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12/17/2013

Cool examples, Peter Sprigg. Except none of them have anything to do with ENDA

by Jeremy Hooper

Peter Sprigg, a man who has called for both "exporting" and criminalizing gay people, writing for The Christian Post:

Under ENDA, anyone who expresses the personal moral conviction that homosexual conduct is wrong would be vulnerable (or make their employer vulnerable) to charges of creating a "hostile work environment" for homosexual co-workers. That person would be at risk of being disciplined or even dismissed.

This is no mere hypothetical – there have been numerous examples already. Allstate insurance fired attorney Matt Barber (now with Liberty University Law School) for online writings against the homosexual agenda done on his own time. Gallaudet University suspended administrator Angela McCaskill merely for signing a petition to allow a referendum in Maryland on the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. Fox Sports Southwest recently fired Craig James as a college football commentator after only one appearance – for positions he took while running for the U.S. Senate a year and a half earlier. This is why I have contended that ENDA would "drive Christians into the closet" even as it brings homosexual and transgender individuals out.

FULL: Homosexual and Transgender Employment Bill Threatens Religious Liberty [CP]

None of these three examples have even the first thing to do with the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.

Employers can and do make determinations about an employee's conduct and the sort of workplace environment they are fostering. The three listed examples involve employees who did something that their individual employers found to be out of line. Regardless of what you think about how the employers' handled the matter (and in some cases, facts are sketchy), the fact is that the Employment Nondiscrimination Act will neither bind nor free any employers hands to make future decisions. The bill does not even speak to this.

What ENDA does do is disallow employers from using a person's sexual orientation, whatever it may be, as a basis for hiring and firing decisions. If a gay man writes columns about "the straight lifestyle" and how nasty the "heterosexual agenda" supposedly is, then yes, an employer might still find him to be acting in a way that goes against company standards, and that employer might make a decision about that gay man's continued employment. But unless the employer fires him because he is a gay man, no part of ENDA is applicable to the matter.

Or, to put it another way, any political group probably should terminate an employee who publicly states something like the following about a minority population:

But since that firing would be about his call for forced removable of a group of people and not his sexual orientation, there would be no ENDA trigger.

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