ENDA Letter

 
 

 

Leaders Opposing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: S.815

 
November 4, 2013

The Honorable [NAME]
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 
Re: Opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

 
Dear Senator [LAST NAME],
 

We the undersigned organizations, represent millions of Americans and families deeply worried about the coming vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Disguised under the banner of “equality,” ENDA seeks to create special privileges for a few individuals based on their self-described sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The legislation elevates these preferences above our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, like the freedom of speech, religion and association. It also ignores the practical implications of the theoretical concepts explored in the legislation as they relate to families and especially for women and children.

 

ENDA seeks to prohibit any organization of 15 employees or more from “discriminat[ing] against any individual … because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.” The act defines sexual orientation as “homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality,” and gender identity as “the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.” That would include transgender individuals.

 

Such broad, subjective language opens the door to many sensitive issues of concern to families, especially as they relate to women and children. It is unacceptable for the government to prohibit employers from taking into account the safety of women and children in situations concerning their privacy. The effects of ENDA regarding shared facilities puts women in a dangerous situation because it forces employers to allow a biological man to use shared facilities with biological women.

 

In schools, ENDA will eliminate a child’s privacy rights in shared facilities, which traditionally are restricted on the basis of one’s sex at birth. It is inappropriate to expose young children to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Our laws should respect parental rights and leave these pivotal questions for parents to answer, not public school teachers.

 

It is telling that previous versions of ENDA sought to remedy some of these troublesome areas, perhaps its supporters are finally ready to admit that there is no real way to “fix” this legislation. Employers with moral or religious convictions would be subjected to discrimination, even an “exemption” for religious groups is not sufficient. The need for an exemption alone recognizes the real danger ENDA represents. If businesses which are religious are exempted, ENDA would require them to prove that they are religious “enough” for the exemption, thus setting up a religious litmus test. Those seeking to “fix” religious concerns fail to see that they are effectively abandoning religious businesses or business owners. If passed, ENDA would leave religious persons at the mercies of activist lawyers, many of whom are waiting for the chance to use this weapon called ENDA to bring suit against those with deeply-held beliefs. Winning or losing those suits would be irrelevant, the prospects of years of expensive litigation for many small businesses means they violate their conscience and or/ religious beliefs or close their doors.

 

Furthermore, America has had a historically strong job market because of our ability to hire and fire “at will.” Introducing more government dictates will only bar employers from hiring as they believe is best for their company. Ratcheting up federal government interference in the free market leaves no escape for individuals, schools, non-profits, church affiliated-businesses, or private business owners to retain many freedoms that are the building blocks of this country.

 

ENDA (S.815) should be strongly opposed by anyone who believes in freedom of speech, freedom of association, and a free market economy. We urge you to uphold our America values by opposing this legislation.

 
Respectfully,
 
 

Penny Nance
Chief Executive Officer & President
Concerned Women for America
Legislative Action Committee
Mathew Staver
Chairman
Liberty Counsel Action
Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Senior Fellow
The Beverly LaHaye Institute
Concerned Women for America
Legislative Action Committee
Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
David Christensen
Family Research Council
VP for Government Affairs
Buddy Smith
Executive Vice President
American Family Association
Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage
Tim Chapman
Chief Operating Officer
Heritage Action for America
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Dr. Keith Wiebe
President
American Association of Christian Schools
Gary A. Marx
Executive Director
Faith & Freedom Coalition
Phyllis Schalfy
Founder & President
Eagle Forum
Diane Gramley
President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Janet Porter
President
Faith2Action
Matt Barber
Vice President
Liberty Counsel Action
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President
NHCLC
Hispanic Evangelical Association
Phil Burress
President
Citizens for Community Values Action
Ralph Reed
Chairman
Faith & Freedom Coalition
Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring
Kay R. Daly
President
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
Michael O’Dea
Founder and Director
Christus Medicus Foundation

 



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