Exodus board member and Focus on the Family activist Mike Haley thinks Avis should shut up and turn back the clock — way back — when it comes to domestic partnership.
Focus accuses Avis of “pushing the homosexual agenda” because of an ad by Avis in The Advocate. The ad states that Avis has, for the past 10 years, automatically included domestic partners as additional drivers in its policies.
Haley, manager of the gender issues department at Focus on the Family (which opposes women’s rights), believes it is wrong for Avis to treat domestic partners better than business partners.
“(I was told) we would have to pay a 25-dollar service fee for the other person to be on the rental,” Haley said. “If I mention that I was a domestic partner with that
individual, we would not have to pay a dime.”
Haley’s anti-family sentiment toward Avis could use a little bit of logical restraint. He claims that Avis is discriminating against small businesses by charging fees that domestic partners don’t have to pay.
Haley resorts to some awkward strawman arguments against Avis’ invitation for readers to donate to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation.
“They’re supporting almost everything that the gay community stands for: hate crimes legislation, same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships,” he said.
Avis has taken no position on hate crimes and same-sex marriage. Furthermore, well-known gays like Andrew Sullivan are opposed to hate crimes laws in principle. Sullivan argues that if such laws must exist at all, then it’s only fair for sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual) to be included. The real question, which Focus avoids addressing, is whether the organization opposes hate crimes laws that grant special treatment to race or choice-based factors such as religion?
Focus on the Family favorably quotes Buddy Smith, a spokesman for the American Family Association.
“Their support of GLAAD really nails down their commitment
to forcing this lifestyle upon America,” Smith said.
Smith never explains how recognition of domestic partnerships by nongovernmental entities forces any American to adopt homosexuality in their own lives.
Focus goes on to object to the “positive presentation of homosexuals in the media.” As if unbiased coverage of gays should be solely negative.
Focus concludes its criticism of Avis with a sales pitch for literature arguing that gays can change and become heterosexual.
Which has nothing to do with whether travel companies should treat their gay customers fairly.