White House Issues Statement Opposing ENDA as Threat to Religious Freedom

barney_frank.jpg After AFTAH’s report that White House officials gave advice on crafting the religious exemption language in homosexual Rep. Barney Frank’s radical ENDA bill, H.R. 3685, the Administration moved to publicly distance itself from the special-privileges-for-homosexual-employees legislation. Call Congress (202-224-3121; www.congress.org) to oppose H.R. 3685 and call the President to urge a veto (202-456-1111; www.whitehouse.gov/contact). See our paper, “14 Good Reasons to Oppose H.R. 3685, the ‘ENDA Our Freedom’ Bill.”

By Peter LaBarbera 

In a manner similar to what it did regarding the “hate crimes” bill, the White House has issued a “Statement of Policy” raising constitutional and policy objections to H.R. 3685, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), sponsored by homosexual Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The Administration statement states, “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.”

REMAIN VIGILANT: please keep those calls and letters coming to the White House (202-456-1111 or -1414; www.congress.org), urging President Bush to do so — regardless of the form the bill takes.

Also, even some key Republicans are supporting ENDA, so call Congress today (202-224-3121; www.congress.org) and urge your U.S. Representative and both Senators to oppose ANY form of ENDA. A House vote on H.R. 3685 could come tomorrow. Homosexuality is not a “civil right” — period, and H.R. 3685’s “religious exemption” wording in ENDA is still very weak, as this memo from the Alliance Defense Fund asserts. See our paper, “14 Good Reasons to Oppose H.R. 3685, the ‘ENDA Our Freedom’ Bill.”

Americans For Truth’s revelation that a White House official had boasted to pro-family leaders that the White House had helped craft ENDA’s religious exemption language raised concerns among pro-family groups counting on an Administration veto of ENDA. It also touched off a flurry of blog posts on the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) side, where there is a ferocious battle taking place over ENDA. Barney Frank’s decision to back a version of ENDA that does not include “transgenders” has infuriated the pro-transsexual groups. Meanwhile, Human Rights Campaign, the country’s leading homosexual lobby group, is playing both sides of the fence — backing Frank’s compromise while publicly supporting Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s pro-transsexual amendment to H.R. 3685 to shore up its pro-“T” (transgender) credentials.

Traditional Values Coalition lobbyist Andrea Lafferty, who with father Lou Sheldon has done more than anyone in America over the years to keep the homosexual agenda in check on Capitol Hill, told Americans For Truth that at a recent pro-H.R. 3685 press conference called by Rep. Frank, the various homosexual/trans groups favoring a more radical (they say “inclusive”) ENDA were kept out in the hall, while HRC staffers were allowed in the room. Lafferty said that the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade played down the GLBT infighting.

Regardless, savvy homosexual activists (led by HRC) understand that passage of ENDA in any form is a huge advance for the homosexual cause — which is why we raised concern over talk of Christian leaders looking to craft “acceptable” exemption language in the bill, with White House input.

__________________________

Here is the White House’s statement on ENDA (emphasis added):

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503

    October 23, 2007    (House Rules)

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

H.R. 3685 – The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

(Rep. Frank (D) MA and 9 cosponsors)

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.

H.R. 3685 is inconsistent with the right to the free exercise of religion as codified by Congress in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  The Act prohibits the Federal Government from substantially burdening the free exercise of religion except for compelling reasons, and then only in the least restrictive manner possible.  H.R. 3685 does not meet this standard.  For instance, schools that are owned by or directed toward a particular religion are exempted by the bill; but those that emphasize religious principles broadly will find their religious liberties burdened by H.R. 3685.

A second concern is H.R. 3685’s authorization of Federal civil damage actions against State entities, which may violate States’ immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The bill turns on imprecise and subjective terms that would make interpretation, compliance, and enforcement extremely difficult.  For instance, the bill establishes liability for acting on “perceived” sexual orientation, or “association” with individuals of a particular sexual orientation.  If passed, H.R. 3685 is virtually certain to encourage burdensome litigation beyond the cases that the bill is intended to reach.

Provisions of this bill purport to give Federal statutory significance to same-sex marriage rights under State law.  These provisions conflict with the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman.  The Administration strongly opposes any attempt to weaken this law, which is vital to defending the sanctity of marriage.

This article was posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 at 1:34 pm and is filed under AFT In the Blogs, AFT In the News, Candidates & Elected Officials, Christian Persecution, Freedom Under Fire, Government Promotion, Homosexual Infighting, HRC, National GLBTQ Activist Groups, News, Politicians & Public Officials, The Agenda: GLBTQ & Activist Groups. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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