyone explain to me how being gay is going to give me more cancer? Do we get the premature death because they have convinced us to kill ourselves as teenagers, or because they keep killing us?

Ben in Atlanta
July 7th, 2011 | LINK

Some are beginning to recognize and admit their own complicity. They have my support. I don’t require an apology. I just want the shit to stop.

You don’t have to agree, I think TV News is putting what we do to ourselves right in front of our faces. It doesn’t have to place blame. There’s a possibility that anyone could recognize themselves in any story.

And teh gheys are getting more prime time coverage. Good, bad, and ugly. (and pretty cute, too.)

homer
July 7th, 2011 | LINK

This is part of the “gays are diseased” tripe that has resurfaced in the last few weeks. The passage of same sex marriage in New York has freaked these nutjobs out completely.

Richard Rush
July 7th, 2011 | LINK

homer said, “The passage of same sex marriage in New York has freaked these nutjobs out completely.”

Yes it has! And during my smuggest moments I find it fun to watch. They know they are losing ground, and that means they must try harder. And trying harder means that their efforts must exhibit even more mouth-foaming rage, hyperbole, hysteria, and rejection of every shred of reality. And by doing so they are preaching to a ever-shrinking number of fanatical purity-seekers.

And surely they must fear incurring the wrath of God, because after He told them to go forth and stop the march of the homos, they are failing. Badly. That was the reason for this year’s extra brutal tornado-battering of the Bible Belt. Isn’t it obvious?

b
July 8th, 2011 | LINK

so Loony Linda feels that “I would not think of a homosexual person as a good employment risk, I just wouldn’t.”, does she?

With regard to this LOVELY statement, there is a MOST interesting thing I can attest to as far as my being an openly gay man is concerned:

I’m in retail and have been in my current job-which by the way is only the SECOND job I’ve been in (and I’m 24)-for approximately THREE years, one month. And the even MORE interesting thing I can attest to:

Of the four people who were working at the store when I was hired, NONE OF THEM ARE WORKING THERE NOW, either as a result of being let go or quitting to AVOID being let go. The manager who hired me isn’t even there anymore. SO, in this nutball’s mind, I am “not a good employment risk.” And yet STRANGELY ENOUGH (for THAT crazy character anyway) this “not…good employment risk” has OUTLASTED ALL of his initial co-workers in his place of employment, WITH the title of Assistant Manager to boot.

So to that character all I would say is, “How ya like THEM apples?????” :)

Jimmy
July 9th, 2011 | LINK

It really is about teh butt sex with these people. It always gravitates to that, and when it does, the entirety of the other gender, lesbians, are made practically invisible. And, they imagine that 100% of gay men are having teh butt sex non-stop, 24/7. It really displays how their brains work, and the neuroses that drive their obsessions.

Donny D.
July 9th, 2011 | LINK

Harvey and Glenn pitch it as being anti-diversity, which is a big fad among those further over on the right, but it seems clear to me that they are also against laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Which pits their thinking against that of the vast majority of Americans.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.