An “overwhelming majority” of Americans support federal legislation protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination, new data from Republican pollster Alex Lundry finds – including a majority (56%) of Republican voters. In fact, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is so in keeping with basic American values that eight in ten people think that it is already on the books, according to the poll.
An innovative statistical modeling method…allows us to estimate support for ENDA in all 50 states by combining data from our national survey with state level census data. The result? We estimate that across all 50 states a majority of voters support passing federal nondiscrimination protections.
Politico’s Maggie Haberman writes that the new data comes as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seeks more Republican support for the bill and as advocates urge Congress to move it forward this fall.
As we have noted in the past, passing ENDA is simply common sense. Employees should be evaluated on how well they do their job, not on who they are or who they love. And as poll numbers increasing show, Americans from all parts of the country of all political stripes agree.
After urging Christian photographers to add the line “worthy of death” to photos they take of same-sex weddings, Dr. “Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt emailed members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project today warning that Christians may face unemployment and starvation if the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) passes.
Klingenschmitt, who has previously called ENDA a demonically-inspired bill, said that a New Mexico case where a photography business violated a non-discrimination law is proof that ENDA will compel Christian businessmen “to disobey God.”
“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,” Klingenschmitt writes. “I pray that I would choose bankruptcy, starvation, even death, before disobedience to God.”
He lamented that the Supreme Court’s “decision to homosexual marriage” has made conservative members of Congress feel “discouraged” in the face of Democrats who are “pushing radical change faster than we can oppose it.”
Christians MUST participate in Gay "Weddings" rules State Supreme Court
Two Christian photographers have no religious rights and must participate in homosexual "wedding" ceremonies or face big fines, penalties, and bankruptcy, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled.
The unanimous verdict was written by one justice who wrote the photographers were "compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives," reports Fox News.
Compelled to disobey God? By whom? Who has more authority than God?
If ENDA becomes law, Christians will be bankrupted in all 50 states, ordered to choose between obedience to God (refusing to participate in sin) and remaining in business. The First Amendment guarantees our freedom from such burden. The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death. I pray that I would choose bankruptcy, starvation, even death, before disobedience to God.
Friends, I cannot believe Republicans are allowing this. Our good conservative friends in Congress are so discouraged on Capitol Hill, especially after the bad Supreme Court decision to homosexualize ‘marriage,’ and Democrats are pushing radical change faster than we can oppose it.
Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver, who last year warned that Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will lead to the “death of some individuals,” in a Freedom’s Call radio alert said that the bill is a “farce” that will “harm women and children.” How? Because employers “will be forced to hire cross-dressers,” whom Staver believes will go on to molest and assault kids.
The right-wing freak out over ENDA continues to build after the Senate HELP committee approved the anti-discrimination legislation with bipartisan support. Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to stoke fears about the bill, arguing that it is an effort to legislate morality, but it’s not our morality, it’s not Christian morality, it’s the immorality of those who accept homosexual conduct.” Sprigg, who infamously called for gays and lesbians to be exported from the US, said ENDA represents a “direct assault on moral values.”
A new fundraising pitch from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins comes in a black envelope with a photo of a door cracking to allow light into the darkness and the message, “URGENT: God has opened a door to STOP America’s decline.” The letter inside, dated July 1, portrays the “scandals” surrounding the Obama administration – including the discredited IRS and Benghazi “scandals” hyped by right-wing media and GOP members of Congress – as an act of God:
The opportunity we have prayed for may be here . . . if we seize it.
As I witness the astounding scandals exploding within President Barack Obama’s administration, I believe Almighty God—who founded America and saved us through trials before—may be giving the American people an opportunity to stop today’s tyranny.
I believe He may be giving us an open door to turn back the plans of today’s arrogant big government: a secularist, anti-faith tyranny that is trying to snuff out religious freedom and biblical influence in the United States.
The letter calls for abolishing the IRS and opposing the enforcement of “ObamaCare,” and urges donations to help FRC:
Work with Congress and government officials to stop “hidden scandals” such as the Obama administration’s attempt to drive Christian values and religious freedom out of the military . . . impose the principles of the Employment non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which attack Christians in the workplace who refuse to affirm immoral sexuality . . . and more.
