Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

A troubling bill that should have believers of all faiths concerned passed the U.S.  Senate yesterday.

Titled the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA), the bill imposes strict hiring standards on all employers, especially employers who are people of faith, and who might object to overt actions pertaining to sexual orientation or gender identity in their workplace.

The bill, which provides a narrow religious exemption for churches and religious institutions of higher learning, mandates that a person's sexual orientation or gender identity cannot be taken into account in hiring or firing decisions. In essence, if an employer does not like, for example, that an employee is a man who dresses like a woman because the man "identifies" as female, the employer is left with no recourse to suggest that the individual behave differently. 

The bill signals an aggressive advancement made by the homosexual community to continue its push to marginalize people of faith by stigmatizing their views on sexual ethics. The result of this bill is the untrammeled march forward for remaking the public square into one with out reference to religion. 

Two good responses have circulated to ENDA–one that address the policy implications from a conservative perspective and another from a Christian perspective.