Thursday, July 10, 2014

Obama Wedged by Religious Homosexualists on ENDA

Homosexualists cheered when the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) last year, which included only a narrow religious exemption. However, just months later, now with far greater power than they anticipated, homosexualists want that ENDA bill killed in favor of new legislation that specifically targets Christians' free speech and religious conscience.

Meanwhile, since the GOP-controlled House has never supported ENDA in any form, President Obama announced last month that he'd enact ENDA without Congress, but he's yet to do so because his pro-homosexual allies of the religious left are pleading that Obama's ENDA executive order include "strong religious exemptions," thus placing the president in between his big-money homosexualist advocates and his religious left homosexualist advocates.

However, in the latest development, there's now a rift in the homosexualist religious left exhibited by the issuance of a letter to the president from some extreme-left religious types urging Obama to force sexual deviancy on every church, synagogue, mosque, etc. with a vengeance.

UPDATE 7/22/14: Obama Orders ENDA Unilaterally, with NO Religious Exemption - - Court Challenges Loom

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

President Obama and Senate Continue to Push Transgender Privilege - ENDA

Houston Lesbian Mayor Agenda vs. Religious Liberty -- ENDA one town at a time

Homosexual 'Marriage' is Not Enough; Next Gay Agenda Goal

President Obama Ignores Law for Religious Freedom Ambassador

ObamaNation: Building Alters of Worship to Sexual Deviancy

Vice President Biden Says 'Gay Rights' Trump Religious Beliefs

Also read Liberals Furious over Supreme Court Rulings Favoring Religious Liberty

In addition, read Gay Agenda will be Complete when Christians are Muzzled, Say Homosexualists as well as Senator Ted Cruz Says the Gay Agenda Ends Christian Liberty

-- From "Rift Over Religious Exemption in Anti-Bias Order" by The Associated Press 7/9/14

[It] is a difficult balancing act for the White House, which says the executive order is still being drafted — nearly a month after Obama announced he would sign it. White House spokesman Josh Earnest declined to say whether a religious exemption would be included or was even being considered.

Within the past two weeks, scores of religious leaders of contrasting views have signed letters to Obama, arguing for and against an exemption.

One letter, signed by 14 faith leaders urging a "robust" exemption, was organized by Michael Wear, a Washington-based consultant who previously worked on Obama's re-election campaign and in the White House office of faith-based initiatives.

He said the exemption sought by the 14 signatories of his letter would not establish new prerogatives for religious organizations, but would enable them to continue long-standing hiring practices favoring people who share the employers' faith. Among those signing were popular evangelical preacher Rick Warren, prominent megachurch pastor and Obama confidant Joel Hunter, and the Rev. Larry Snyder, CEO of Catholic Charities USA.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Hobby Lobby Is Already Creating New Religious Demands on Obama" by Molly Ball, The Atlantic 7/2/14

[The letter] comes from a group of faith leaders who are generally friendly to the administration, many of whom have closely advised the White House on issues like immigration reform. The letter was organized by Michael Wear, who worked in the Obama White House and directed faith outreach for the president's 2012 campaign. Signers include two members of Catholics for Obama and three former members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Balancing religious freedom with other concerns, be they gay rights or health-care mandates, is difficult, said Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University and a signatory to the letter. The faith community simply wants to make sure its side is heard and respected as the administration tries to thread this delicate needle.

"It would be nice if we had just a little bit more leverage," said Schneck, a onetime cochair of Catholics for Obama. "I am a very strong supporter of LGBT rights, and I am really excited about the prospect of extending provisions against discrimination in federal contracts. But I am also aware that this is an issue that provokes real differences among some of the most important religious organization on the front lines of providing care for the poorest and most vulnerable." Those groups, he said, need to be allowed to work with the government while following the dictates of their faith.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Faith Groups Seek Exclusion From Bias Rule" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Erik Eckholm, New York Times 7/8/14

Mr. Wear, who calls himself an “ardent supporter” of the president and a backer of gay rights, said in an interview on Tuesday that the rationale of the organizations was to maintain the rights they have. “We’re not trying to support crazy claims of religious privilege,” he said.

The demands of the faith organizations pose a dilemma for Mr. Obama, who has struggled to preserve freedom of expression among religious groups while supporting the rights of gay men and lesbians. Mr. Obama could unleash a conservative uproar if he is seen as intruding on religious beliefs, but many of his strongest supporters would be bitterly disappointed if he appeared to grant any leeway to anti-gay discrimination.

The White House has given no reason for the executive order’s delay.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay rights groups halt support for ENDA workplace discrimination bill" by Timothy M. Phelps, Los Angeles Times 7/8/14

Led by the American Civil Liberties Union, the groups said they could no longer support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, which passed the Senate last fall.

The move, which has split gay rights groups, reflects the impact of last week's [Hobby Lobby] Supreme Court decision granting employers a religious exemption from providing workers with insurance coverage that includes contraceptives. Also at issue is the scope of an executive order that President Obama has promised that would ban discrimination against gays by companies doing business with the federal government.

The religious exemption in the proposed anti-discrimination law was added last year in a successful effort to attract some Republican support in the Senate, which passed the bill, 64 to 32. But some activist groups had been uncomfortable with the breadth of the exemption, and the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision heightened concern over how it could be interpreted.