Perkins’ letter hypes the now-disproven claims that the IRS was waging jihad against conservatives:
We now know that the IRS was selectively auditing—harassing a growing number of ministries, conservative groups, Tea Party groups, and others who opposed President Obama.
The IRS threatened to remove the tax-exempt status of these citizens! These attacks by the IRS threatened to financially cripple them, costing them untold sums of money just to defend themselves against the IRS agents. The common link: ministries and organizations targeted for audits had stood against President Obama’s secularist, antireligious freedom agenda.
Actually, what we know is quite the opposite. The IRS “scandal” has evaporated as more evidence has some to light. Even some Republican officials have admitted as much. According to the New York Times, “Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said that in retrospect, suggestions that Mr. Obama had orchestrated an I.R.S. attack on his political enemies were unwarranted.”
In addition, Perkins’ letter says a State Department “cover-up” in connection with the assassination of American officials in Benghazi, Libya “might have saved the election for President Obama. Yet it might render him paralyzed in his second term.”
Perkins says that FRC intends to “turn the tide of the past five years.”
The scandals will help show Americans why the Bible is right when it cautions against big government. Because of sin, power corrupts, and concentrated power corrupts completely. Bit government will always see God as a rival and try to replace Him, attacking God’s people and Biblical values and principles.”
Actually, as journalist Jonathan Chait wrote in New York magazine in late June, “the entire scandal narrative was an illusion.” It lives on, of course, in the world of far-right activists and conspiracy theorists like Tony Perkins.
With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act scheduled for a Senate committee vote this week, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA. Because ENDA is common-sense civil rights legislation that would expand federal employment protections against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits. Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death.
Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s reporting on right-wing opposition to ENDA:
5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)
“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”
“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”
Read the full article here.
4. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)
Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.
Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom. “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”
Read the full article here.
3. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)
Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”
Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.” She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.
Read the full article here.
2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”
Read the full article here.
1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)
Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:
Staver: So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.
Read the full article here.
Our society is one which remains afflicted by institutionalized discrimination. Although most Americans believe protections already exist, it is still perfectly legal to fire someone for being lesbian, gay, or bisexual in 29 states, and for being transgender in 34.
Indeed, a new report released Tuesday by the Movement Advancement Project, the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, and others provides a comprehensive synthesis of the wealth of evidence documenting the inequalities faced by LGBT workers. Titled “A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers,” the report presents extensive documentation of bias in the recruitment process, of hostile work environments, of persistent wage disparities as compared to non-LGBT employees, and of dramatically reduced access to health insurance, family and medical leave, retirement benefits, and disability and survivor benefits – despite paying higher taxes due to the inability of LGBT households to file jointly.
The impact on families is devastating. According to the report, inequality when looking for jobs, inequality on the job, and inequality in benefits received from jobs combine to make LGBT parents twice as likely to live near the poverty line when compared to non-LGBT counterparts.
Left to right, seated at panel: Bill Hendrix, Nicole G. Berner, Dorian Warren,Sam Hall, Mia Macy, T.J. Maloney. Photo of release event at Center for American Progress.
While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently found that existing Title VII law covers gender identity, courts are not required to give any deference to its legal interpretations, so legislation is required. Such a bill to guarantee much-needed federal employment protections for LGBT people was recently introduced in the 113th Congress. Known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the bill has been introduced in nearly every Congressional session since 1994, and the fight for basic workplace equality continues to the present day.
Further, corporate America knows that ENDA is good for business. As Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said Tuesday morning at the release event for the report,
“When we asked employers about this, many of them said, ‘well, isn’t it already illegal’? … In our Fortune 500 companies, over 400 have policies addressing LGBT discrimination, and well over half have addressed gender identity. In the 21 state laboratories in which this has been implemented, there has been no concern over [costs to business caused by] additional lawsuits … they are a small percentage of all lawsuits to do with gender, religion, and race. This is a non-issue.”
Passing ENDA, then, would not only help alleviate discrimination faced by LGBT workers, but would also help businesses attract the best qualified employees possible. As Bill Hendrix from Dow Chemical said at the event,
“It’s hard enough already to find good people to fill jobs. Why would you begin by excluding parts of the population?”
On the most recent episode of his "Pray In Jesus' Name" show, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt expanded on his warning that passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would be "the end of the world for Christian employers" by declaring that ENDA would require them to hire people who practice bestiality.
