Employment  Non-Discrimination Act

“Despite [this] tactical choice of a more modest discourse, and notwithstanding the silence of the Greek warriors actually inside the horse, transformation did occur – a fairly radical one, in fact – once the Greeks got their horse within the walls of Troy.”
- Evan Wolfson, leading advocate for same-sex marriage, in an article discussing strategies and tactics for redefining marriage

“Compared to legalizing same-sex marriage, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation looks quite tame to most Americans.”
- William B. Turner, academic and homosexual rights advocate

“Once the citizenry adjusts to antidiscrimination laws, then it gradually becomes ready for civil union. After another period of adjustment, marriage may follow.”
- Greg Johnson, law professor and homosexual rights advocate

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a proposed act of Congress, is the gravest threat to religious freedom and traditional marriage today. ENDA prohibits both public and private employers from making employment decisions (hiring, firing, advancement, etc.) based on an employee’s actual or perceived sexual behavior, ambiguously defined by ENDA as “sexual orientation.” This completely redefines the concept of protected classes in American law, granting sexual orientation the same employment protections as gender and race, placing sexual behavior on the same level as the immutable traits of sex and ancestry. Some versions of ENDA even include special employment protections for transvestites and individuals who undergo sex-change operations.

While churches and church sponsored schools appear to be exempted for now, religious businesses and religious employers with at least 15 employees are not. For example, ENDA prohibits a Christian bookstore from refusing to hire a practicing lesbian as manager. It prohibits the owner of a daycare from discharging an employee who engages in homosexual activity. ENDA appears even to prohibit a private religious school or a faith based non-profit from refusing to hire or retain employees who engage in homosexual or bisexual behavior in violation of the organization’s religious faith.

The most recent attempt at passing ENDA occurred November 2007, where it passed the House by a wide margin. Openly supported by President Obama, ENDA now has more than enough votes to pass both the House and Senate. Should ENDA become law, many same-sex marriage advocates believe it is a key step to achieving the ultimate goal of fully legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Such was the case in Europe, where the sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws of certain countries led to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Once sexual orientation is embodied in law as equal to race and gender, or any other immutable trait, the legal rationale for prohibiting same-sex marriage disappears.

With the increased support in Congress and a more than willing presidential administration, it is unclear whether the next version of ENDA will even exempt churches. It is clear that ENDA in any form tramples religious freedoms and seriously threatens traditional marriage. Once homosexual and bisexual behavior are recognized by law as co-equal with race and gender, which is precisely what ENDA accomplishes, it is no longer a matter of preventing damage to freedom and marriage but one of attempting to restrain the damage that will certainly occur.

A vote for ENDA is a vote against religious liberty and traditional marriage.

Other Resources:

http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.2015:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:3:./temp/~c110ZKU9t4::

http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=PV08D07

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Labor/wm1677.cfm

http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000005542.cfm