HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > NRB Warns Against ENDA Executive Order

NRB Warns Against ENDA Executive Order

In advance of an LGBT gala put on by the Democratic National Committee, the White House this week announced that it was preparing an Executive Order for the President’s signature similar to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, quickly responded with a letter to the President requesting that he reconsider this course.

“NRB has long warned against the ramifications of this bill on the First Amendment rights of faith-based organizations,” he wrote, “and I am concerned similar constitutional challenges may arise for some federal contractors with such an order from the White House.”

President Obama, who recently declared June to be LGBT Pride Month, recounted at the DNC event his LGBT-priority accomplishments and his ongoing efforts, including ENDA.  Expressing frustration with Congress for not moving the bill, he declared, “I’ve directed my staff to prepare for my signature, an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity…. [I]n the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense.”

However, Dr. Johnson wrote to the President about NRB’s longstanding concern with ENDA, specifically its faulty religious protection clause. Citing the Congressional testimony of Craig Parshall, NRB Senior Vice President and General Counsel, on ENDA’s problems, he declared, “ENDA remains convoluted for employers committed to honoring the tenets of their faith in the workplace. Indeed, I am concerned that ambiguity regarding the rights of religious organizations is likely to stir litigation and to compromise one of our nation’s First Amendment liberties.”

ENDA (S.815/ H.R.1755) would create new employment rights for individuals based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The Senate approved this bill last November by a 64-32 vote without resolving its First Amendment problems. In the House, ENDA is sponsored by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and has 201 Representatives signed on in support.

  • Read Dr. Johnson’s full letter to the President.
  • Read President Obama’s full remarks to the DNC LGBT gala. 

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 20, 2014

Latest News

President Obama Meets Family of Jailed Pastor

While in Idaho last week, President Barack Obama took the opportunity to meet with the family of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen who has been imprisoned for his faith in Iran for over two years.

New Step by Facebook Against ‘Misleading News’

Facebook announced last week that it has a new tool for combating “hoaxes, or misleading news.” When users of the social media platform choose to hide a story from their individual news feeds...

New FCC Closed Captioning Laws to Focus on Quality

The FCC issued its first set of closed captioning requirements over sixteen years ago in order to provide telecommunications for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Pai’s Chief of Staff on FCC Partisanship

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s Chief of Staff, Matthew Berry, did not mince words on his perspective of the atmosphere at the agency.

Protecting Marriage: How to Get the Media Message Right for This Generation

Natural and biblical marriage between a man and a woman is under unprecedented attack.

NRB15 Program Book Now Available Online!

Get an early start on your daily plans for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention by downloading the PDF version of the Program Book here.

Top 5 Reasons to Create Your 'My Show' Planner for NRB15

This year’s NRB International Christian Media Convention has nearly 200 exhibitors to visit. Maximize your time on the Exhibit Floor by taking a few moments now to create your My Show Planner.

INK 180 Documentary Given Highest Rating by the Dove Foundation

The Dove Foundation has given its highest seal of approval to the documentary INK 180.

Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton to Speak at NRB15

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is scheduled to speak on Monday, February 23, 2015, at a special event during the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Prime Minister Netanyahu to Address Congress in March

A day after President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to issue a veto threat against new sanctions on Iran, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that...

More News