In anticipation of the passing of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation, the Religious Right and other Conservative groups have begun the fight against the initiative. In mailings recently sent out by Family Research Counsel, the group has claimed that it is a liberal initiative designed to strip Christians of their rights, and force them to hire transgendered individuals, transvestites and homosexuals.
Such hysteria is not surprising, but rather ridiculous given the scope of the EDNA. Their post found here tries to whip followers in line, saying the law will force a Christian Bookstore to hire a transvestite, and that their religious schools will have to hire homosexual teachers, none of which are true. The post goes on to state that “Washington liberals virtually unlimited power to force every business with more than 15 employees to embrace immoral sexual behavior as normal and worthy of celebration”. Well, at least we know where they stand.
However, this information is false, and fairly damaging towards bringing greater protections to all workers in America. The EDNA, without such insane exageration, is meant to:
* Extends federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity * Prohibits public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation * Provides for the same procedures, and similar, but somewhat more limited, remedies as are permitted under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act * Applies to Congress and the federal government, as well as employees of state and local governments
The hysteria over this bill, while not surprising, is quite sad. We here at the Harman Firm look forward to its eventual passage, and will support the effort to strengthen the rights of workers.