The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a measure Thursday that would grant special protections to homosexuals in the workplace. Conservative groups are warning that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, is a serious threat to religious liberty.
The bill (HR 2015) being championed by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), an open homosexual, seeks to make it illegal for employers to make decisions on hiring, firing, promoting, or paying an employee based on "sexual orientation." Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), the only openly homosexual female member of Congress, is offering an amendment to the bill that would extend protections to transgender people and cross-dressers. She describes ENDA as an "extraordinary opportunity to advance LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] rights in America."Powered by ScribeFire.
Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America (CWA), says ENDA unconstitutionally pits the government directly against the free exercise of religion.
"It would force private business owners who happen to be people of faith -- the Christian, the Jew, the Muslim -- to disregard central tenets of their faith as they relate to human sexuality and [to] embrace a view of sexual morality that runs entirely contrary to those tenets of their faith."
CWA is praising President Bush for signaling he would likely veto the bill. The Executive Office of the President has issued a statement saying the bill "raises concerns on constitutional and policy grounds," and if it crosses the president's desk, "his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill." Regardless, Barber says it is no time for grassroots conservatives to stand by idly. "We need to remain vigilant," he urges. "We're asking people to contact their representatives and ask them to follow the president's lead here and uphold their sworn duty to protect the Constitution of the United States, and to recognize and follow the Constitution and vote no on this clearly unconstitutional and dangerous legislation."