President Pushes for ENDA in Proclamation

In an official proclamation from the White House establishing this June as LGBT Pride Month, President Obama reiterated his call for Congress to pass The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).  Lauding last summer’s Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act, the President listed other domestic accomplishments and goals, including ENDA.  “My Administration proudly stands alongside all those who fight for LGBT rights,” he said.  The President also looked abroad: “Our commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community extends far beyond our borders…. The United States calls on every nation to join us in defending the universal human rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters.”

ENDA (S.815/H.R.1755), passed by the Senate last year, 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: June 6 , 2014