Author Topic: Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate  (Read 689 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57610788/employment-non-discrimination-act-enda-makes-progress-in-the-senate/

 November 4, 2013, 6:32 PM
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate

With the support of every member of the Democratic caucus and some Republicans, the Senate on Monday voted to move forward with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill is now all but sure to pass in the Senate, where a handful of Republicans voted Monday to proceed with the bill -- including one stalwart conservative, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Still, its fate in the Republican-led House is unclear. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday that the speaker opposes the legislation.

The bill's supporters on Monday sounded optimistic that after a decades-long struggle, ENDA's time had come. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called the bill's consideration "a huge step forward, one too long in coming."

The Senate last considered a version of ENDA in 1996, but the bill failed by one vote. On the Senate floor Monday, Harkin called that a "dark day" but noted attitudes about gay rights in America have "changed dramatically" since then. Twenty-one states now have laws with basic workplace protections for LGBT Americans.

A poll conducted this fall by Republican pollster Alex Lundry and the Americans for Workplace Opportunity campaign showed that more than two-thirds of registered voters, including 56 percent of Republicans, support the protections offered by ENDA. In fact eight out of 10 thought that such federal workplace protections were already in place.

Conservatives like Hatch came to support the bill in part because of its exemption for religious institutions. Some, however, want to see broader exemptions for those with religious objections to the law.

"The underlying part of the bill I agree with, but I'm still working on some of the religious liberty issues," Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, whose son is openly gay, told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week.

Stronger religious exemptions and other issues may come up as amendments this week as the Senate continues debate on the bill.

If it passes in the Senate, the bill would go to the House. However, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Monday, "The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs."

In spite of the opposition from leadership, there are paths the bill could take to pass in the House. In one sign of hope, ENDA supporters point to the Violence Against Women Act, which stalled in the House for months because of conservative concerns. However, Democrats and the bill's backers kept the pressure on Republicans, and ultimately the bill passed in the House with bipartisan support. Alternatively, ENDA could pass like the hate crimes legislation that passed in 2009, which was attached to a must-pass defense spending bill.

ENDA supporters also point out that when the Democratic-led House voted on a version of the bill in 2007, 35 Republicans joined 200 Democrats to pass it. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., voted for ENDA and has since reiterated his support for it.

"They didn't roll out of bed one morning and choose to be gay. That's who they are," Ryan said in 2010, acknowledging he "took a lot of grief" for his ENDA vote from some in his own party. Earlier this year, Ryan again said, "My position's very clear on ENDA."


President Obama, meanwhile, penned an op-ed in the Huffington Post Monday urging Congress to pass ENDA. "Our nation's journey toward equality isn't complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well," he wrote.

However, gay rights advocates have criticized the president for refusing to sign an executive order banning sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by federal contractors -- violating a clear 2008 campaign promise.

When the Houston GLBT Political Caucus in 2008 asked Mr. Obama if he would support a "formal written policy of non-discrimination that includes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression ... for all Federal contractors," Mr. Obama gave a written response: "Yes."

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated that the White House wants the issue to be handled legislatively, rather than through an executive order.

"What we've said about this is two things: one, the preferable and better path has been through Congress because that would be inclusive," Carney said. "An executive order that addresses federal contractors...would not be inclusive."
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 11:14:04 PM »
It also forces schools to not only hire gays but transgenders to teach young children.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 11:20:53 PM »
http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/04/keeping-the-gop-out-of-enda/

Keeping the GOP out of ENDA

Posted By Stephen Richer On 2:10 PM 11/04/2013


At the beginning of October, Christian Berle and Gregory T. Angelo wrote at Huffington Post about putting “Putting the ‘GOP’ in ENDA” — and the same publication is out today with a post from the president encouraging Congress to pass it. I’ll start November by pointing out that the GOP is not in ENDA — figuratively or literally — and it should remain that way.

Like Berle and Angelo, I’m a Republican. Like Berle and Angel, I’m a strong supporter of gay marriage. But unlike Berle and Angelo, I’m convinced that the same principles that lead to support of gay marriage — freedom and equality — should be applied to all government action, ENDA included.

Should ENDA pass, it will allegedly combat “discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions in employment” (emphasis added). Congress has proposed ENDA every year, save one, since 1994. This year, however, it could finally cross the finish line. In the Senate, all 55 members of the Democratic Caucus say they will vote for ENDA. The bill needs 60 votes to be filibuster-proof, and that means Republicans are needed. Already, some are on board: Mark Kirk (IL), Susan Collins (ME), Orrin Hatch (UT), and Lisa Murkowski (AK). Dean Heller (NV) said today that he will probably support ENDA, and Rob Portman (OH) looks like he’ll soon be joining the team.

At first blush, this looks great — a few Republicans are standing up for gays. Yay! This is something I’ve been cheering for since at least 2004. And we’re getting new blood in the movement. Orrin Hatch, for example, is far from supporting marriage equality, but his support for ENDA — according to proponents like Berle and Angelo — is a nice half-step that encourages better treatment of the country’s LGBT population.

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Unfortunately, there’s significant philosophical differences between ENDA and marriage equality that should turn even pro-marriage equality Republicans away from ENDA. First, there’s freedom – a term that still rings true with most Americans. If a man marries another man, nobody is worse off because of it.  No private actor is forced into anything, and no private actor has to associate with the newly wed gay couple. Under ENDA, however, the arm of government extends into the right of non-interference with private business owners. If you have a business, and you’re somebody who doesn’t like gay people (shame on you!), then tough luck — the state has partial control of your business and can tell you what’s a valid reason for employment termination, and what’s not. Gay rights supporters should be especially sensitive to the majority using its power against others’ rights to non-interference (see Texas sodomy laws).


