An exemption-laden bill addressing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was passed Wednesday by the Republican-dominated Utah state legislature.
The legislative session kicked off in the states with a bunch of new anti-abortion bills, along with the conviction of an Indiana woman for feticide and neglect of a dependent.
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.
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.