(Update: This post made the front page of the Sept. 8 Chattanooga Time Free Press.)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee has now officially joined the “culture wars” with a quiet little move that got no publicity until now. Appears that the insurer is trading in its traditional blue for a rainbow of colors.
Near the end of last month Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, the largest provider of health insurance to Tennesseans, sent a letter out to all of its vendors, those with whom Blue Cross contracts for various goods and services. In the letter, the insurance giant said it was “passionately adopting the spirit of diversity within its supplier business relationship.” And as part of that passion, Blue Cross included among the businesses apparently needing “help” those that are “owned” by “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals.”
Clearly the LGBT community is no longer disadvantaged nor unable to protect itself in the business world. Why, earlier this year, national homosexual rights groups got the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry to reverse its position on a pro-business bill (House Bill 600) in less than 48 business hours! Doesn’t sound like the pro-homosexual groups who undoubtedly watch out for homosexual-owned businesses are without influence and in need of help.
In fact, those groups are now doing a pretty good job in intimidating vendors out of providing services to Christian organizations that speak in favor of sexuality within marriage. Yes, you read that correctly; some of the bigger vendors are becoming increasingly unwilling to provide their services to larger Christian organizations that need significant services. Why? They are afraid they will get crossways with the homosexual rights groups that can threaten their own livelihood.
So, why this quiet “announcement” by Blue Cross? Well, here’s some background that might provide some insight. Earlier this year, Blue Cross was criticized by national homosexual rights groups because one of its employees was on the Board of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce when its board voted to publicly support a House Bill 600 that, among other things, prevented local governments from mandating that private businesses adopt pro-homosexual employment policies. Pro-homosexual groups in Tennessee and around the country let the businesses with employees on the Chamber’s board know they were not happy, even though the Chamber reversed its position in 48 hours. So, perhaps to further make up for its “offense” in having an employee part of the Tennessee Chamber’s scandalous support of House Bill 600, Blue Cross felt it needed to bring LGBT-owned companies onto its list of businesses they want to try to help along.
That may be why Blue Cross did it, but if they are so passionate, where were the press releases? Maybe they didn’t want to be too “loud” about it because they didn’t want all their conservative, pro-family premium payers to realize that their premium dollars were going to support the advancement and cultural acceptance of homosexual conduct.
But if all this is so, then the question becomes whether Blue Cross will toe the line when pro-homosexual rights groups demand that it support a state law mandating that all businesses provide specific employment rights to those engaged in homosexual and cross-dressing conduct. That bill has been filed, and you can expect it to be pushed in the upcoming legislative agenda. But the other question is, will Blue Cross’ insureds just sit by in silence if that’s what Blue Cross does?