Author Topic: New Executive Orders on LBGT Discrimination Won't Exempt Religious Orgs  (Read 183 times)

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Offline mountaineer

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New Executive Orders on LBGT Discrimination Won't Exempt Religious Orgs
But Obama won't withdraw memo on religious discrimination.
Ruth Moon/ July 21, 2014

An executive order President Obama signed Monday prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in federal hiring does not exempt faith-based organizations.

The executive order amends a 1965 order prohibiting some forms of discrimination by federal contractors. The old text forbade contractors from discriminating "against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." Obama's revision adds "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" between "sex" and "national origin."

The order accomplishes part of what legislators attempted to accomplish in passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that passed the Senate earlier this session and now languishes in the House. While Obama will not include a new exemption for faith-based organizations, he will let stand a 2007 exemption memo from the federal attorney general's office. That memo says the Religious Freedom Restoration Act "is reasonably construed" to exempt World Vision (and other religious organizations that administer federal funds through social services programs) from religious nondiscrimination requirements on other federal grantees.

The World Vision memo will be helpful, though religious organizations would be better protected if the forthcoming executive order included a religious exemption, said Douglas Laycock, a professor of law and religious studies at the University of Virginia.

The ENDA currently before Congress would prohibit most employers in the country from sexual orientation-based discrimination but would exempt religious organizations and the military. Nearly every Congress for the past decade has dealt with a similar bill in some fashion, according to Human Rights Campaign, but so far none has passed into law. In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a related and limited executive order prohibiting sexual orientation-based discrimination in some competitive services of the federal civilian workforce.

Obama announced the pending executive orders June 16. One prohibits discrimination by sexual orientation for federal contractors, and one protects federal employees from gender-identity discrimination, according to a transcript of a Pride Month celebration later that month.

Many of the federal contractors the first executive order targets are religious nonprofits such as World Vision, World Relief, and Catholic Charities. The executive order could pit the president's interest in antidiscrimination against religious organizations' rights to hire based on religious preference, which can include not hiring individuals in same-sex relationships.

At stake is a small but important move in one direction or another indicating how the government stacks sexual identity against religious rights, said David Skeel, professor of corporate law at the University of Pennsylvania.

"The Constitution places a very high emphasis on religion as an important value. The one value that's on the same level in the constitution at this point is racial equality," he said. "The question is: Are there other values that are comparable?"

Obama's language choice indicates which right—sexual identity or religious freedom—he holds more strongly, Skeel said.  ...
Rest of article
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.

Offline sinkspur

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Like the ADA, once everything shook out, fewer disabled people were hired because employers didnt want the hassle.

The same will hold true here.  Any indication of an interviewee in a same-sex marriage will result in that person not being hired.  That, or many of these charities will simply stop taking federal money, which will hurt charitable outreach.  Catholic Charities is the largest charity in the US and its influence is extensive.  The government, by itself, can't duplicate it.


It's far easier to dupe people than to convince them they have been duped.

Offline PzLdr

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Until it gets to the Supreme Court, that is...
Hillary's Self-announced Qualifications: She Stood Up To Putin...She Sits to Pee

Offline speekinout

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What next? Are employers going to have to keep track of all employees' sexual orientation so they can prove they're not discriminating? So much for "being in the closet", eh? And will there be quotas for each orientation? If someone's job is at risk for any reason, could they claim to be bisexual to avoid termination?
We won't know how the bureaucrats will enforce this order until we see it, and it could get to be somewhat "interesting".  :smokin:

Offline mountaineer

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The White House’s Continued Disregard for Religious Liberty
By Andrew Walker
July 21, 2014 3:36 PM
National Review
Whether it is stubbornness against the protests of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, or the errant adoption of such phrases as “freedom of worship” in place of “freedom of religion,” the White House seems determined to apportion out the exercise of religion according to how it sees fit.

Today, the White House went farther down this path, signing an executive order inserting the categories of gender identity to preexisting federal workforce discrimination laws, while also banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for employees of federal contractors.

According to the text, the order will have no broad religious exemption, despite calls for such from a broad coalition of religious leaders (no doubt a decision influenced by the protests of key gay-rights activist groups). Instead, it amends Executive Order 11246 protecting federal contractors’ employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It also adds gender identity as a protected category under Executive Order 11478, a federal workforce nondiscrimination order. President George W. Bush had previously amended executive order 11246 in 2002, giving federal contractors with religious affiliation the right to prioritize religion in the hiring process. The Bush amendment remains in place.

Of course, the executive order is not without its problems.

Today’s actions demonstrate the continued, cavalier disregard for religious liberty emanating from the Obama White House. Any talk of religious liberty coming from this administration continues to be mere lip service. Add this to the parade of horribles that already includes the coercive HHS mandate.

The full implications of the executive order aren’t entirely known. While the effects of the order could prove to be limited given the unknown number of religiously oriented federal contractors, activists who favored the executive order don’t care. While favoring more expansive LGBT workplace protections, activists are willing to accept incremental gains where they can get them.

The White House’s executive order is a tactical move to bring what will surely be further sweeping regulations, such as the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), into law. Today’s actions hasten the coming marginalization of institutions such as Gordon College, a Massachusetts college facing scrutiny after its president, Michael Lindsay, affixed his name to a letter with other religious leaders asking for broad exemption within the executive order.

What the executive order communicates is that the fundamentalism of the sexual revolution is no longer revolutionary but the status quo, and this seems to be the case with ever-increasing ascendency.

Religious groups — whether contractors, grant recipients, non-profits, educational institutions — have no desire to single out gay persons for discrimination. Most reasonable individuals stand firm in the belief that an individual’s sexual orientation matters little to nothing with respect to his job performance. Rather, what these groups desire to do is to conduct their vocations in a manner consistent with their beliefs.

The decision by the Obama administration to include the ambiguous, fluid categories of sexual orientation and gender identity into non-discrimination law for federal contractors produces a legal juggernaut. The executive order will likely threaten the long-term prospects of religiously oriented federal contractors to pursue their callings with integrity. By his actions, President Obama has tipped the scales more toward the expressive individualism of sexual liberty, over and against the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty. The sexual revolution marches on; and it doesn’t allow for dissenters.

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.

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