HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > ENDA Vote Likely Soon in Senate

ENDA Vote Likely Soon in Senate

A top LGBT priority appears likely to get a Senate vote in the next several weeks. Already 56 Senators have publicly expressed support for The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S.815), commonly known as ENDA, and activists are working in a number of states, including Arkansas, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, to sway enough votes to clear the 60-vote hurdle often in place in the Senate for controversial bills. 

When this bill advanced out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee by a 15-7 vote in July, NRB quickly cautioned Senators that the Committee neglected to address a significant constitutional problem with the bill – namely, ENDA does not uphold the First Amendment freedoms of religious organizations.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright declared, “A right engraved in the Constitution, in the very First Amendment, must not be treated lightly. Ambiguity regarding the rights of religious organizations is likely to stir litigation and to put a chill on one of our nation’s keystone liberties. I urge you not to advance ENDA given this concern.”

Last year, NRB Senior Vice President & General Counsel Craig Parshall outlined NRB’s religious freedom concerns with ENDA in formal testimony before the Senate HELP Committee:

We oppose [ENDA] because… (1) it generally illustrates the kind of unaccommodating approach to religious organizations that was recently rejected by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court; (2) the insufficient “religious exemption” provisions of this bill would permit a substantial and unconstitutional burden to be placed on religious organizations; and (3) court decisions dealing with “gender identity” type employment discrimination claims indicate that a legal remedy is already available for such claims under existing Title VII law, also subsuming within them numerous “sexual orientation” claims as well.

When ENDA was re-introduced earlier this year, Mr. Parshall asserted, “The current version of ENDA contains the same convoluted, so-called religious exemption language, as in prior years, and that language is an open invitation for endless litigation and paltry protection for religious employers.”

NRB is continuing its outreach to Senate offices regarding the First Amendment problems with ENDA.

  • Find NRB’s press release and letter to Senate Leaders regarding the advancement of ENDA.
  • Learn more details about NRB’s religious freedom concerns with ENDA.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: October 25, 2013

Latest News

Barna Urges NRB to Influence Conservatives Politically

Pollster George Barna urged communicators at the NRB15 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN, to use their sizable influence to guide conservatives politically at a time when the nation needs to return to biblical values.

Joel Rosenberg: Abortion, Apocalyptic Islam Put U.S. at Risk

America is in danger of destruction in the face of the mounting death toll of unborn children and the rise of apocalyptic Islam, best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg said at the National Religious Broadcasters’ 2015 International Christian Media Convention.

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Absence of Christians from the Public Square is Costly

Governor Mike Huckabee told a gathering of Christian media and ministry professionals in Nashville that he had recently been standing on the Golan Heights in Israel, just 250 yards from the Syrian border, where he could hear the explosions from that nation’s ongoing civil war.

Panel of Leading Pro-Life Women Shares 'How to Get the Media Message Right'

A panel of pro-life advocates at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN, addressed how to get the media message right regarding the value of unborn lives for a new generation.

NRB President & CEO: Our Association Must Remain Rooted in the Truths of God’s Word

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson wants to make sure the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) remains strong by holding to a right perspective on the Bible, on human life, and on marriage; and remains committed to excellence and an understanding of what it means to be created in the image of God.

Marriage Panel at NRB15: Church Will Not Surrender Marriage

The Church will not surrender the biblical view of marriage despite opposition and the prediction of a former megachurch pastor, attendees were told in a panel discussion at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.

David Platt Calls for Courage on Social Issues

Christian communicators must not choose to speak out on some social issues and remain silent on others based on how they will be received by the culture, David Platt said Thursday at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Heritage Analyst Says ‘Cultural Cronyism’ Is Harming Nation

America’s cultural health is declining in most categories, although societal and governmental work has made a difference in a few cases, a think tank fellow told Christian media and ministry professionals Thursday.

Alistair Begg to Christian Broadcasters: Be Faithful in Proclaiming the Story

Christ-followers must “be bold, be clear, and be about the business,” Alistair Begg told a gathering of Christian media and ministry professionals Wednesday, saying it is fruitless to curse the darkness or to embrace it.

Mariam Ibraheem Receives NRB President’s Award for Her Enduring Faith in Christ

Ibraheem, who spent six months in a prison in Sudan because she refused to renounce Christ, was at the National Religious Broadcasters’ 2015 International Christian Media Convention to be recognized for her stalwart faith.

More News