Thursday, June 14, 2012

Faith Groups Urge Congressional Passage of ENDA

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a hearing on "Equality At Work: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (full text of witness statements and video of full hearing). The bill, S. 811, would bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  In connection with the hearing, 37 faith groups released a letter they had sent to each member of the Committee urging passage of the bill, saying "we cannot tolerate arbitrary discrimination against millions of Americans just because of who they are." The letter, at the same time, emphasized that
ENDA broadly exempts from its scope any religious organization, thereby ensuring that religious institutions will not be compelled to violate the religious precepts on which they are founded, whether or not we may agree with those precepts. In so doing, ENDA respects the protections for religious institutions afforded by the First Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964....