Questions for Martha McSally: Jim Nintzel doesn’t get an answer either

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

In this new series, "Questions for Martha McSally," we pose questions to the McSally campaign about her positions on current hot topics — I am not going to give her a free pass until after the GOP primary like our local media did in 2012.

ChickenbunkerJim Nintzel of the Tucson Weekly and host of the Arizona Illustrated political roundtable tried to get Martha McSally to take a position on the current hot topic of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) and – suprise! – McSally is still hiding in the bunker with no ready answer to substantive questions. This is one incredibly ill-informed and ill-prepared candidate for someone who has been running for office since 2010. From

Republican Martha McSally, who hopes to unseat Barber next year, declined to take a position on ENDA.

"I haven't read the law, so I'd have to read it before I make a comment," she told the Weekly last week.

When she ran in 2010, McSally was opposed to "adding 'sexual orientation,' 'gender identity,' or 'gender expression' to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestory in anti-discrimination law," according to a survey she filled out for the Center for Arizona Policy, a religious-right organization.

McSally said last week she filled the survey out early in her political career, so she would have to go back and review how the question was phrased before she could say whether she still stood by it. The questionnaire, she said, only let her say whether she supported or opposed various positions, and she felt she should have instead been given an opportunity to write longer answers.

[Note: This is B.S. Candidates frequently attach detailed responses to questionnaires when they have a nuanced or detailed position on an issue. I have to read these questionnaires all the time. A candidate does not need to ask permission to attach their response. Where is that proactive, take charge leadership skills McSally wants us to believe? She was intimidated by a "check the box" questionnaire from CAP?]

McSally told the Weekly she was "sensitive to individuals not being discriminated or harassed or not being allowed to contribute to society or community to the best of their ability."

But she said she didn't understand why it was important to pass a new law, suggesting that gays and lesbians might already enjoy protection from employment discrimination under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution or state or local laws.

"I'm sure there are state and local laws at some level that make sure there is no employment discrimination regardless of what the issue is," McSally says. "So what I would ask is, legally, what gap is this filling that is not already in existence?"

This woman is seriously ill-informed. I have done employment nondiscrimination law for over 20 years so let me educate you, Ms. McSally. There is no federal law protecting gays, lesbians, and transgenders from workplace discrimination.That's why this community has been trying to pass ENDA since 1996.

Some progressive states have enacted their own nondiscrimination laws for this community, but Arizona ain't one of them. An ENDA type nondiscrimination bill has been submitted in the Arizona legislature every year since 1996, and has never passed. Cathi Herrod's Center for Arizona Policy — you know, the one that you answered their questionnaire above — makes certain that these bills never make it to a final vote.

An employer can post a job opening saying "Help wanted, no gays or lesbians" (just like the "Help wanted, no Irish" signs in the early days of America) and there is no legal recourse for such overt discrimination. If one manages to get hired, if an unevolved employer who fears that the gay will rub off merely suspects an employee is gay or lesbian, that employer can fire the employee, again with no legal recourse for such overt discrimination.

Many employers have adopted their own nondiscrimination policies, as have public sector employers. But this is not a statutory legal remedy provided by law like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the Arizona Civil Rights Act.

And then there is Rep. John Kavanagh's "show me your papers to pee" bill this last session because he is terrified that someone else in a public restroom might be a transgender. Does this sound like an evolved progressive state to you, Ms. McSally?

So let me try again:

What is Martha McSally's position on the federal ENDA bill pending in the House? Does she support it, or oppose it? Explain in detail. (I'm giving you the opportunity you requested).

Would McSally also support a companion ENDA bill in Arizona? Explain in detail.

I am curious about McSally's statement that she believes gays, lesbians and transgenders are protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. I would really like her detailed explanantion of her view on this legal subject.

Does McSally also support same-sex marriage because gays and lesbians are protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment? (As several state courts have held in recognizing same-sex marriage). Or does McSally believe that gays and lesbians enjoy only "limited" rights, such as employment nondiscrimination, and not the full panoply of rights, privileges and immunities of American citizens under the U.S. Constitution? If so, on what legal basis does she argue that gays and lesbians are not entitled to the full equal rights of other American citizens?

Finally, will McSally cower to the anti-gay hatred of Cathi Herrod and the Center for Arizona Policy to appeal to the Christian right vote in the GOP primary? Or will she take a stand for nondiscrimination and equal protection under the law for gays, lesbians and transgenders?

Voters in Congressional District 2 have the right to know your positions on current hot topics, Ms. McSally. Feel free to answer these questions by posting a comment. More questions to follow.

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