Employment discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation and gender identity
2009 to now:
Part 2: Beliefs by a
group opposing ENDA.
Update. Senate Committee passes bill.
Typical examples of opposing groups (Cont'd):
- The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) is another fundamentalist Christian information source. Some years ago, this groups assembled a list of over 30 terms relating to:
- Sexual attraction (person's sexual orientation, whether heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual),
- Gender identity (transgender and cisgendered persons) and
- Paraphilias (psychosexual disorders "... marked by sexual urges, fantasies, and behavior involving objects, suffering or humiliation, or children or other nonconsenting partners." 1 Some paraphilias are:
- Apotemnophilia: sexual arousal associated with the stump(s) of an amputee;
- Bestiality: engaging in sexual activity with animals;
- Coprophilia: sexual arousal associated with feces;
- Exhibitionism: the act of exposing one's genitals to an unwilling observer to obtain sexual gratification;
Curiously, they created their own unique definition of "sexual orientation" to include the three sexual orientations that everyone else uses, plus the two gender identities, and dozens of paraphilias -- most of which are criminal activities. More details.
The TVC discussed the ENDA bill in an essay posted on their web site on 2009-SEP-22:
"... the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) bill ... will be a nightmare for business owners in general and a denial of First Amendment rights for Christian business owners."
"ENDA is designed to get homosexuals, bisexuals, cross-dressers, and transsexuals added to the list of federally-protected minorities. If this is accomplished, the LGBT agenda will be imposed on businesses, local, state and federal governments, including public schools, Christian day care centers and camps, plus many other Christian entities, including religious broadcasters, etc. It will affect any business with more than 15 employees. ..."
"Christian-owned businesses will have to accommodate gay, lesbian, bisexual and even transgender individuals (individuals with a Gender Identity Disorder) who believe they are the opposite sex. ..."
"ENDA includes a weak religious exemption in Section 6. It does not protect Christian businesses or Christian camps, religious broadcasters and other religious entities! An independent Christian camp with 15 or more employees would be covered by ENDA. This camp would be in violation of the law for not hiring homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals or cross-dressers. ..."
LGBT activists are admitting that they are willing to violate First Amendment freedoms to impose their agenda on Americans. They have claimed on several LGBT web sites that “Deeply held beliefs are no excuse for discrimination of any stripe.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what the First Amendment says about religious freedom – the LGBT political agenda trumps the U.S. Constitution.
"What is it that the LGBT community wants? Just take a look at the previous versions of ENDA. That will explain their end goal. The LGBT community wants to use ENDA to force churches, Boy Scouts, Christian schools, Armed Services, religious broadcasters, and all aspects of American culture to comply with their demands for affirmation and forced acceptance."
"They will want quotas, training programs, shared shower and dressing facilities, gay marriage, married couple benefits, data collection to ensure compliance with their demands, jail time for non-compliance, and attorney fees for lawsuits."
"What LGBT activists don’t get with this version of ENDA, they’ll get next year in a new law or a revision of ENDA. It’s all part of their incrementalism strategy to impose their agenda on all Americans." 2
2011-APR: Public support for the ENDA bill:
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted a poll for the Center for American Progress (CAP) among likely 2012 voters. They found that:
- 75% of those polled support protecting lesbians and gays from discrimination in the workplace.
- 73% of those polled support protecting the LGBT community from discrimination in the workplace.
- 81% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 66% of Republicans agree.
- 50% of those who generally feel unfavorable towards the LGBT community agree.
- About 90% of voters assume, in error, that an federal law to protect LGBTs in the workplace is already in place! 3
Update as of 2013-JUL:
With Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate, essentially all potential legislation with moral, ethical, or religious content is stalled in Congress. Whatever Democrats believe is important, Republicans feel is important to resist -- and vice versa. ENDA is one of these bills that is expected to make little or no progress for the foreseeable future.
