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Religious Exemptions at Center of ENDA Debate

November 1, 2013

As the Senate prepares to debate legislation barring discrimination against gay and lesbian workers, people on both sides are looking closely at a provision that would exempt a wide swath of religious organizations from new rules. Some conservatives are hoping to exempt more organizations from the bill’s protections, which would anger Democrats who argue they have already compromised on this point. 

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, is now believed to have 59 backers, including every Senate Democrat and four Republicans. Supporters are looking to a half dozen other Republicans as possible yes votes to produce the 60 needed to pass the Senate. Debate is set to begin Monday.


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