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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, October 19, 2007

House Committee Rejects ENDA Amendments To Protect Religious Freedom

The House Committee on Labor and Education on Thursday passed sweeping legislation (H.R. 3685 ) that is nothing more than an aggressive attack on people of faith and faith-based institutions. After rejecting four amendments offered by Republicans, that would have protected the religious freedom of faith-based groups and individuals, EDNA was voted out committee. Democrats opposed every amendment and were joined by 3 liberal Republicans. TAKE ACTION: Contact your U.S. Representative by phone (202-224-3121) or through CapWiz and ask them to vote NO on any version of ENDA that may reach the floor.

Background Info: This Congress is incredibly hostile towards Christians and the attitude of all too many Democrats is that religious organizations do not have a right to discriminate against a person based on religious beliefs. H.R. 3685 expected to go to the full House next Thursday (October 25). A gender identity amendment will be offered to ENDA by the pro-homosexual / transgender legislators. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is committed to this.

Three of these amendments were offered by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) and one by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI). Republican Ranking Member Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) presented an opening statement, spelling out the problems with the bill and why he opposed the passage of ENDA.
In his opening statement, Rep. McKeon said: “What about the ambiguous language that remains in the bill before us? Under the bill, we would legislate a prohibition against employment discrimination based upon a person’s ‘perceived’ sexual orientation. This vague term is not defined anywhere in this bill. It increases employee liability and will needlessly require litigation on the meaning of this term and how it applies to the work place.”
- The first amendment proposed by Rep. Souder was to strike the word “perceived” from the legislation because it is not defined and will lead to endless litigation for faith-based groups who may be sued by homosexuals. Amendment failed 30-18.-
- The second amendment would have permitted marriage to be a valid employment criteria. Souder pointed out, for example, that Christian group homes often hire married couples to take care of troubled children. ENDA would not recognize marriage as a criteria. Amendment failed 30-18.
- The third amendment was designed to protect people of faith from retaliation in the work place if they object to pro-homosexual sensitivity training or are forced to sign “anti-discrimination” policies that protect homosexual behaviors. Amendment failed 29-19.
- The fourth amendment offered by Rep. Hoekstra was designed to expand the definition of what constitutes a religious organization so that faith-based groups not associated with a denomination would also be exempted from ENDA. Amendment failed 27-21.

Rep. Hoekstra stated that ENDA is a direct attack on people of faith and religious institutions. “This bill is an aggressive attack on people of faith and faith-based institutions in this country. Not every faith but certain faiths. And, we better think long and hard about the impact that we’re going to have on one of the pillars of what has made America a special place—religious freedom.” Rep. Timothy Walberg (R-MI) pointed out that ENDA “… would cause significant problems to religious bookstores … to the Boy Scouts, religious day care centers, and religious summer camps that have clearly defined missions.” During the debate, several liberals on the committee said that the religious exemption language in ENDA was the same as that of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Liberal Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), for example, stated in the hearing that the religious exemption section in ENDA is actually broader than under Title VII. According to Scott, there is no legal rationale for the broad exemption. However, Rep. Hoekstra corrected this misinformation. He pointed out that only a short section of the religious exemption was included in ENDA – not the broader religious protections provided in Title VII.

Within minutes after the fourth amendment was defeated, the liberal-dominated committee voted 27-21 to sent ENDA to the House floor for a full vote. The floor vote is expected to take place next week. All the Democrats and four liberal Republicans (Castle-DE, Biggert-IL, Platts-PA and Kuhl-NY) voted for the anti-Christian, homosexual / transgender ENDA. H.R. 3685 is a bad bill that can’t be fixed. The defeat of these amendments shows just how radical this Congress has become. They refused to pass any amendment to protect religious groups or religious individuals. In addition, the broad definition of sexual orientation in this bill, includes anyone who has one of the 30 sexual orientations listed by the American Psychiatric Association.
30 Sexual Orientations DSM.

Tags: EDNA, amendment rejected, religious freedom, US House To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:10 PM - Post Link


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