Right, they're not at all alike. But you need to make this analogy to understand the defense of Christian colleges that's been put forth by David Hoekema and Mark Murphy.
Think about it. How should pedophile philosophers be protected from discrimination? Very, very weakly. Being a pedophile isn't disqualifying. But doing pedophile stuff surely is. Only the orientation deserves protection, not the behavior.
The defenders say this very, very weak level of protection is all that the APA ever meant to extend to homosexuals, when it passed a provision against discrimination "on the basis of homosexual orientation" in 1989. No protection for the behavior, just for the orientation.
On this interpretation, the APA never meant to weigh in on a philosophy department that's about to hire John Doe, finds out that he has a gay partner, and so withdraws the offer. They didn't mean to take a stand against that kind of thing. Nor did they want to weigh in on a case where Jane Doe is about to get tenure, but her colleagues find out she's living with another woman, and turn her down.
No, the APA didn't care about gays being turned down for jobs and tenure on grounds of their living gayly. What they cared about was gays being turned down on grounds of sheer gayness. In other words, the man or woman who's gay, but does nothing gay, had to be protected.
But why would they have looked at the issues this way? There's more to the story of the APA's thinking, as the defenders of the Christian colleges see it. The APA members themselves didn't necessarily think gays were like pedophiles, or that they deserved only the protection from discrimination that pedophiles are entitled to, but they realized this was the view of people at a handful of extremely conservative Christian colleges.
They were terribly concerned to protect the freedom of these Christians to think that way, so they framed their own discrimination code to accommodate them. They gave gays minimal protection throughout the US, so that the 4-5 colleges that actually prohibit gay behavior would be free and clear.
Ahem. If that's what the APA board members were thinking, how extraordinarily stupid of them. Surely the level of protection from discrimination gays receive in "APA-approved" philosophy departments across the US ought to be based on the view of homosexuality that prevails in the APA. That's not the view that being gay is like being a pedophile.
But what about religious freedom at the 4-5 Christian colleges? If it concerned the APA, it would have been absurd to water down anti-discrimination statutes nationally, just to give these colleges greater freedom. The reasonable course of action would have been to exempt them from the anti-discrimination rule.
I can't imagine the APA board members really had the set of thoughts being attributed to them. Using a principle of charity, I've got to think they had a reasonable set of thoughts. When they passed a rule prohibiting discrimination based on homosexual orientation, they were saying that gay people can't be excluded from jobs, tenure, etc., on grounds of being or acting gay. They didn't make a handful of Christian colleges the arbiter of what should count as discrimination across the land.
As to whether they meant to exempt Christian colleges from the robust policy they had passed, it appears not, if you read the APA policy carefully. But to think they passed an extremely weak provision, giving gays almost no protection nationwide, out of deference to 4-5 Christian colleges, really is an insult to these presumably reasonable people. Surely not. It just can't be so.