02 Jun Is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act the end of discrimination or just the beginning?
Earlier this year the concerns over religious freedom for citizens around the world was renewed when London street-preacher Dale McAlpine was arrested in his hometown after he mentioned that homosexuality is a sin in the Bible. While homosexuality was not the focus of his sermon, he did not shy away from speaking on the issue when a passerby inquired. McAlpine was then approached by a homosexual community support officer who took him to a police station and detained him in a cell for hours after charging him with causing “harassment, alarm, or distress.” Through this incident the government sent a message to the citizens of the United Kingdom that their freedoms of speech and conscious are less important than homosexual rights. Unfortunately this trend is a growing one.
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religious and Public Life, 64 nations, or about one-third of the countries in the world, have “high or very high restrictions on religion.” But, because many of the most restrictive countries are also the most populous, nearly seventy percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people are living under high restrictions on religion. Europe, and the majority of the Western world, has been thought of as the heart of religious freedom of expression. This legacy of freedom to worship is being lost as western governments, influenced by special interest groups, work to implement legislation that would destroy religious rights. It would subject the world’s population to harsh, anti-religious government policies. It would also increase social hostilities as such policies are imposed upon a large majority of the world as shown in the chart below.
The U.S. Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a blanket policy initiative which claims to be a solution to discrimination. In reality, it creates more forms of discrimination. It will destroy marriage-based distinctions and force business owners to abandon their morals through threat of federal government sanctions. ENDA would add sexual orientation to the list of individual characteristics that employers would be barred from discriminating against. The bill would grant specific rights to homosexuals while trampling over the rights of employers and fellow employees. Through the passage of this legislation, those who disagree with homosexuality for any reason are at the mercy of the federal government and its court system.
While proponents of the act claim that there are provisions that would protect churches through a “religious exemption,” this exemption is weak. There are many who question whether the exemption could stand against a court challenge. There are no protections for church related entities or businesses. There are also no protections for individual church members actively following their own religious tenets. Schools which have concerns about hiring homosexual or transgendered individuals are not protected by any exemption.
Under this bill, the government will order businesses, including religious ones, to jettison their religious beliefs and hire gays and lesbians. Essentially, Congress would be establishing a caste system, where the ‘rights’ of homosexuals trump the First Freedoms of anyone else. At the very least, it could force some people out of business. At its worst, it will force into silence every American who disagrees with homosexual behavior.
If U.S. citizens want to understand the seriousness of this threat and the innate conflict between religious freedoms and homosexual advocacy, one need look no further than the current U.S. administration’s appointment of Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Feldblum is the primary author of ENDA and an outspoken advocate for prioritizing homosexual rights over all other rights. In fact, Feldblum has said that she was, “having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win [when in conflict with homosexual rights].” In her paper, “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion,” Feldblum states that “As a general matter, once a religious person or institution enters the stream of commerce by operating an enterprise such as a doctor’s office, hospital, bookstore, hotel, treatment center and so on, I believe the enterprise must adhere to a norm of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” And this is the exact opinion that President Obama and his administration are now attempting to force upon the entire United States through the passage of ENDA.
Even further than threatening the fundamental right to religious freedom, ENDA is also the first natural step to creating a legal basis for imposing a right to same-sex marriage. Through implementing anti-discrimination laws which offer protections to homosexuals as a legally protected group, the next natural step in the homosexual agenda is to force the courts to use the principle within those laws as the basis for establishing a legal right to same-sex marriage.
While ENDA is an issue of great concern to Americans, this issue is not unique to the United States. The conflicts between the homosexual agenda and rights of conscience and religious freedom have been growing in frequency across the world. The right of association and freedom of expression are being threatened. United Families International is working tirelessly to fight against the homosexual agenda at the United Nations and across the world. But we need your help.
What can you do?
– Individuals with homosexual inclinations must be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, but homosexual behavior should not be accepted and normalized
– Actively work against legislation such as ENDA that uses “sexual orientation” to create a protected class
– A U.S. House Committee may be considering ENDA the first week of June. If you are an American citizen, Contact your representative and express your concerns
ENDA is a serious threat to parents, children, family businesses, and churches. It is part and parcel of the attempt by homosexual pressure groups to make incremental gains in changing society and law.
This issue is not new. UFI has warned of similar issues in France, Brazil, Kosovo, and other countries around the world. Those who strive to preserve liberties as declared in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
This freedom is not secured by standing still. Freedom maintained by recognizing the threats, and choosing to engage in the debate. United Families International has been involved on your behalf for over 30 years. We urge you to join us today in a renewed commitment to preserve these liberties. Make a contribution so that we can continue standing for what we all believe in.