ACLU Withdraws Support for ENDA

In a press release today:

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that it is withdrawing its support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a statement also signed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. The ACLU objects to a provision in the bill that would allow religiously affiliated employers to continue to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“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,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. “We can no longer support a bill that treats LGBT discrimination as different and somehow more legitimate than other forms of discrimination.”

President Obama has announced his intention to sign an executive order that would ban discrimination against LGBT people employed by federal contractors. The ACLU opposes any inclusion of a discrimination exemption in this executive order.

The full statement announcing the withdrawal of support can be found here:


  1. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Are they letting the perfect be the enemy of the good here? I’m not sure. It seems like ENDA is at least a start (much like the ACA).

  2. carlie says

    Crimson – that’s what they thought too, until the Hobby Lobby decision came down. Now everyone knows exactly how far that “religious exemption” language can be stretched.

  3. qwints says

    I think they’re honestly assessing just how broadly Hobby Lobby expanded the meaning of religiously affiliated organizations and burdens on religious. Giving a federal imprimatur to the idea that employment discrimination against LGBT people is a religious act could have massive consequences. The solution is what is has been for decades: amend Title VII to make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes.

  4. Crimson Clupeidae says

    carlie, after reading the other post on this, I got that. It does make sense, now. Thanks.

  5. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    That’s a reasonable question, crimson, but no. The problem is that there’s a history of letting “the good” be good enough and never making any substantive progress. It is finally becoming clear to activists that we can’t keep giving the store away in hopes that if we don’t ask for everything we’ll get at least something.

    There’s too much at stake. People can’t wait for their rights. And the powerful are NEVER going to willingly concede.

    It’s time to make it clear that bigotry and discrimination has NO excuse. No religious out. Nope. No.

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