Obama to Issue Special Protection Order to Gays, Transexuals; No Religious Exemption Allowed

President Obama jpg

I stole this headline from the place where I first found the story: New Advent. I couldn’t think of a better way to say it.

According to a Washington Post article, President Obama plans to legislate with his pen by passing his own version of ENDA with an executive order. According to the Washington Post, “the White House” said that this executive order will not include a religious exemption.

It seems that everybody wants to do the work of Congress these days except Congress itself. We have courts legislating from the bench and our president rolls out one agency rule and executive order after another, passing laws all by his little self. Meanwhile, Congress is doing the only two things it actually does: engaging with itself in a perpetual partisan spitting contest and running for re-election.

This president is unambiguously at war with religious freedom in this country. I say that with sorrow and reluctance. But the facts are the facts and his actions speak for themselves.

He is continually doing things that stir up rage and resentment in the electorate. He’s damaging this country with his blind hubris. I don’t understand what he, as the sworn defender of the Constitution thinks he’s doing by repeatedly attacking the First Amendment.

But he’s consistent. He does these things, signs these agency rules, issues these executive orders. Then he lies about them later.

That’s the long-standing, repeated pattern of behavior.

I could go on and on here. I’m disgusted enough to really roll. But I have to leave for church in less than an hour and then begin my Sabbath. I think I’ll pray about it and hold my tongue until I have a chance to calm down.

In the meantime, here’s the story. From the Washington Post:

President Obama, resisting calls from several prominent faith leaders, will not include a new exemption for religiously affiliated government contractors when he issues an executive order Monday barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the White House said Friday.

Obama announced last month that he would sign such an order after concluding that Congress was not going to act on a broader measure prohibiting discrimination based on sexual discrimination or gender identity by companies.

Since then, faith leaders have urged him to include an exemption for government contractors with a religious affiliation, such as some social service agencies.

White House officials said Friday that the new executive order would not include such an exception. But Obama will preserve an exemption put in place by former president George W. Bush that allows religiously affiliated contractors to favor employees of a certain religion in making hiring decisions.

Gay rights organizations have criticized that earlier exemption, and they celebrated news Friday that Obama would not be broadening it.

“With the strokes of a pen, the president will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

  • Ray Glennon

    Rebecca,
    Thank you for your clear and unambiguous description of this outrageous and blatant attack. Blind hubris indeed. Your outrage is totally justified.
    Ray

  • Ray Glennon

    An additional thought… The USCCB site has a very helpful blog post by Archbishops Cordileone, Lori, and Wenski and Bishop Malone at
    http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com/2014/07/hobby-lobby-and-enda.html

    A few relevant excepts:
    Unjust discrimination against any one – whether that person experiences same-sex attraction or is of a particular religion – harms us all. But ENDA is simply not a good solution to these problems…

    Instead of protecting persons, ENDA uses the force of the law to coerce everyone to accept a deeply problematic understanding of human sexuality and sexual behavior and to condone such behavior. The current proposed ENDA legislation is not about protecting persons, but behavior. Churches, businesses and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity.

    Eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behavior – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share. The current political climate makes it very difficult to maintain a reasonable dialogue on these contentious issues, but we must keep trying.

  • Shannon Menkveld

    To paraphrase Wolfgang Pauli, this essay isn’t right. It isn’t even wrong.

    The President is clearly within his Article II powers to make rules for Federal contractors working for Executive branch agencies. Unless and until Congress passes, and the President signs, controlling legislation that restricts that authority. So Article II has not been violated.

    There is likewise no right to work for the Federal government. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and if you don’t want to play, all you have to do is not take the money. The 1st Amendment is not implicated here… just ask anyone who works for Bob Jones University. The government is required to allow you to practice your religion. They are not obligated to pay you to do so.

    This may be a bad decision. Clearly, by your lights, it is. Not every dumb thing the government does violates the Constitution. The fact that you don’t like it carries no weight in that discussion.

    –Shannon

  • jenny

    Oh God, we need your help.

  • Bill S

    If you want to do work for the federal government, you can’t discriminate. And saying that your religion requires you to discriminate is not an excuse. If it does then work for someone who doesn’t have a problem with contractors that discriminate.

    • AnneG

      Bill, you can discriminate against certain people if they are exercising their Constitutional rights , especially if certain special groups don’t like those people. That’s what you are talking about.
      The government contracts with lots of groups especially for social programs that those groups are best equipped to deal with.
      So, we get a very small group of people, Lgbt, imposing their preferences on everybody else with the help and support of the government, to the detriment of necessary social services.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    This would appear to distinguish it from (e.g.) Executive Order 11246, which included an exemption in Section 202(c); however, the language of Obama’s current EO is not yet up at WhiteHouse.gov, so they can’t be directly compared yet.

  • AnneG

    This administration clearly has it out for Catholics and anyone taking their faith seriously. Even when Catholic agencies are the very best at what they do, the administration looks for a way to exclude participation.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    Well, they don’t have to; religious groups still have the right to discriminate — not only on sexuality, but on race. However, groups don’t have an inherent right to a federal contract. If the terms of the federal contract are too onerous, they can continue providing social services with whatever other available money they choose to use.

    (Contrariwise, it looks like the existing religious exception from the Bush years still applies– so they get to have their cake, eat it too, AND whine about it being taken away from them.)

    • Bill S

      What is the existing exception from the Bush days?

      Is that they can require people working for them to be of that religion? Can Catholic Charities choose to only hire Catholics?

  • Bill S

    What you are proposing (that we treat LGBTs as we would treat anyone else i.e., as PEOPLE) is to not discriminate against them because of their being LGBTs. That’s all the EO requires.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      Then why single them out? Why not also, say, outlaw discrimination against nerds? Or left handed people?

      The only possible reason is to ask for special treatment merely because they are LGBT- that is to say- discrimination.


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