Claiming that since the legislation does not explicitly define what it covered by its language banning employment discrimination based on "perceived sexual orientation," then bestiality must be covered, Klingenschmitt warned that "the government is promoting a law that contradicts God's highest law" and that there is a "demonic spirit inside of [Sen.] Jeff Merkley" who is co-sponsoring the legislation:
Today, for the fourteenth time, Exxon Mobil shareholders voted down a resolution supporting an LGBT-inclusive equal employment opportunity statement. With 94% of the largest companies in America already prohibiting sexual orientation-based discrimination and 78% prohibiting gender identity-based discrimination, Exxon Mobil is way behind. Exxon has even gone out of its way to avoid implementing this type of policy. Though Mobil Oil had non-discrimination policies in place protecting workers on the basis of sexual orientation, Exxon rescinded them over a decade ago when they bought the company.
Exxon Mobil’s refusal to change their outdated policy underscores the need for employment non-discrimination laws that protect LGBT workers. Though most Americans believe that LGBT employees are already protected, in much of our country employers can still fire someone because of who they are or who they love.
PFAW Communications Director Drew Courtney recently pointed out that on the question of whether it’s okay to fire someone for being LGBT,
“few Americans still think that’s a live question. Overwhelming majorities of Americans support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would make it illegal to fire someone for being gay or transgender.”
But Exxon Mobil hasn’t yet gotten that memo.
Mission America’s Linda Harvey reiterated her belief that schools, and employers in general, should have the right to fire LGBT personnel and urged them to exercise that right. She said that the only person to blame for getting fired is the LGBT employee who refuses to accept their employer’s “high moral standards” and “insist[s] on displaying these lifestyles to everyone and forcing their acceptance.” She said that “no one needs to be involved in homosexuality” and that the “homosexual lifestyle” is incompatible with being “an excellent employee” as it “shows a disrespect” to others.
Shouldn’t an employer have the right to uphold high moral standards in his or her company? Or shouldn’t schools have the right to not have open homosexuals or cross-dresses modeling that lifestyle to kids? This does not deprive anyone of a job by the way, except those who insist on displaying these lifestyles to everyone and forcing their acceptance. Such behavior shows a disrespect for two things: everyone else around them and for hardcore facts. The fact is that no one needs to be involved in homosexuality and all of the good qualities a person may have that might make that person otherwise an excellent employee don’t require a homosexual lifestyle. Now the activists won’t like this and I may get another slew of hateful emails and such from the tolerance crowd but really where is the actual concern for the rights and beliefs of others? The track record on these so-called non-discrimination regulations shows a consistent and disturbing pattern of bullying and abuse.
A few weeks ago, a bipartisan group of legislators once again introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in both the House and the Senate, which will prohibit "employers, employment agencies, and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation"; such protections are already provided based on things like race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability.
But "Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt is not buying it because he knows that ENDA is really all about driving Christian businesses right out of existence.
"ENDA is the end of the world for Christian employers," Klingenschmitt claimed, saying that ENDA is not about equality but rather "bankrupting Christian business owners." Even more frightening, ENDA is also apparently about forcing major corporations "to give homosexual bonus pay to your gay or lesbian lover" ... whatever that means.
Saying that ENDA "will be the end of Christian business as we know it," Klingenschmitt asserted that there is a demonic spirit at work behind the push for this legislation before asking why gays and lesbians should be entitled to employment protections when they are not going to Heaven.
"If the Bible will not give eternal benefits to homosexuals, if they cannot inherit the kingdom of God, why," Klingenschmitt asked, "on this world, should they get bonus pay or employment benefits?"
While the Supreme Court prepares to take up cases on marriage equality, the Family Research Council’s latest mailing [PDF] takes on ENDA – the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. “Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warns FRC President Tony Perkins. Perkins says President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer sounded a similar alarm in January.
“In fact,” says Perkins in his new letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”
What ENDA would really do is simply extend existing protections against various forms of legal discrimination in the workplace to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The real point of the FRC letter is to raise money from people who think persecution of Christians in America is just around the corner, if not well under way:
“And no battle could be more urgently important than the battle against NEDA. The rights of more than 60 million Americans – the right to live and share our faith and live according to biblical values – are literally at risk of being vaporized by a single vote of Congress or the stroke of the President’s pen.”
