Will House Moderates Sell Out FADA?

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) speaks during a House GOP Leadership press conference (photo credit: House GOP via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

The ink on the First Amendment Defense Act is barely dry, and already some Republicans in the House are trying to subvert it, according to The New York Times:

At the same time, wary Republican moderates have quietly drafted a novel alternative that would actually expand legal protections for gay men and lesbians. Their legislation would narrow the scope of protection offered to groups declining services to same-sex couples seeking to marry.

The details are unclear, including how little would be left of FADA’s robust conscience protections, but Dent proposes basically passing ENDA and adding sexual orientation to the Fair Housing Act.

“This [FADA] opens up a can of worms, and Congress needs to show it can do two things at once: protect religious freedoms and provide legal protections for nondiscrimination,” said Charlie Dent (R-PA) who appears to have wiggled out of the closet as the leader of the fraidy faction.

At a closed door meeting, Dent shared with colleagues the lessons he learned from the Indiana debacle: Republicans cannot risk some bad publicity because of protests by big business leaders.  “I would really hate to see the Indiana nightmare turn into a national debacle,” he said.  Yes, if the entire Congress can be stampeded by a threats from a handful of corporate leaders.

Let’s be clear here: The courts have granted gay marriage.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just unlawfully rewrote the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add “sexual orientation” to the protected categories—without any new conscience exemptions.  Continue Reading

Obama’s EEOC Gives ENDA Without Religious Exemptions

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

On Friday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made a remarkably lawless decision: it unilaterally added “sexual orientation” the Civil Rights Act of 1964, something wholly unjustified by the text, by the history, or by the plain meaning of the statute, hijacking the civil rights movement in a profound new way.

Everyone knows the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not include sexual orientation.  Even the gay rights movement knows it, because they proposed adding employment discrimination by statute, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and even adding sexual orientation to the ’64 Act.

But why let words, or reality, or democracy, or the rule of law get in the way of the power to achieve your ends?  In the 3-2 party line vote, the majority of unelected regulators just made up that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is necessarily an allegation of sex discrimination” because (the three regulators assume) sexual orientation discrimination “is premised on sex-based preferences, assumptions, expectations, stereotypes or norms.”

For years, passage of ENDA was held up by the need for religious exemptions, and the Left has progressively withdrawn its support from conscience exceptions.

Now, unless Congress acts, every religious school, charity, and parachurch organization must hire openly gay people, or face potential backbreaking litigation.

Will Kennedy overturn this ruling?  Don’t count on it.  Will Congress pass a law against it, clarifying the Civil Rights Act of 1964 means what it says?  Don’t count on that either.   Continue Reading