By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com November 30 2013 12:29 PM ET
The fight over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act doesn't include many who are willing to explain why they oppose it. When it passed the Senate, just one Republican gave a floor speech.
But a tea party leader in Florida is doing the explaining for them. The Sun-Sentinel found an email sent to her colleagues this month warning about what's at stake if ENDA passes the House.
"We must fight with all we have," warns Danita Kilcullen, who co-founded Tea Party Fort Lauderdale. "I'll be damned if I will ever be forced to hire someone with orange hair, body/neck/face covered with tattoos, multiple piercings, or a man in a dress... or for that matter, a demonstrative effeminate male or purposeful butch-looking female."
Activists often respond to this argument, which they hear privately, by pointing out that any business can already enforce a dress code. But it crosses a line when managers are targeting LGBT employees for firing.
Kilcullen was reportedly responding to a statement by the Log Cabin Republicans praising ENDA's passage through the Senate for the first time in its history, which had been forwarded to her and others. She called them "a thug organization" that had taken over the Broward County Republican Party.
The Log Cabin statement praised the Republicans who broke with the rest of their party to help pass the bill. "Undoubtedly, the Republican Party is going through a cultural shift as more Republican legislators consistently step up for LGBT Americans," said Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo. "LCR believes this momentum already existing in the Party will help propel this bill to the House floor. Once there, we’re confident it will pass. We encourage GOP House leadership of the 113th Congress to allow a conscience vote on ENDA and make history once again."
ThinkProgress points out that Kilcullen has a history of outrageous public statements:
Previously, the Tea Party leader has claimed to be a target of Republican attacks because of her anti-gay position. When George Zimmerman was acquitted for murder, Kilcullen responded on Facebook to R&B singer Toni Braxton’s tweets on the matter with, “Yo, girl, you can’t take America’s justice system? Go be an African!!” She claimed a gay Republican official had hacked her Facebook account.