Politics - ENDA .. Employee Non-Discrimination Act
Note: This information is from the older 2007-2008 period when I did my initial research)
(HR 2015 for 2007-2008 Session of Congress) (see further down for later versions of bill)
What is it?
ENDA stands for employee non-discrimination act. It is a bill proposed in congress that originally included people of all sexual orientations and gender identity. It basically ensures that a person will not be discriminated against in employment due to their orientation or gender identity. Note that later versions of the bill removed the gender identity section.
Does the bill define sexual orientation?
Yes, sexual orientation is defined in the bill as:
(9) SEXUAL ORIENTATION- The term `sexual orientation' means homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.
Does the bill define gender identity?
Yes, gender identity is defined in the bill as follows:
(6) GENDER IDENTITY- The term `gender identity' means the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth.
Does it have an exemption for religious organization?
Yes, see below from the bill:
SEC. 6. EXEMPTION FOR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) In General- This Act shall not apply to any of the employment practices of a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society which has as its primary purpose religious ritual or worship or the teaching or spreading of religious doctrine or belief.
(b) Certain Employees- For any religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society that is not wholly exempt under subsection (a), this Act shall not apply with respect to the employment of individuals whose primary duties consist of teaching or spreading religious doctrine or belief, religious governance, supervision of a religious order, supervision of persons teaching or spreading religious doctrine or belief, or supervision or participation in religious ritual or worship.
(c) Conformity to Religious Tenets- Under this Act, a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society may require that applicants for, and employees in, similar positions conform to those religious tenets that such corporation, association, institution, or society declares significant. Under this Act, such a declaration by a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society stating which of its religious tenets are significant shall not be subject to judicial or administrative review. Any such declaration made for purposes of this Act shall be admissible only for proceedings under this Act.
Does it force employees to provide joint benefits for same sex couples?
No, see below:
(b) Employee Benefits- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require a covered entity to treat a couple who are not married, including a same-sex couple who are not married, in the same manner as the covered entity treats a married couple for purposes of employee benefits. Notwithstanding this Act or any other provision of law, a State or political subdivision of a State may establish rights, remedies, or procedures for the provision of employee benefits to an individual for the benefit of the domestic partner of such individual.
For a complete text of this bill (HR2015) click this link: http://
Information on a more recent bill... HR 3685
SEC. 6. EXEMPTION FOR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS.
This Act shall not apply to a corporation, association, educational institution, or society that is exempt from the religious discrimination provisions of title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 pursuant to section 702(a) or 703(e) (2) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e-1(a); 2000e-2(e) (2)).
Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964
2000e-2 section a
(a) This subchapter shall not apply to an employer with respect to the employment of aliens outside any State, or to a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities.
2000e-2 section e
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, (1) it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to hire and employ employees, for an employment agency to classify, or refer for employment any individual, for a labor organization to classify its membership or to classify or refer for employment any individual, or for an employer, labor organization, or joint labor management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining programs to admit or employ any individual in any such program, on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin in those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise, and (2) it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning to hire and employ employees of a particular religion if such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is, in whole or in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or by a particular religious corporation, association, or society, or if the curriculum of such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion.
Click on this link for full text of HR 3685 as of March 2008:
Check this link for understanding the text of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
What does it all mean?
It means religious organizations are exempt from ENDA.
For a study of the biblical justification for ENDA click here.
For common Christian objections to ENDA and my analysis of those objections click here.