A New Form of Discrimination

CHARLES COLSON

Imagine you own a small business—let’s say a donut shop—and you have an employee who is late for work everyday and is rude to customers. When you fire him, he claims it is really because he is gay—and sues.

Or imagine you run a daycare center in your church basement. One day a homosexual applies for a job. When you turn him down, he says you broke the law.

Today, both of these stories are simply scenarios. But by the end of the week, they could be reality.

Under intense goading from the gay-rights lobby, the House of Representatives is poised to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, called ENDA. This legislation would add “sexual orientation” to civil rights law. If passed, ENDA would cut deeply into the religious rights and freedoms of all Americans.

For example, an employer with a moral or religious belief opposed to homosexuality or bisexuality would be forced to give up those rights the moment he arrives at his office. No business would be allowed to refuse to hire a homosexual for any reason. Fire a person because of incompetence—he would say it’s because he is gay, or just even perceived to be gay.


If passed, ENDA would place all the power of the federal government in direct opposition to the beliefs of all major faith groups in America regarding the teachings about sexuality. ENDA would also undermine the institution of marriage by pronouncing traditional sexual morality a form of discrimination.


That’s right. ENDA would also expand civil rights protections on the basis of a simple perception. Because ENDA includes “real or perceived” discrimination, an employee, or potential employee, could sue an employer for his or her perception of the employee’s sexual orientation. But sexual orientation is not like race, age, or gender; it is behavioral and not empirically verifiable. Can you imagine the license this would give the courts to begin to investigate peoples’ sex lives? It’s astonishing.

If passed, ENDA would place all the power of the federal government in direct opposition to the beliefs of all major faith groups in America regarding the teachings about sexuality. ENDA would also undermine the institution of marriage by pronouncing traditional sexual morality a form of discrimination. This legislation will lead to a flood of lawsuits; employers would inevitably be forced to require marriage-like benefits to homosexual employees.

The bill also includes phony religious protection language that does not exempt all religious schools and universities (even K through 12).

Pro-ENDA lawmakers are being especially disingenuous. Many congressmen are going to the floor to make speeches about the value of faith groups in American life. The idea seems to be to create the appearance of how much they care about religious communities—records they can point to later for cover as they vote for bills like ENDA. It’s astonishing how easily they think Christians can be fooled, isn’t it? Do they still think evangelicals are poor, ignorant, and easy to command, as the Washington Post once said?

The Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights group, is having their annual gala (a dinner) this weekend—and congressional leaders want to hand them a big victory. You and I need to get to our telephones immediately, especially if you own a business, and call our members of Congress. We must tell them that we are not fooled by any of this religious protection language, that this bill discriminates against religious business owners, and that we want them to vote against this invasion of religious freedom. If you visit the BreakPoint website, you will find more information about ENDA and how it will cut into the rights of faith communities.

For Further Reading and Information

View the text of H.R. 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007.

Why Businesses Should Oppose the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 2015,” Focus on the Family Action, 14 September 2007.

How Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Laws Harm Businesses & Employees,” Focus on the Family Action, 14 September 2007.

New ENDA Language Still Falls Short,” CitizenLink, 1 October 2007.

Conservatives Rebuke Hate Crimes Bill Ploy,” Christian Post, 27 September 2007.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Charles Colson. "A New Form of Discrimination." BreakPoint Commentary October 2, 2007.

From BreakPoint ® (2/10/2007), Copyright 2000, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries, P.O. Box 17500, Washington, D.C. 20041-0500. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint ®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries ®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

THE AUTHOR

Charles Colson launched Prison Fellowship in 1976, following a seven-month prison sentence for Watergate-related crimes. Since then, Prison Fellowship has flourished into a U.S. ministry of 50,000 volunteers and has spread to more then 50 countries. Beyond his prison ministry, Colson is a Christian author, speaker, and commentator, who regularly confronts contemporary values from a biblically informed perspective. His "BreakPoint" radio commentaries now air daily across the U.S. and he has written 14 books, including Loving God, Answers to Your Kids' Questions, The Line Between Right & Wrong: Developing a Personal Code of Ethics, Against the Night: Living in the New Dark Ages, and How Now Shall We Live: A Study Guide.

Copyright © 2007 Breakpoint



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