ACLU, Gay Legal Groups Oppose 'Religious Exemption' In Job Discrimination Bill
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has just been re-introduced in the Senate and specifically bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill has been around for the last couple of decades and its new supporters (two Republicans and three Democrats) probably believe that polls showing movement in favor of same-sex marriage mean that the iron is hot for striking.
From what I can gather, ENDA will offer the LGBT workers the same federal protections against employer discrimination as there are now in the categories of age, race, gender, religion, and disability. As the bill is written now, it would exempt employers with fewer than 15 employees, religious institutions, and religious-affiliated employers, such as Presbyterian hospitals, Catholic adoption agencies, etc.
Let's leave the debate over the overall bill for another time. The development I want to focus on is brand new. There is now a push underway to remove the exemption for religious-affiliated employers by no less than the ACLU and a number of LGBT legal organizations.
BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner (you will want to read it all):
In a statement released Thursday morning, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center state they "stand united in expressing very grave concerns with the religious exemption" to the bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. …
"In Title VII, there's an exemption for certain religious-affiliated entities that says that they can basically engage in religious discrimination but they cannot engage in race, color, sex, or national origin discrimination. The words [religious-affiliated entities] have been sometimes interpreted very broadly," Nevins explained, noting, "For instance, a Presbyterian hospital might in some jurisdictions be considered to qualify, which is decidedly different than saying a church or a convent can do these things."
This harkens back to something I have been trying to sound the alarm over all year -- that the goal here has nothing to do with gay rights and everything to do with the left's ongoing crusade to destroy the Christian Church.
Let me first say that I in no way believe or am insinuating that rank-and-file Democrats or everyday gay Americans simply looking for protections against discrimination are a willing part of this crusade. In fact, these individuals are having their legitimate hopes and desires exploited for the sinister purposes of a very determined few.
What we are really dealing with here is an extremist/nihilist element embedded in the left (including the media) that is currently using the issue of gay rights as a wedge against the Christian Church. The goal is two-fold: First, smear the Church and those who preach the Bible as de facto bigots over a long-held doctrine that sees homosexual sex as a sin. Second, use civil rights and non-discrimination laws to either force the Church to violate its own conscience or close down.
The relentless, years-long campaign launched by many of these same groups to bully the Boy Scouts of America into allowing gay scouts and scoutmasters was nothing more than a legal and public relations training exercise for the ultimate battle to come against the Church.
The ultimate blueprint, though, was drafted in Massachusetts when the government forced a Catholic adoption agency to choose between offering adoptions to same sex couples or closing down.
The 103 year-old agency closed down.
And it's not just gay issues like employment discrimination and the push for same-sex marriage being cynically used in this cynical campaign against America's most cherished freedom -- freedom of religion. President Obama's mandate requiring religious-affiliated employers to pay for birth control and the abortion pill is just another weapon utilized in the exact same war.
With ENDA, if the ACLU and its allies get their way, you could see hospitals, adoption agencies, and all kinds of religious institutions (Churches themselves would remain exempt -- for now) that aid the needy forced to close down or forced to stop being what they are: religious institutions.
Ask yourself how that isn't a win for the left?
Now ask yourself why Obama would force these employers to pay for something as frivolous as $11 birth control if there wasn't a bigger agenda at work here.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC