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Employment discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation and gender identity

2009 to now:
Part 1: Background. Basic beliefs by individuals
and groups supporting and opposing ENDA.

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Background:

ENDA bills were introduced to the House on 2009-JUN-24, and to the Senate on 2009-AUG-07. They have been periodically reintroduced.

Both are referred to as "inclusive" bills because they prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity as well as sexual orientation.

Thus, the bills would cover every American in two ways -- prohibiting discrimination both:

  • On the basis of their sexual orientation, whether they are heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual, and

  • On the basis of their gender identity, whether they be cis-gendered or transgender. The vast majority of adults are cis-gendered; their perceived gender and genetic genders match. A minority is transgender: their perceived and genetic genders do not match. Sometime the latter describe themselves as having a female mind in a male body, or vice-versa.

Foundational beliefs:

The basic beliefs among individuals and groups supporting and opposing ENDA differ greatly:

Support for ENDA comes primarily from LGBT-positive groups, civil rights groups, liberal faith groups, and their members. Most believe that:

  1. Sexual orientation and gender identity are fixed (or essentially fixed) and almost always beyond the control of the individual.

  2. Everyone knows at the very depths of their being what their gender is. However, transgender persons and transsexuals experience a conflict between the gender that they know they are and the gender with which they were identified at birth.

  3. A transgender person or transsexual should be identified as being of the gender that they know they are. So a person identified as a male at birth who has transitioned to a woman, who looks like a woman, and acts like a woman, is referred to as a woman.

  4. Discrimination against persons with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity is a major evil.

  5. In the case of a conflict between an employer's religious freedom to discriminate and an employees' rights to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against, the employee should win, and retain their job securely.

Opposition to ENDA comes primarily from conservative religious groups. Most believe that:

  1. Sexual orientation and gender identity are chosen and changeable.

  2. Transgender individuals and transsexuals have an intense hatred of their genetic sex.

  3. A transgender person or transsexual should be identified as being of the gender with which they were identified at birth. So a person identified as male at birth who has transitioned to a woman, who looks like a woman, and acts like a woman is referred to as a man.

  4. A minority sexual orientation or gender identity is, by themselves, a major evil.

  5. In the case of a conflict between an employer's religious freedom to discriminate and an employees' rights to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against, the employer should win. She or he should be free to fire any employee who acts in what they consider to be an immoral way when away from work. Religious freedom includes the freedom to discriminate against others.

  6. Transgender persons and transsexuals are simply confused about what their gender really is.

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A typical example of a supporting group: Human Rights Campaign (HRC):

President Joe Solmonese, of HRC, a LGBT-positive group, said:

"The introduction of an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill in the U.S. Senate is an important and historic step in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. No American, and that includes LGBT Americans, should have to worry about their livelihood being taken away from them simply for being who they are.   The overwhelming majority of the American people are in favor of this legislation and now is the time for our community to visit their representatives in Congress to let them know we need this passed into law."

Meghan Stabler, a HRC Business Council member said:

"Today is a historic day; the first time that an Inclusive ENDA (covering Sexual Orientation AND Gender Identity) has been introduced into the Senate chamber. I know that all of us in the Transgender community applaud the Senate sponsors for taking the lead to provide workplace discrimination protections for all. However, this is only the first step and now we must continue our focus on education and telling of our personal stories to every legislator in the hopes of passing this bill to move it to the President's desk for signature." 1

Typical examples of opposing groups:

  • OneNewsNow is a fundamentalist Christian news source. Robert Knight wrote an article on ENDA, He:

    • Described the ENDA bill as the "gay quota bill," even though no quota system is covered by the bill.

    • Describes an ideal political system as a theocracy -- one integrating religion and state -- rather than separating church and state."

    • Describes feelings of sexual attraction, which normally define the three sexual orientations, as changeable -- like religion which is another protected class.

    • Described homophobia and transphobia -- discrimination against persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity -- as traditional Christian values.

    • Described sexual behavior by sexual minorities to be intrinsically sinful, no matter what the nature of their relationships might be.

He wrote:

"ENDA is profoundly dangerous. It turns private sin into a public right and brings the force of government against morality itself. Any such law is a violation of our unalienable rights as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. To put it more simply, a statute that directly contradicts [the Judeo-Christian] God's moral law is illegitimate. Laws embody and reflect morality, or they are not laws. They are tyranny. That's why so-called same-sex "marriage" laws are absurd and treacherous. Forcing citizens to accept a counterfeit as the real thing is an act of despotism."
 
"ENDA adds not only 'sexual orientation' but 'gender identity' to federal workplace anti-discrimination law. Thus, it takes an ax to the idea that sexual behavior has a natural normalcy or any relation to morality. It falsely equates a changeable condition (sexual desire) with race and ethnicity. Worse, it turns traditional values into a form of bigotry punishable under the law. ..."
 
"The Left has long been at war against sexual morals for good reason. People conditioned to think as short-term opportunists instead of as members of the family tree are easy to manipulate. Just give them the false promise of a painless future free from individual responsibility." 2

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Michael Cole, "Inclusive ENDA introduced in Senate for first time," Human Rights Campaign, 2009-AUG-05, at: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/
  2. Robert Knight, "The undeclared war to ENDA our liberty," One News Now, 2009-AUG-13, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/


Site navigation:

Home > "Hot" conflicts > Homosexuality > Employment > here

Copyright © 2009 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
First posted: 2009-AUG-07
Latest update: 2013-OCT-31
Author: B.A. Robinson

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