Then there’s equality under the law. We supporters of marriage equality ask that gay Americans be treated the same as all other Americans. People born heterosexual can enter a contract (marriage) that is celebrated by society and yields government benefits. Gay Americans should have the same opportunity.

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ENDA, however, isn’t asking for equal. It’s asking for more equal. The law is specially crafted to protect homosexuals from employment discrimination. Homosexuals are designated as a special class that merits particular laws. It’s this same type of “more equal” definition that has led to programs like affirmative action in college admissions, something that 87 percent of Republicans object to.


Supporters of ENDA might ask “What’s the big deal? We’ve done this before; see the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Isn’t this the same?” No. They’re not the same. ENDA reaches into territory that the Civil Rights Act didn’t strongly implicate: religion. I know of no current, popular American religion whose adherents believe that racial discrimination is required. Sadly, this isn’t so with many of today’s more orthodox Christians and Jews (to name two of the many religious groups who feel this way) who see homosexual acts as sins and don’t want to got within 10 feet of perpetrators of homosexual acts. This, of course, is egregious, but it’s a religious belief, and we Americans are pretty keen on the idea of protecting beliefs, especially religious ones.

At this point, ENDA supporters will shoot back, “But ENDA has broad religious protections. That’s why people like Orrin Hatch support it.” ENDA does have religious exemptions. Sections 702(a) and 703(e)(2), for example, protect religious corporations, associations, and educational institutions. So if you’re a Catholic church, then you’re off the hook. But what if you’re a devout evangelical who happens to run a grocery store, but doesn’t want to hire homoesexuals for religious reasons. Then you’re out of luck.

Such a scenario can hardly seem far-fetched. A Christian photographer recently lost a suit for refusing — on religious grounds — to photograph a gay civil commitment ceremony. And an Oregon baker shut down his business for similar reasons. Such cases abound, and ENDA will move them into the employment arena.

ENDA violates two (allegedly) key Republicans philosophical tenets: freedom and equality. And there are practical problems too. Any current employer can tell you that hiring and firing can be a fraught affair that often prompts litigation. Threatened suits regularly involve Title VII discrimination claims. With ENDA in effect, these claims will only go up, and ENDA will further exacerbate the negative unintended consequences anti-discrimination laws have. Consider, for example, this paper that shows how laws “protecting” Americans with disabilities actually led to a decline in the employment of the disabled as a result of fear of litigation. If we continue to write more and more anti-discrimination laws that police private businesses, Barry Goldwater’s words will soon come true:

   
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[We will] require the creation of a federal police force of mammoth proportions. It also bids fair to result in the development of an ‘informer’ psychology in great areas of our national life … These, the federal police force and an ‘informer’ psychology, are the hallmarks of a police state…


If supporters of ENDA object that the new law will actually bring about very little litigation, then why is it needed in the first place? If used very little, then gay Americans clearly have other employment options and would probably prefer to be aware of foolishly anti-gay employers when they come across one.

When asked about right-of-center ideological concerns with Civil Rights Act of 1964, Cato’s Jason Kuznicki wrote:

 
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  Stepping back a bit, it is bizarre and embarrassing to me that this should be the hill that anyone wants to die on in the name of originalism. Why don’t originalists work first in the most fruitful areas, and leave the doubtful ones for later?


The same could of course apply here. In the spectrum of government offenses to freedom and equality, ENDA wouldn’t even show up on the chart. But if, like me, you think that right-of-center Republicans should vote down anything that doesn’t mesh with freedom and equality, then ENDA should be stopped.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 12:45:29 AM »
I worked for a major energy services corporation, from 1974 to 1988. Hq. was in very conservative Orange County CA.

Gay men were still essentially in the closet back then, but we had several. One was a VP, no less. Another was a department manager, reporting to me.

So obviously this firm felt it wise to employ qualified persons, without regard to their sexual orientation.

I expect the guy's promotion to VP had approval at the highest levels (Chairman-who's name was the name of the firm).

Big successful firms have operated this way for quite awhile. 


Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 12:52:42 AM »
I worked for a major energy services corporation, from 1974 to 1988. Hq. was in very conservative Orange County CA.

Gay men were still essentially in the closet back then, but we had several. One was a VP, no less. Another was a department manager, reporting to me.

So obviously this firm felt it wise to employ qualified persons, without regard to their sexual orientation.

I expect the guy's promotion to VP had approval at the highest levels (Chairman-who's name was the name of the firm).

Big successful firms have operated this way for quite awhile.

I don't care about corporations.  I do care this bill actually says they are a protected class as in more protected than you or I.  This is basically affirmative action for gays.
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ENDA, however, isn’t asking for equal. It’s asking for more equal. The law is specially crafted to protect homosexuals from employment discrimination. Homosexuals are designated as a special class that merits particular laws. It’s this same type of “more equal” definition that has led to programs like affirmative action in college admissions, something that 87 percent of Republicans object to.

It also allows transgenders to teach little school children.

You may be okay with creating even more "special" protected and different classes in this country but I am not ashamed to say I'm tired of it. I don't give a flip if a person is gay, green, purple or tan.  Everyone puts their panties on one leg at a time.  I do care that our young children are being forced to learn about these "special" groups way too young.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline aligncare

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Re: Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 03:09:28 AM »
I'm convinced senators vote to pass legislation because of it's catchy acronym.

"Why, yes, George. I voted to ENDa job discrimination."

Senators are such popularity sluts.
Some #NeverTrumpers are like the pockets of Japanese who didn't know the war was over


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