Despite a recent nationwide revolt against wokeism, particularly the continued promotion of transgenderism, the Biden administration is moving to beef up consumer protections for transgender and other LGBT+ businesses via the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, originally the brainchild of leftist Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
According to Republican Sen. John Kennedy, CFPB is moving to implement a rule that will require financial services providers to collect information on small business loan applicants, including whether the business is LGBT-owned. Presumably, that data will be used to ascertain patterns of denial of credit that CFPB finds “unfair” or “problematic.” Kennedy and Rep. Roger Williams of Texas have introduced legislation to reverse the rule.
The rulemaking, which is being taken under Section 1071 of 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial services law, represents a doubling down on woke, following events like a recent Pride Month event at the White House that saw one trans activist go topless and Biden attacking Republican-led legislation in the states intended to protect kids who believe they are transgender from enduring harm that could occur if certain medical interventions are pursued while they are minors.
In addition to the move looking like another myopic effort by Democrats to focus on the needs or wishes of a sliver-thin minority when, for example, the agency concerned was criticized for being slow to take action against Wells Fargo in numerous instances of anti-consumer actions that affected a huge slice of the population, it also could have religious liberty implications.
What if a business denied credit is, e.g., a transgender-owned event planner that specializes in parties for gender transition celebrations or related events? What if the business denied credit is a wedding planner that focuses its services on LGBT+ weddings? What if the ownership of the bank in question has religious objections to making credit available to either business? Clearly, under current law, the bank would struggle not to lend without risking major legal repercussions. However, CFPB stepping in here would ensure more and greater repercussions when arguably, repercussions for not lending should not exist in the first place.
The reality is that even if religious liberty issues do not exist, this rule going into effect will likely create more pressure on financial services institutions to lend money to businesses that may not actually be creditworthy; if they do not lend, the data collected by CFPB may contribute to them being tagged as “anti-trans” or “anti-gay” when in truth, they may just be “anti-dubious-business-model.”
It may not come as a huge surprise that the rule is being pushed under the leadership of CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, who, all the way back in 2004, when Chopra was seeking to become Harvard’s student body president, was endorsed by the group representing transgender students. Harvard being Harvard, even though it was 2004 and basically no Democratic candidates for public office had even publicly announced support for gay marriage, let alone things like “top surgeries” for teenage girls wanting to become boys, the university did indeed have a student body group that included the term “transgender” in its title—the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters’ Alliance (BGLTSA). Chopra was their pick to run the student body organization.
Fast-forward almost 20 years, and we now have Chopra looking to require disclosure of lending patterns involving trans-owned businesses—a predictable wokeist trajectory and one that should concern even Americans not bothered by the wokeist focus on trans-everything.
Here’s how: CFPB happens to have emerged as the purveyor of especially shoddy practices with regard to consumer data protection, also known as privacy. CFPB was recently busted for a staffer leaking over 256,000 consumers’ financial data without authorization. CFPB critics have compared the leak to theft, given its unauthorized nature. Note that thus far, it appears CFPB has not notified affected consumers of their data having been leaked or pursued criminal charges against the leaker. But CFPB still wants to go ahead with a rule that would have it collect data on loan applicants, including “the applicant’s census tract, North American Industry Classification System and years in business, among other information…the owner’s race, ethnicity and sex; and whether the business is minority-owned, women-owned or LGBT-owned.” A bunch of this information would then be made public in any event, with additional publication and privacy violation on the table because of CFPB’s own bad practices where data security is concerned.
That should concern all of us, anti-woke and not, and ironically maybe even most of all, the LGBT-owned business CFPB is purportedly attempting to protect as it creates an environment in which they may be “outed” by sloppy federal government workers who mishandle data. Happy Pride Month from the CFPB.