HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Pressure Mounting for ENDA Executive Order

Pressure Mounting for ENDA Executive Order

Pressure is increasing from liberal voices for President Obama to issue an executive order similar to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R.1755/S.815), commonly referred to as ENDA. While ENDA faces hurdles in Congress, not the least of which are concerns over its effect on religious freedom, recent opinion pieces in The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other publications, have been pushing the White House to act on its own.

In his Washington Post article, Jeffrey Marburg-Goodman, a 2008 Obama campaign advisor and then a presidential appointee in the U.S. Agency for International Development, highlighted an executive order by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 that prohibited discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” by federal contractors.  Marburg-Goodman declared, “With a stroke of his pen, and without congressional approval, Obama could expand the 1965 executive order again, this time to cover LGBT Americans.”

The New York Times Editorial Board opined on May 10:

Congress has a duty to stop dawdling and approve a strong bill. In the meantime, President Obama, a supporter of ENDA, can take a significant step toward ending discrimination in the workplace by issuing an executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. He has the power to protect millions of American workers, and it is about time he used it.

Notably, the Editorial Board recognized that that there is opposition based on religious freedom, but they rejected that concern and asserted, “Actually, the proposed religious exemption is far too broad and needs to be scaled back.”

NRB has repeatedly insisted that ENDA would harm the constitutional rights of faith-based organizations and lead to a “chilling effect” in religious communities.  Earlier this month, NRB Senior Vice President & General Counsel Craig Parshall declared, “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.”

  • Find NRB’s press release on ENDA earlier this month.
  • Learn more details about NRB’s religious freedom concerns with ENDA.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: May 24, 2013

Latest News

Religious Freedom in Focus in Marriage Case

This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case pivotal for the future of marriage in the United States.

Senator Introduces Resolution to Nullify Net Neutrality Order

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took aim at the FCC’s controversial net neutrality order this week.

NRB Urges Iran Bill to Require Release of Americans

This week the Senate has been debating the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would give Congress an opportunity to weigh in for or against any deal the Executive Branch reaches with Iran over its nuclear program.

RFRA Highlighted on Senate Floor

In the wake of attacks on religious freedom, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) took to the Senate Floor this week to defend this constitutional right.

Urgent Need for Aid, Prayer in Aftermath of Nepal Quake

Members of the National Religious Broadcasters have sprung into action and into prayer in the aftermath of the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday.

64th Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 7

Next Thursday, millions will assemble at thousands of local National Day of Prayer events across the nation, taking time out of their daily schedules to intercede on behalf of their communities, their nation, and their leaders.

Life-Changing Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day 2015

Each year, a number of Christian nonprofits produce and present gift catalogs with ideas that will not only honor mothers on Mother’s Day but also improve the lives of poverty-stricken children, mothers, and families that struggle to survive in developing countries.

LifeWay Christian Resources Paving Way for New HQ

LifeWay Christian Resources is planning to build a new facility, and recently entered into a contract for the sale of their main campus in downtown Nashville.

Thousands of Churches to Join ‘Stand for Marriage Sunday’ on April 26

Thousands of churches will join “Stand for Marriage Sunday” on April 26 – just two days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the definition of marriage.

House Panel to Review FCC Transparency Proposals

Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, has scheduled a hearing next Thursday on “FCC Reauthorization: Improving Commission Transparency.”

More News