Last week the United States Senate passed a bill with a nice – albeit vague – ring to it: Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA). But as evidenced by the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), the titles of laws can be misleading. ENDA does not curb unfair discrimination in the workplace; rather, the legislation would effectuate it.
Carving out special and unwarranted protections for those that self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the act would prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from making employment or work environment decisions dealing with actual or perceived "sexual orientation" or "gender identity."
Like a rebel without a cause or a conscience, the far-reaching bill threatens to trample the rights of religious citizens and compel them into compliance despite very little proof of any, much less widespread, discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. A recent report reflects that the GLBT lobby has been highly effective in the private sector, with 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies voluntarily putting policies like this into place. more >>
A Hawaiian lesbian legislator has garnered national headlines last week for her decision to vote against a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the last state to join the Union.
Representative Jo Jordan is reportedly the first openly gay lawmaker in the United States to vote against a proposed legislation legalizing gay marriage.
Jordan's chief reason for opposing the legislation, Senate Bill 1, was that she believed the measure did not adequately protect religious liberty, as she explained in an interview with local media. more >>
Some critics of Illinois' gay marriage bill are concerned that the religious freedom of Christian photographers, bakers, florists and other wedding industry professionals is not protected under the act.
The state House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 10, titled the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," on Tuesday. It now awaits the signature of Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, who has confirmed that he will sign it into law.
The bill states that religious denominations and clergy will not be forced to solemnize same-sex marriages if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. Religious organizations will also not be forced to rent out their houses of worship for gay weddings or gay wedding receptions. more >>
Methodist pastor the Rev. Frank Schaefer is facing a church trial on Nov. 18 in Pennsylvania for violating his pastoral vows by performing his son's marriage to another man at a 2007 ceremony in Massachusetts.
The pastor has argued that he went against church law "because I love him so much and didn't want to deny him that joy," but his credentials as a pastor are on the line because of this decision, The Associated Press reported. The 51-year-old pastor said that he is "charged to minister to all people, regardless of who they are and what they are, then it should be just so," even though performing same-sex marriage weddings goes against United Methodist Church teaching, which says homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity.
In 2012, the 1,000-member General Conference reaffirmed the church's 40-year-old policy on the issue. more >>
WASHINGTON – Advocates for divorce reform attacked the current legal system as incentivizing family break-up, and encouraged methods to combat divorce across the United States at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
"Nowhere is government more in the bedroom than in divorce," Beverly Willett, co-chairman of the Coalition for Divorce Reform, declared. Willett argued that rather than making the system more invasive in people's private sex lives, reforms to the legal system involving family break-up would encourage more freedom. "If you want government out of the bedroom, push divorce reform."
Willett shared her own story of divorce. "I grew up believing the words 'to death do us part' were non-negotiable," she said. With a breaking voice, she told of fighting to save her marriage after her husband told her of an affair and served her with divorce papers. more >>
A nationwide organization that advocates for marriage being defined as only between one man and one woman has denounced Illinois becoming the 15th state to legalize gay marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage released a statement in response to the Illinois House of Representatives approving a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in The Prairie State.
Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in a statement that news from the Illinois House was "disappointing but not surprising." more >>