John M. Becker

Pride at Work Drops ENDA Support

Filed By John M. Becker | July 08, 2014 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: accommodating bigotry, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Pride at Work, religious exemption, religious freedom, religious liberty, religious privilege

pride-at-work-logo.jpgThe exodus from ENDA and its gaping religious exemption continues: Pride at Work -- the LGBT constituency group of organized labor -- writes, via press release:

In light of the recent Hobby Lobby decision at the Supreme Court, the Executive Committee of Pride at Work voted unanimously today to withdraw the organization's support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with its current broad religious exemptions. Pride at Work interim Executive Director, Jerame Davis, issued the following statement:

"While we fully support strong protections for LGBT workers in the workplace, something that for many workers is currently only afforded by a union contract, after the recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, it is clear that these broad religious exemptions would gut the intent and purpose of ENDA. LGBT workers deserve strong, enforceable workplace protections and we look forward to supporting a bill to that end."

Meanwhile, Justin Snow over at Metro Weekly reports that the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT equality organization, appears to be standing behind ENDA in its current form:

Asked to comment on today's withdraw [sic] of support, Human Rights Campaign Vice President Fred Sainz wrote in an email, "HRC supports ENDA because it will provide essential workplace protections to millions of LGBT people."

UPDATE: The National Center for Transgender Equality also appears to be standing by the current ENDA, religious exemption and all; a page on its website encourages supporters to call their elected officials in support of the measure. But Mara Keisling, the group's executive director, told the Huffington Post that the religious exemption is unacceptably broad:

"The National Center for Transgender Equality has been a leader for years in advocating that the over-broad religious exemptions in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was unacceptable and needs to be narrowed. Discrimination of any sort cannot and should not be used to hide discrimination against LGBT people -- that is contrary to every American's fundamental First Amendment rights."

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