No longer tenable

The Advocate has more on the organizations dropping their support for the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Following the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s announcement this morning that it would no longer support the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the American Civil Liberties Union announced this afternoon that it would also drop its support for the bill.

The announcement was also cosigned by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. A joint statement from the groups says that the current version of the bill, allowing religiously affiliated employers the ability to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity, has “long been a source of significant concern to us,” but the Supreme Court’s decision on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has made it clear that religious exemption provisions are “no longer tenable.”

Because if you open that door a crack, the religious boffins will smash it wide open and then take it off the hinges and batter you to death with it.

The organizations say that after decades of introducing multiple versions of a bill to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the country is due for a suitable one. They say that if this bill were to be passed and signed into law in its current state, it would still leave many LGBT workers without workplace protections.

“Moreover, it actually might lessen non-discrimination protections now provided for LGBT people by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and very likely would generate confusion rather than clarity in federal law,” they wrote Tuesday. “Finally, such a discrimination provision in federal law likely would invite states and municipalities to follow the unequal federal lead.”

And for that matter it also gives it a kind of imprimatur, a stamp of approval. It tells citizens that discrimination is bad except when goddy people do it, and then it’s ok.

“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.”

And religious discrimination as somehow more legitimate than secular discrimination.


  1. qwints says

    I wasn’t aware that Title VII provided any protection for LGBT people. Are they referring to gender discrimination cases?

  2. qwints says

    Little bit of research says they may be referring to same-sex sexual harassment cases under Oncale v. Sunder Offshore Services, Inc. 523 U.S. 75 (1998). See a former lamda legal attorney and current law professor’s speech “21st Century Employment Discrimination: LGBT Employees and New Perspectives on Workplace Law”

    as well as a law student’s note: Lost in Transition: Remedying Transgender Employment Discrimination under Title VII

    Given the paucity of the protections provided by current federal law, this withdrawal says a lot about how much Hobby Lobby gutted ENDA.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    NPR had a story today about a male music teacher in Georgia losing his job for marrying another man. His lawyer is planning to make the case that this is sex discrimination the would be covered by Title VII.

  4. johnthedrunkard says

    Of course, in our national amnesia we forget that racial discrimination was just as religious back when it passed for normal.

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