Polls show overwhelming public support for protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination on the job. But that doesn’t matter to FRC, which has a lot invested in convincing its supporters that LGBT equality is incompatible with religious freedom.
Several years ago, FRC warned that a federal hate crimes law would be used to silence preachers. Other religious right leaders said Christians would be tossed into jail for preaching against homosexuality. That legislation was signed into law in 2009; as Perkins himself makes clear, the freedom to trash-talk LGBT people has survived.
While he certainly has a lot of competition serving among the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp is doing his best to position himself as the leading congressman of the anti-gay radical right.
Huelskamp told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview before last night’s State of the Union address that President Obama seeks “to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda.”
This President has a radical social agenda and the media will probably give him a pass when instead of talking about the fact that mom and dad don’t have a job we’re going to talk about how to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda. So we’re going to hear a lot about that, we’re going to hear a lot of blaming and also a lot of talk about how he would solve this and that problem but gosh darn it he’s had four years to do that and he hasn’t solved one and I would argue it’s gotten progressively worse since he took office.
The congressman went on to criticize the Republican leadership for trying to avoid a discussion of social issues. Huelskamp, who last year falsely claimed that 85 percent of people in the U.S. don’t support legalizing same-sex marriage, insisted that Republicans “defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage,” which in Religious Right-speak means oppose marriage equality.
Huelskamp went on to call the Department of Defense’s extension of partnership benefits to same-sex couples and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) as “radical ideas” that “most Americans do not accept” because they “specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior.”
The response from the general leadership is: gosh, we can’t talk about social issues. But the President can? Someone has to stand up and defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage, most Americans understand the value of family, they understand it’s under attack and they understand that, they see it, they believe it. So we got to stand up. I’ve always been confused by Republicans that refuse to support a seventy percent position and say, ‘gosh we can’t take our stand there.’ But whether it’s Obamacare, whether it’s these radical DoD [Department of Defense] proposals coming out of the White House or changing all the employment rules to specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior, those are really radical ideas and most Americans do not accept them.
So we’ll have an opportunity to hear from the President but again don’t forget he is a lame duck President, he’s not running for election again and I think this could be the most radical we’ll hear from him in a long time because it is Obama unleashed. We’re going to hear tonight probably exactly what he would like to do and he promised he’s going to change America and he’s still after that agenda and that goal.
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer today blew up over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), warning in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”
Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act over the bill’s protections for LGBT employees. While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Laffery said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”
ENDA, the bill itself as I have been talking about it won’t become law, but they’re going to piece meal it. They’re going to start by making federal contractors—if you want to be a plumber for the government or want to do this, that or the other with the government, you have to comply with this order. They make try and find other ways of doing it, implementing the whole ENDA but I’m not sure exactly how at this point. But what I think people should focus on is: what does this mean locally?
People are really upset because of this tragedy up in Connecticut and protecting our children and we’re going to see some devastating effects. What they did in Florida is they passed a measure which affects adults, teachers, staff and kids. Our concern is that transgender children in schools are a different issue than teachers and staff. What we’re going to see is people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.
Like other Religious Right activists who have warned that ENDA will lead to sexual assault and death, Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”
Lafferty warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.
Lafferty: I fully expect that depending on how the administration pushes this, we’re going to see people applying for jobs at Chick-fil-A and Christian businesses because families go there because A) the food is good and B) they want to support what Chick-fil-A stands for, and no better way of hurting a Chick-fil-A restaurant than to have a bunch of weirdos working there.
Mefferd: That is so weird you say that because I had an experience like that at Chick-fil-A just a couple of weeks ago, exact same experience. I thought: that’s very strange that this person is working at Chick-fil-A.
Lafferty: They may have chosen to hire this person but they’re going to be forced to.
Lafferty: I think minorities, those protected classes, are going to be shocked when they find out that a transgendered man or woman is going to be treated the same as an African American man or woman. That’s not right and the laws will be overridden if ENDA should pass. That’s why they are going jurisdiction by jurisdiction to try and force communities to accept this. This is the ultimate act of self-hatred and we are lifting this up? We should be giving them special medical treatment maybe.
Mefferd: Get them some help.
Lafferty: Not protected class [status].