Friday, October 19, 2007

Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) H.R. 2015

Below please read the note I received from Wisconsin Family Action regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which is scheduled for consideration in the House very soon:

As Wisconsin Family Action reported earlier this month the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) H.R. 2015 will likely be receiving a vote in the House of Representatives very soon--as early as next week, according to our national sources.

ENDA, if passed into law, will prevent employers in Christian schools, Christian businesses, the Boy Scouts, and other organizations from discriminating against an individual who behaves homosexually. Although the bill contains "religious exemption" clauses, these clauses only exclude churches and religious positions in schools; the exemptions do not exclude other positions that can have equal or greater influence within the organizations or business.

The author of the bill, Rep. Barney Frank (CD 4-Mass.), is one of two openly homosexual members of the House. The other openly homosexual member, Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin (CD 2), is a cosponsor of the bill. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin (CD 4) is also a cosponsor of this bill.

Not only can the intention of the bill be seen by who supports it, but sponsors also clearly state the goal of the legislation. Rep. Frank has the following statement on his website:

"Before I came to Congress in 1981, former Members, the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Abzug), gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Tsongas) and others, in the House filed legislation to make it illegal to discriminate against people in employment based on their sexual orientation; that is, they would have made it illegal in the same way that the 1964 Civil Rights Act made it illegal based on race, but in a different statute for a variety of reasons, for people to be fired, for people to refuse to hire people, for people to be denied promotions or in other ways discriminated against in the job based on their being gay or lesbian or bisexual. That was, and has been, the number one legislative goal of gay and lesbian, bisexual people for more than 30 years." (Emphasis added)

Our national sister organization, Family Research Council, provides the following additional points that may help clarify the bill and its likely effects:

ENDA affords special protection to a group that is not disadvantaged. The issue is not job discrimination: It is whether private businesses will be forced by law to accommodate homosexual activists' attempts to legitimize homosexual behavior. The first 'religious exemption' clause is very narrow and offers no clear protection to church-related businesses: Religious schools or charitable organizations, religious bookstores, or any business affiliated with a church or denomination fall outside this narrow definition, and could presumably be required to hire homosexual applicants.

The second 'religious exemption' clause fails to offer protection for all hiring by church-related organizations or businesses. The position of a teacher or religion at a church-related school would be exempt, but, e.g., that of a biology teacher would not. Thus, most of the teachers and staff at a religious school would be covered by ENDA, which means that the church would be forced to hire homosexual applicants for such positions-despite the fact that their lifestyle would be in direct opposition to the religious beliefs of the organization or company.

It is unlikely that the 'religious exemption' included in the bill would survive court challenge: Institutions that could be targeted included religious summer camps, the Boy Scouts, Christian bookstores, religious publishing houses, religious television and radio stations, and any business with fifteen or more employees.

ENDA violates employers' and employees' Constitutional freedom of religion, speech, and association. The proposed legislation would prohibit employers from taking their most deeply held beliefs into account when making hiring, management, and promotion decisions. This would pose an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into people's lives.
ENDA would approvingly bring private behavior considered immoral by many into the public square. By declaring that all sexual preferences are equally valid, ENDA would change national policy supporting marriage and family."

If the above information if accurate, it would be of interest to Christians everywhere to exercise their vocation as citizens in expressing their concerns directly to those who will vote on this bill (your Representatives in the House.) The possibilities of this bill worry me, especially with two children in a Christian day school and as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America.

You can read the actual wording of Bill 2015 here in this pdf file.

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