President Obama wasted an opportunity this week, and I’m willing to be the feminist advocate to say it. When he signed two executive orders extending critical provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, he addressed only some employment discrimination, and equality for some is not equality for women.
The Roberts Court granted review of two cases challenging the birth control benefit to decide the question of whether or not corporations have religious exercise rights.
On Thursday, the Senate voted on a provision that would have allowed bosses to use religion to discriminate against their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. That’s right—yet another effort to use religion as an excuse to discriminate.
The religious exemptions currently folded into the Employment Non-Discrimination Act are broad enough to allow Catholic schools to continue firing teachers for being gay. But these base religious exemptions were not broad enough to satisfy some key Republican senators.
To accept the broad religious exemptions in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, is in an insult to the incredible progress the LGBTQ community has already made.
It looks like the Roberts Court may take up the Hobby Lobby contraception challenge, while other federal appellate courts refuse to buy the argument that corporations can exercise religious beliefs.
ENDA would protect many LGBTQ individuals from workplace discrimination, something a strong majority of Americans support. However, the proposed version of the law would not protect LGBTQ employees at Catholic schools and some other religiously affiliated institutions.