Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Law Professors Urges Obama to Deny Religious Exemption in ENDA Order

Even as the Christofascists and their political whores in the Republican Party push for special rights to discriminate for religious extremist (.i.e., evangelical and fundamentalist Christians), more people are coming to recognize the danger of writing a license to discriminate and trample on the rights of others both into the law and Barack Obama's promised ENDA executive order.  Joining the opposition to special rights to select religious groups are a group of law professors who have urged Obama to not give in to pressure for a deceptively called "religious exemption" to the order's effectiveness.  If one bothers to do a cursory reading of the First Amendment and the history surrounding it, the Founding Fathers never intended to grant broad rights to discriminate to a the few.  Freedom of religion meant freedom to worship as one chose and to not have to give tax support to an established church.  Here are highlights from a piece in the New York Times:

More than 50 constitutional law professors urged President Obama on Monday not to include a religious exemption in an expected order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Conservative religious leaders want the rule, still being drafted, to exempt religious groups that object to homosexual behavior.

But legal experts, organized by Katherine M. Franke of the Columbia University Law School, said in an open letter that church groups are already allowed to favor members of their faith in hiring, and that a new exception would allow employers to discriminate using taxpayer dollars and enshrine a second-class legal status for gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
The letter can be found here.

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