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ENDA’s (H.R. 2015) Dubious Religious ‘Exemptions’

By Peter LaBarbera 

TAKE ACTION:  Call the Congress (202-224-3121) or use e-mail to urge your Representative and Senators to reject ENDA (H.R. 2015) and the insanity of forcing business across the nation to accommodate and subsidize gender confusion in the name of “civil rights.” Also, call President Bush (202-456-1414) or e-mail him at comments@whitehouse.gov and urge him to veto the “trans”-affirming ENDA, along with the “Hate Crimes” bill (H.R. 1592) that his aides have indicated will likely be vetoed.  

At bottom is the religious exemption language for H.R. 2015, ENDA, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would use federal government powers to ban “employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” (Emphasis is added below.) ENDA would apply to businesses with 15 or more employees.

We at Americans For Truth generally oppose the concept of religious exemptions to pro-homosexual laws because religious people alone should not be able to exercise their freedoms to oppose aberrant sexual behavior. What about secular-minded citizens who also believe that homosexual acts are immoral and unhealthy and shouldn’t be promoted as OK to kids?

Regardless, note the careful circumscription of the religious “exemptions” under ENDA. According to paragraph “b” below, the law would not apply to employees in a religiously-oriented business whose job is linked to “doctrine.” So, then, can we assume that in “partially exempt” religious organizations, the law WOULD apply to employees (e.g., a secretary) whose jobs are NOT directly linked to teaching religion or doctrine?

In my state of Illinois, the ACLU used similar language to argue along these lines: a Bible-believing church would have full freedom to hire and fire its pastors but it COULD fall under the state’s “sexual orientation/gender identity” law (our state’s version of ENDA) if it fired a janitor who announced he was homosexual — because the janitor’s job does not deal with church “doctrine.”

Can you see the immense capacity for “gay” troublemaking and harassing lawsuits under this proposed legislation? Even the threat of federal lawsuits, especially in states like Illinois that have their own “sexual orientation” laws, could inhibit morality-based groups from acting on their belief that homosexuality is wrong.

 

I suppose that is precisely the goal of the homosexual and “transgender” lobbies with regard to ENDA.

And remember: the discussion above is only for explicitly religious organizations. Under ENDA, an orthodox Jew who owns his own secular-oriented business (with 15 or more employees) would be out of luck if he endeavored to not hire homosexuals or transsexuals based on his own personal religious beliefs. Once again, “gay” (and “trans”) rights would supersede religious freedoms.

The following is ENDA’s (H.R. 2015) language pertaining to religious exemptions:

SEC. 6. EXEMPTION FOR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) In general.—This Act shall not apply to any of the employment practices of a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society which has as its primary purpose religious ritual or worship or the teaching or spreading of religious doctrine or belief.

 

(b) Certain employees.—For any religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society that is not wholly exempt under subsection (a), this Act shall not apply with respect to the employment of individuals whose primary duties consist of teaching or spreading religious doctrine or belief, religious governance, supervision of a religious order, supervision of persons teaching or spreading religious doctrine or belief, or supervision or participation in religious ritual or worship.

 

(c) Conformity to religious tenets.—Under this Act, a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society may require that applicants for, and employees in, similar positions conform to those religious tenets that such corporation, association, institution, or society declares significant. Under this Act, such a declaration by a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society stating which of its religious tenets are significant shall not be subject to judicial or administrative review. Any such declaration made for purposes of this Act shall be admissible only for proceedings under this Act.

 

This article was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2007 at 3:05 am and is filed under Court Decisions & Judges, Freedom Under Fire, GLBTQ Lawsuits & Retribution, Government Promotion, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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