Democrats in Congress Pushing for ENDA Executive Order

Most Democrats in the House and Senate are urging President Barack Obama to issue an Executive Order modeled on The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with regard to federal contractors.  Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) spearheaded this letter, signed by more than 200 Democrat Members of Congress. They stated, “Issuing an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT workers in federal contracts would build on the significant progress for LGBT rights made during your time as President and would further your legacy as a champion for LGBT equality. We urge you to act now to prevent irrational, taxpayer-funded workplace discrimination against LGBT Americans.”

ENDA (S.815/H.R.1755), passed by the Senate in November, would create new employment rights for individuals based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. NRB expressed dismay with the Senate’s vote to pass ENDA without resolving its First Amendment problems and continues to urge Members of the House of Representatives to stand firm against it.  At the time of the Senate vote, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson stated, “The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees fundamental rights for the citizens of our Republic. It is not a mere technicality or obstruction for powerful lobbies to break through.” Moreover, he declared that ENDA “promises a legal burden and chill on employers committed to honoring the tenets of their faith in the workplace.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: March 28, 2014