GOP War on Sex: Is Erection Against Your Employer's "Moral Beliefs"?

This must be such an interesting time for mental health professionals. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote last year that "someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional... The GOP needs an intervention."

Unfortunately the patient hasn't received much needed treatment; indeed, mentally ill patients sometimes fail to realize that they need help, or if they do, may flat out reject it, so their illness continues to spiral out of control, sometimes with devastating consequences.

Cohen suggests that the GOP consult "preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like." However, I think a broader expertise might be in order, considering the patient's symptoms: being "angry or argumentative... falsely believe that others are trying to harm you or your loved ones... strongly hold beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions)," finding it "difficult to think logically, behave normally..."

Really. In Minnesota, former Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb is suing the state's Republican-controlled Senate for gender discrimination. Brodkorb, former deputy chairman of the Minnesota GOP, is unhappy that while the Republican leadership fired him for getting it on with the very married leader of the Family-Values Party, former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, "similarly situated female legislative employees, from both (what?!) political parties, were not terminated from their employment positions despite intimate relationships with male legislators."

And in Arizona, the Family-Values Party is fighting against health care coverage for women with legislation that would exempt employers, on the basis of their "religious beliefs or moral convictions," from providing prescription contraceptive coverage. This bill differs from Sen. Roy Blunt's (R-Mo.) proposed amendment, which calls for allowing all employers to opt out of covering any health services to which they morally object, in that it makes an exception for "medical necessity" - Arizona Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Glendale), sponsor of Arizona's House Bill 2625, radically proposed that the bill differentiate between birth control used for medical reasons and birth control used to prevent pregnancy.

"I believe we live in America," she said. "We don't live in the Soviet Union." (Neither does anyone else). "So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom-and-pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs." The bottom line is, reproductive sex is ok, recreational sex is bad (well... see above). Women who want to have recreational sex can damn well pay for it themselves.

But what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Employers who object to providing coverage that would enable recreational sex can now, thanks to the Republicans' war on women and sex, deny covering erection pills. It's right there, in the bill's language: if "providing or paying for coverage of specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs...or moral convictions of the employer." (my underline)

So just like a woman who wants the cost of her contraception covered, must "submit a claim" to her employer providing evidence of a medical condition that can be treated with birth control" (i.e., that the intended use is not for recreational sex), a man who wants the cost of his "specific item" -- his Viagra -- covered, must "submit a claim" to his employer, providing evidence that he is going to use the boner pills for reproductive purposes. I guess he must provide evidence that the woman he is going to have sex with is of reproductive age and perhaps a written statement from the woman to the effect that the sexual intercourse the Cialis is meant to enable is strictly for the purpose of attempting pregnancy.

The Republicans have managed to alienate the majority of American women, but I can't imagine that the GOP's angry, white, male base is going to like this. The Republicans are in for a headache that no health professional can cure.