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told Reuters in an interview:
"We want to continue to advocate for legislation. We think that that's the most robust way to accomplish what we want to accomplish. ... ENDA is a priority. Right now the votes aren't there, but that doesn't mean they won't be." 4
It is perhaps ironic that in the early years of the 21st century, the major emphasis on equality issues for the LGBT community was committed to eliminating employment discrimination. At the time, the LGBT leadership actively discouraged activity to bring about marriage equality by legalizing same-sex marriage. Now, almost a decade later, same-sex marriage is making major strides. The District of Columbia and 13 states have legalized same-sex marriage and more state Legislatures are considering bills to do so. Meanwhile, a federal act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is essentially dead in the water.
2013-JUL: Senate committee approved ENDA bill:
Under current law, federal law protects U.S. employees against discrimination based on their race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability. The ENDA bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity.
Currently, 17 states and the District of Columbia have laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, any lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender person or transsexual can be fired, not hired, or denied a promotion in any of 33 states simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
On 2013-JUL-10, according to Huffington Post:
"The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions passed the [ENDA] bill, 15 to 7. All Democrats supported it, along with three Republicans: Co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Mark Kirk (IL), with Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Orrin Hatch (UT). The Republicans who voted no included Sens. Lamar Alexander (TN), Mike Enzi (WY), Richard Burr (NC), Johnny Isakson (GA), Rand Paul (KY), Pat Roberts (KS) and Tim Scott (SC)." 7
After the vote, Lisa Murkowski (R) issued a statement saying:
"I am a strong believer that individuals should be judged on whether they can do the job, not their sexual orientation. Improvements might be in order in the form of floor amendments, but discrimination should never be tolerated in the workplace."
Committee chair, Tom Harkin (D-IA) said:
"Today is a great day for the committee and a good day for all of Americans."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement saying:
"The President has long supported an inclusive ENDA, which would enshrine into law strong, lasting and comprehensive protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We look forward to the full Senate’s consideration of ENDA, and continue to urge the House to move forward on this bill that upholds America’s core values of fairness and equality." 7
On 2013-OCT-30. Senator Joe Manchin (D) announced his personal support for the ENDA bill. Thhis makes the entire Democratic caucus unified in favor of passing the legislation. The sponsor of the current version of the bill, Senator Jeff Merkley (D) said:
"Thank you, Senator Manchin, for your support to end LGBT employment discrimination. Every day support grows for fundamental fairness in the workplace for LGBT Americans."
The current count in the Senate total 59 votes in favor. Sixty votes are required to terminate the expected fillibuster by Republicans. On OCT-29, Senator Rob Portman (R), who has a gay son, said that he is inclined to support the bill. There a few additional Republicans who may also back the bill. So, the bill is likely to pass the Senate. The article in Huffington Post collected 1,640 comments 8
The House actually passed an earlier version of this bill during 2007-NOV with a vote of 235 to 184. However, since that time, gerrymandering has made the House no longer representative of the voting public. Republicans now control the House. As a result, the bill has essentially no chance of proceeding, in spite of overwhelming support by the public.
One of the 186 sponsors of the bill in the House is Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R). Republican representatives Charlie Dent and Richard Hanna also support ENDA. However, members of the House will probably never be allowed to vote in the foreseeable future.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Paraphilia," The Free Dictionary, at: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/
- "Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA): Threatens Christians & Business Owners," The Traditional Values Coalition, 2009-SEP-22, at: http://www.traditionalvalues.org/
- "Polling shows strong support for ENDA," Freedom to Work, undated, at: http://www.freedomtowork.org/
- "After Court, Gay Rights Spotlight Shifts Back to Obama," Newsmax, 2013-APR-14, at: http://www.newsmax.com/
- Rev. Louis Sheldon and Andrea Lafferty, "ENDA would normalize the Dirty 30," Traditional Values Coalition, 2010-APR-08, at: http://www.traditionalvalues.org/
- "What is a 'Sexual Orientation'?" Traditional Values Coalition, undated, at: http://www.traditionalvalues.org This is a PDF file.
- Jennifer Bendery, "Employment Non-Discrimination Act Passes Senate Committee," The Huffington Post, 2013-JUL-10, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Amanda Terkel, "ENDA Now Has The Support Of Every Single Senate Democrat," Huffington Post, 2013-OCT-30. at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
Copyright © 2009 & 2013 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
First posted: 2009-AUG-07
Latest update: 2013-OCT-31
Author: B.A. Robinson