Despite President Bush’s pledge that homosexuals “ought to have the same rights“1Debates, 10/11/2000. as all other people, his Administration this week ruled that homosexuals can now be fired from the federal workforce because of their sexual orientation.
According to the Federal Times, the president’s appointee at the Office of Special Counsel ruled that federal employees will now “have no recourse if they are fired or demoted simply for being gay.“2 While the Bush Administration says it is legally prohibited from firing a person for their conduct, they have the legal right to fire or demote someone based on their sexual orientation. To carry out the directive, the White House has begun removing information from government websites about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. , Federal Times, 03/15/2004.3“Gay Rights Information Taken Off Site”, Washington Post, 02/18/2004.
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.“4“Special Counsel Under Scrutiny”, Washington Post, 02/23/2004.