USCCB urges Senate to oppose ENDA, says bill threatens religious liberty [CWN]


In a joint letter, three committee chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon US senators to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 …



“ENDA could be used to punish as discrimination what many religions – including the Catholic religion – teach, particularly moral teaching about same-sex sexual conduct. Moreover, the bill’s religious freedom protection, which is derived from Title VII, covers only a subset of religious employers, and as a result of recent litigation, is uncertain in scope. Recent experience also shows that even exempted employers may face government retaliation for relying on such exemptions.”

The bishops have good reason to be worried. Their experience with Obamacare and the egregious HHS mandate taught them to be wary.


Designed by this pagan administration to get sexual perversion “out of the closet” and relegate Christianity “into the closet” in its stead.


In my state, it is legal at this time for someone to be dismissed from a job based on their sexual orientation. I work with a number of gays and lesbians. I would hate to see state sanctioned bias being used to summarily dismiss anyone from his/her job merely because of his/her sexual orientation. I also have a close relative who is gay. He is young and just starting out in his professional life. He deserves the chance to earn a living in his chosen field of work which has **nothing **to do with his sexual preferences.


If his job has “nothing to do with his sexual preferences”, why would they even come up in a work environment? I’m pretty sure the fact that I’m attracted to brunettes and redheads who are shorter than I am is something that has no place in a work environment.


Yes, one of the bishops’ problems with ENDA is that it makes no distinction between “orientation” and conduct. “Orientation” is invisible. Nobody can tell by looking at me whether I might be attracted to serial adultery, same sex, opposite sex, multiple partners, elderly women, or adolescents. Conduct is a different matter entirely. Conduct is visible and can be disruptive to a workplace.


Which is why I’m opposed to ENDA. It would make unprofessional conduct a protected activity in the workplace.


How so?

What if a worker displays a picture of his/her partner on the desk–you know, the Olan Mills pose of the smiling couple? Wouldn’t THAT be grounds to dismiss someone for being gay/lesbian if one were looking for such a reason to dismiss an employee in states where this is currently allowed?

I agree that unprofessional activity is unacceptable in any work environment. The parameters of such are usually spelled out in the employee handbook. (For example, some places explicitly forbid coworkers from ‘fraternizing’ --i.e., date one another.) ENDA is not suggesting that anything goes behavior is acceptable in the office.

Where I work, a number of (heterosexual) couples are married. I have never observed them engaging in PDA in the workplace. I have never observed gay/lesbian couples who work where I work engaging in PDA either.

Technically speaking the Church could also ‘fire’ gay (yet celibate) priests and lesbian (yet celibate) religious. They are out there; they are serving us.


Exactly; there’s also the fears that a relationship you’ve never mentioned once on the job will be found out by your boss accidentally (and it does happen!) Can you imagine one of your friends coming in to your work, talking to another of your friends, not knowing your boss didn’t know, and discussing your relationship? There are many other ways for bosses to just find out accidentally. We aren’t talking about gay people being fired for making out with their partner on the job.


“Gay” people work everywhere, and if that happens, it’s mighty rare. Employers let you live the life you live outside the workplace if you don’t bring it into the workplace. That’s not what this bill is all about. It’s about shutting other people up and encouraging litigation. A gift to homosexuals who want to force others to accept it as normal by force of law, and and a gift to trial lawyers. It creates a “preference” for the “protected class” over those who are not in a protected class.

I have seen people falsely claim protected status in order to avoid being fired for nonperformance or misconduct. Almost every business of any size has seen that, and it’s terrible for the non-protected to have to live with.


And how may homosexuals have you seen fired because they are homosexuals? Your relatives sexual behavior will not be an issue at his workplace unless he chooses to make it so.


It’s interesting that in enacting ADA, congress was very careful to say that it did not include protection of cross-dressing. ENDA does not say things like that. As with a liar, oftentimes the important thing with a law is not what it says, but what it doesn’t say.


I don’t know of anyone who really cares what pictures are on your deks as long as they are not tacky or soft porn. This is the strawman that always pulled out but there is no evidence people are being fired because they are homosexual


It serves two purposes:

Declares homosexual behavior “normal” by legislative fiat
Enrich Trial Lawyers

Can you imaging trying to defend yourself against a charge based on such a nebulous definition as “sexual orientation”

My personal opinion is I should be able to fire anyone for any reason whatsoever.


How often have your gay and lesbian co-workers been fired because of their sexual orientation?




I have a dear friend who was fired from his job as a computer programmer in Missouri for being gay.

How did his company find out he was gay? His boss ran into him and his partner at a coffee shop.


You’d never put a picture of your family on your desk? How about when someone asks where you are going for Thanksgiving, you’d never say “My wife/girlfriend and I are going to her family’s house in Vermont”? Would you bring your wife to a company picnic? What if you happen to run into your boss when you’re out with your wife/girlfriend? (For the record, that’s really likely in a small town.)

Yeah, I’m sure that if I worked with you for more than a week eventually it would come out that you either have a family with a woman, or you seek to do so.


“I don’t believe in discriminating against anybody,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a backer of the measure who voted against a similar, narrower bill 17 years ago. Hatch said the bill has language ensuring religious freedom that he expects the Senate to toughen.

Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., were crafting an amendment to the bill that would prevent federal, state and local governments from retaliating against religious groups that are exempt from the law.

“It focuses on religious liberty,” Portman said. “It provides a non-retaliation clause in the federal law comparable to what a lot of states have.”

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., was working on an amendment to expand the number of groups that are covered under the religious exemption.

Portman, Ayotte and Toomey were the last three Republicans who voted Monday night to advance the bill as it past its first hurdle on a 61-30 vote.

As I said, religious protections continue to be strengthened in the bill. Urge your congressman/senator to expand religious protections in the bill but support it ultimately with these expanded protections!


Those amendments may or may not make it into the final bill.


I fully expect them to. Congressional Democrats largely support religious exemptions to bills such as these. If House Republicans are willing to consider the bill, the bill should be expanded to include even more protections.

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