House Set to Vote on Special Rights for Gay Employees
by Jennifer Mesko, associate editor
'This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, this is a moral values issue.'
A U.S. House vote is just around the corner on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) — a bill that gives homosexuals special rights in the workplace. ENDA would add "sexual orientation" to a list of federally protected classes that includes race and religion.
“My race is being compromised, in that gays are saying that they need protected status just like someone who’s of a race that they can’t change," said Bishop Harry Jackson, president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition.
“This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, this is a moral values issue, and it’s an issue of the integrity of the civil rights movement.”
ENDA has an exemption for religious institutions, but Maureen Wiebe, spokeswoman for the American Association of Christian Schools, said it’s too narrow.
“It would not seem that Christian schools would fall under the exemption for ENDA," she told Family News in Focus. "So ENDA could seriously affect the hiring rights of a Christian school.”
The House committee will take up ENDA on Wednesday. The bill would add special protections for "sexual orientation," but not "gender identity" — or transgendered individuals. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has promised to add protection for "gender identity," as soon as she believes the votes are there.
Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said it's time to take action.
“We are very concerned because lawmakers are telling us that they are simply not hearing from their constituents on ENDA," she said. “People need to be calling their representatives and saying, ‘We do not support ENDA. Please vote "No" on ENDA.’”
Urge your representative to oppose ENDA. If your representative serves on the Committee on Education and Labor, it's especially important they hear from you because they will vote on ENDA on Wednesday. Click here for a list of committee members. You can contact your representative through our Action Center.