FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2019

Contact:
Craig Parshall, General Counsel
202-543-0073
cparshall@nrb.org

 

 

 

 

Religious Rights Hidden but Not Forgotten in Supreme Court Arguments

WASHINGTON (NRB) – Religious liberty issues were hidden in plain sight this week during U.S. Supreme Court arguments involving a case where a Christian funeral home had terminated its male funeral director when he “transitioned” to a female identity. While the other lawyers wrestled mostly with the legal paradox of “transgender” identity, and whether it should fit within the “sex” discrimination text of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco pointed to the religious freedom issues at stake – a position applauded by NRB.

“The job of legislation belongs to Congress, not the courts,” says Craig Parshall, NRB’s General Counsel. “Solicitor General Noel Francisco was right when he pointed out that for almost a decade Congress has been stymied over passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and with good reason. The ENDA bill – that would treat sexual orientation and ‘gender identity’ as protected classes – merely gave lip service to religious employers and ministries, offering no substantive protection at all. Congress obviously got the message. Its refusal to pass ENDA should settle the issue, rather than ignite an end-run to the Supreme Court.”

During the near decade of congressional debate over ENDA, NRB General Counsel Craig Parshall testified before committees of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, pointing out that the failure of the ENDA proposals to deal honestly with the religious rights of faith-based employers should end the debate.

Solicitor General Francisco, who argued this week on behalf of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), told the Justices that Congress and state legislators – not the courts – are the ones tasked to “take into account” the religious liberty implications to established rights of religious conscience before considering new gender identity laws.


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NRB is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. NRB’s mission is two-fold: To protect the free speech rights of our members to speak Biblical truth, by advocating those rights in governmental, corporate, and media sectors; and To foster excellence, integrity, and accountability in our membership by providing networking, educational, ministry, and relational opportunities. Learn more at www.nrb.org.

About the NRB Convention

The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic and award-winning Exposition consists of around 200 organizations and is an active marketplace for those seeking products and services to enhance their own organization. The next Convention will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center & Resort in Nashville, Tennessee, February 25-28, 2020. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.

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