The first openly lesbian member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has failed to be re-confirmed to her post following concerns over remarks she made in which she argued that LGBT rights should trump religious liberty.
Chai Feldblum began her service at the EEOC in 2010 under the Obama administration and was re-nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017 to a term that expired last year.
Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah blocked her confirmation by preventing her from getting unanimous consent, accusing Feldblum in a speech last month of holding an anti-religious bias.
In a message posted to Twitter on Thursday, Feldblum confirmed that her time at the commission had expired and expressed gratitude for her time with the EEOC.
“What a wonderful almost nine-year run I have had! TY to all who worked so hard on my confirmation. We certainly gave it our best shot,” tweeted Feldblum. “Now we must fight even harder for diversity, safety, and equity. There is no other way!”
Before becoming a commissioner, Feldblum was a law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center where she founded their Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic.
Feldblum helped to draft both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the original proposed LGBT legislation, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.
In a speech given last month, Lee objected to her getting a new term as a commissioner, citing concerns over religious freedom regarding comments she made in the past.
Lee quoted Feldblum as labeling the debate between LGBT rights and religious liberty as a “zero-sum game” in which “a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.”
“I see no reason why that should be the case, and I think that is fundamentally incompatible with our nation’s long tradition of pluralism and religious freedom,” said Lee.
“Who is she to decide whether someone should be permitted to persist in their own religious belief simply because those beliefs happen to conflict with a particular political worldview?”
Lee went on to say that the government “should never be used as a tool to stamp out religious liberty” and he believed Feldblum “wants to deny” freedom of religion.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski