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Supreme Court of the United States

Congress Back At It With Non-Discrimination Law

October 17, 2017

The Alliance Alert reports that the previously scuttled Employment Non-Discrimination Act (often called “ENDA”) may be making a comeback in Congress.  This is the law that would prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”

As ADF’s Steven Aden notes, ENDA could pose a great threat for faith-based organizations.  Although there would likely be some sort of exemption for religious organizations, as there is in other federal discrimination laws, it is far from clear how the exemption would apply.  There has been a great deal of litigation over the current federal religious exemptions—especially when those laws are applied to para-church ministries.  So even if the law may not apply to hiring decisions for the church’s youth pastor, it could apply to hiring decisions if the church has a ministry for the homeless.

ENDA is bad public policy, and we’ll continue to oppose it.  But it will be especially important to push for broad exemptions that protect the right of churches and other religious organizations to hire people that hold the same religious precepts.

As Tim Chandler described last week, ADF and CLS are currently litigating just this sort of non-discrimination issue at the Supreme Court in the CLS v. Hastings case.  There, the issue is whether CLS can restrict its voting membership and leadership to those who share its Christians beliefs.

We will need to stay particularly vigilant on this issue—in all its forms.

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Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom

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Alliance Defending Freedom advocates for your right to freely live out your faith


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