ACLU: Religious Orgs Should Have to Comply with LGBT Anti-Discrimination Act Too

The ACLU has turned against the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), designed in part to protect the LGBT community from workplace discrimination. Along with several LGBT organizations, the ACLU now argues that religious organizations, small businesses, and the military—which are exempted in the law—must also be required to comply.

The ACLU and four LGBT organizations released a joint statement Tuesday arguing that ENDA’s exemptions give a “blank check” to religious organizations to engage in workplace discrimination. Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, explained the organization’s rationale for withdrawing support for the Democrat-backed law:

“Federal legislation to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination is way beyond overdue, but Congress has no place giving religiously affiliated employers a license to discriminate against LGBT workers. We can no longer support a bill that treats LGBT discrimination as different and somehow more legitimate than other forms of discrimination.”

The recent Hobby Lobby ruling in which the Supreme Court affirmed the religious rights of closely held corporations appears to be one of the motivating factors behind the ACLU’s withdrawal of support.

A version of ENDA has been kicked around Congress since the 1970s but has never been able to move forward. The current version awaits a vote in the House, having already passed the Democrat-controlled Senate. President Obama, who recently issued an LGBT non-discrimination executive order, has indicated that if passed by Congress, he will sign the law. It is yet to be seen if the ACLU’s reversal on the act impacts the president’s position.

Here is the full statement from the ACLU, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center.

This is a copy of the full article provided by the Conservatives at Truth Revolt

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