Tomorrow, the House is expected to vote on the Employment Non- Discrimination Act (ENDA). The bill, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or fail to promote employees simply based on sexual orientation.Seems reasonable and good, right? Yet, although White House officials apparently helped craft exemptions that were added to the bill excluding “small businesses, religious organizations and the uniformed members of the armed forces” from mandatory compliance (robbing the bill of much of its usefulness), the White House issued this statement today:
H.R. 3685 would extend existing employment-discrimination provisions of Federal law, including those in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to establish “a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” The bill raises concerns on constitutional and policy grounds, and if H.R. 3685 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.This effectively announces a will-veto policy. As Pam from Pam's House Blend points out, conservative groups are campaigning against ENDA, claiming that "This dangerous bill would pit the government directly against the free exercise of religion, a situation which is unconstitutional on its face." Really? And if your religion calls on you to refuse to work with minorities or women, should those bigotries be protected too? It wasn't too long ago when religion was used as a justification of all sorts of racist injustices.
You can encourage your senators to pass this bill here.