With every lame-ass beltway LGBT journalist and news blogger cheering the fact that ENDA will soon hit the Senate floor WITHOUT writing a damn word about the very dangerous Religious Exemption it has that would still allow and write into law LGBT discrimination by religious organizations, schools, hospitals and businesses. (Yes I am calling you out Chris Giedner, Andy Towle, Joe Jervis and the rest of you.) Family Research Council hate group leader Tony Perkins sent out an email blast to his bigoted GOP and Tea Party followers lying about the current bill because being allowed to legally discriminate against us just isn’t enough.
ENDA would force religious business owners and workplaces such as Christian bookstores, religious publishing houses, pre-schools and religious television and radio stations to accept as normal any employee who has had a sex-change surgery, any employee who has changed or is ‘transitioning’ their public ‘gender identity’ (regardless of whether they have had surgery or hormone treatments), transvestites (people who dress as the opposite sex on an occasional basis for emotional or sexual gratification), and drag queens or drag kings (people who dress as the opposite sex for the purpose of entertaining others). Making matters worse, ‘perceived gender identity’ status does not require sex-change surgery, so ENDA would allow some biological males (who claim to be female) to enter and even appear nude before females in bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. Please contact your Senators and urge them to oppose S. 815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as it imposes on employers freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of conscience and the free market economy.”
It must be the coldest day in hell because I also urge Senators to oppose the current version of S. 815. Not for the same reasons of course as Ms. Perkins but because of the very broad religious exemptions which render this version of ENDA almost totally useless and would allow people like Perkins and ilk to be allowed to wantonly discriminate against us. This is the story that’s NOT being told.
The exact religious exemption reads that: This Act shall not apply to a corporation, association, educational institution or institution of learning, or society that is exempt from the religious discrimination provisions of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.) pursuant to section 702(a) or 703(e)(2) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e-1(a), 2000e-2(e)(2)).
The major difference is that in the 1964 CRA any religious “corporation, association, educational institution or institution of learning, or society” are only allowed to pass over hiring someone if they are not the same faith. It does not exclude an entire subset of people such as women or blacks. But in ENDA the above religious exemption would allow them to freely continue to discriminate against the LGBT community and even worse it would be written into law.
This version of ENDA is a sham and in the end if by some chance it does indeed pass the Senate and the House and gets signed into law it could do us more harm than good.
Perhaps the saddest statement on it is that Tico Almeida of Freedom to Work who helped write it actually admitted that it was written so broadly just so it would pass. NOT because its best for the LGBT community.
Whats the use of this version of ENDA if its essentially worthless and give those who abuse us the most a free pass to discriminate against us.