"ENDA's discriminatory provision, unprecedented in federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, could provide religiously affiliated organizations — including hospitals, nursing homes and universities — a blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people," the ACLU and four other national gay rights legal groups said in a statement announcing their position. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced separately that it was withdrawing its support.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay Rights Groups Withdraw Support for ENDA Over Religious Exemption" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 7/9/14

Ironically, critics of ENDA have argued that the religious exemption provision does not do enough to protect religious organizations who may hold moral objections to homosexuality or transgenderism.

David Christensen, vice president for Government Affairs at the Washington, DC-based Family Research Council, told The Christian Post about his views on the ENDA exemption.

"The religious organization exemption in the Senate ENDA bill is very narrow to begin with. So it is incredible that some would drop support for even the narrow religious freedom protections under ENDA," said Christensen.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay Rights Groups Pull Support For ENDA Over Sweeping Religious Exemption" by Jennifer Bendery and Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post 7/9/14

Civil rights groups have long trumpeted their support for ENDA, which would make it illegal to fire or harass someone at work based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. But some have privately had concerns with an exemption in the current Senate bill that would allow businesses with religious affiliations to fire someone for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That language goes far beyond religious exemptions afforded under The Civil Rights Act of 1964 for characteristics like race, gender, religion or national origin.

The shift is a huge blow for the legislation, which passed the Senate last year, but has stalled in the House. But there were signs of discontent before the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center, along with a few state LGBT groups, dropped support for the Senate version of ENDA early last month.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), sponsor of the Senate ENDA bill, demurred Tuesday when asked if it’s time to revisit the religious exemption in his legislation. He redirected attention to Obama’s forthcoming executive order on federal contractors. The order wouldn’t go as far as ENDA, but is still a top priority among civil rights groups.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "U.S. Bishops Wary of White House’s Promised ENDA Executive Order" by Brian Fraga, National Catholic Register 7/10/14

. . . Robert Destro, a law professor and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, told the Register that he does not expect the Obama administration, given its track record on advocating for same-sex “marriage” and homosexual-friendly policies, will be influenced by the Hobby Lobby ruling to accommodate religious liberty concerns in the executive order.

“The big problem across the board is that people who are hostile to the way Church sees things are running the show,” said Destro, who added that he expects the executive order will prompt a new wave of litigation.

“You really have a war between world views,” said Destro, who speculates that the next wave of “non-discrimination” legislation could even include attempts to get rid of marriage altogether because it supposedly discriminates against single people.

The bishops previously warned that ENDA threatened religious liberty and could undermine the institution of marriage. A letter sent last fall to the U.S. Senate — signed by three USCCB committee chairmen — said ENDA made no distinction between sexual conduct and sexual inclination, contained an inadequately narrow religious exemption and did not allow employers, in appropriate circumstances, to consider a job applicant’s sexual inclination.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From letter to President by homosexualist Rev. Jim Wallis 7/2/14

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing this private letter with regards to the Executive Order on discrimination against LGBT persons in federal contracts. We have questions about how this order will be worded, shaped, rolled out, and practiced in relationship to the faith community. In particular, we have concerns over the religious exemptions question which has become so understandably controversial.

We are in favor of non-discrimination protection of LGBT people—not only in federal contracts but throughout society. Many of us have endorsed the ENDA bill in the Senate. We have supported equal protection under the law for LGBT people and some of us support same-sex civil marriage as a part of that commitment to equal protection. So we share many of your goals.

Yet we also have a strong commitment to religious liberty and believe that the issues of equal protection and religious freedom must be very carefully balanced. . . .

Your allies in the progressive faith community also have strong convictions on religious liberty. We have had many experiences with governments around the world intruding upon the beliefs and practices of our global faith communities . . . [thus] we are still resistant to federal intrusion into the beliefs and practices of faith communities as a requirement of partnership; it is a creative tension we live with.

If religious exemptions are removed, withdrawn, or seriously cut back from those in place, like in ENDA, the perception will be that your administration is attacking religious freedom and liberty.

. . . it is imperative that the government is not perceived as stepping outside of its proper role and inappropriately influencing these theological conversations. Just as freedom of speech is only meaningful if it protects all viewpoints, ensuring religious liberty must be respected for churches and faith-based organizations who believe that heterosexual marriage is the biblical norm. And the state should not require faith-based organizations to violate those beliefs in order to receive government contracts or grants.

To read the entire letter above, CLICK HERE.

From letter to President by a list of far-left religious homosexualists 7/8/14

Dear Mr. President,

As faith and civic leaders dedicated to affirming the sacred dignity and equal worth of every person, we are grateful for your upcoming executive order ending discrimination against LGBT people in hiring by federal contractors. We urge you not to include a religious exemption in the executive order.

In a nation as diverse as the United States of America, it is critical that the federal government be trusted to follow — and indeed, to role-model — equitable employment practices. We believe that our mutual commitment to the common good is best served by policies that prohibit discrimination based on factors that have no relationship whatsoever to job performance. We are better and stronger as a nation when hiring decisions are made based on professional merit rather than personal identity.

An executive order that allows for religious discrimination against LGBT people contradicts the order’s fundamental purpose, as well as the belief shared by more and more Americans every day, which is that LGBT people should not be treated as second-class citizens. An exception would set a terrible precedent by denying true equality for LGBT people, while simultaneously opening a Pandora’s Box inviting other forms of discrimination.

To read the entire letter above, CLICK HERE.

And read American Decline: Obama's Gay Agenda vs. Christians as well as America Going to Hell; Christians Lose Convictions