Ralph Reed Calls ENDA ‘a Dagger’ in ‘the Heart of Religious Freedom’

Right-wing religious activist and pundit Ralph Reed ripped the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a USA Today editorial published last night.

2_ralphreedWrites Reed, in part:

What its supporters call the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, should really be labeled the "Trial Lawyers Full Employment Act." It burdens any business with 15 or more employees with new threats of litigation, frivolous law suits and additional compliance costs.

I oppose workplace discrimination in all its ugly forms and believe in respecting the individual's essential dignity. I have worked with and hired gay employees my entire career. But ENDA criminalizes hiring and promotion based on the subjective criteria of sexual orientation and gender identity — an often fluid standard that can be known only by violating an employee's right to privacy. Employers, including schools, would be required to allow men to show up for work dressed as women, or women as men. Personal objections aside, this is an unnecessary disruption of the workplace.

It is also a dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom for millions of Americans. The bill's so-called religious exemption is vague and inadequate. Based on previous court rulings, faith-based charities may be subject to harassment and junk lawsuits.

Despite Reed's religious freedom claims, ENDA actually has a broad religious exemption as currently written — too broad for some LGBT activist groups.


  1. Ryan says

    I believe now, more than ever, that religion is ALWAYS the problem. It seems every hurdle we face in the US is directly linked to some nutjobs screaming about what god wants/doesn’t want. It’s getting tired.

    I wish god would rapture all those people and let the rest of us get on with it.

  2. MaryM says

    Religion is a very evil thing.

    Religion and ‘god’ has absolutely nothing of value to add to the world.

    As exemplified by this neo-fascist thug Ralph Reed.

    This evil extremist says he opposed discrimination but does not want any protections for vulnerable groups.

    And if this bigot is religious – why is his concern about business.

    Does he not accept ‘god’s’ teaching that wealth is evil?

  3. nick says

    Ralphie is a piece of work who has done so much damage to this country. He is a deceitful opportunist who has no soul (and I don’t mean in a religious way).

  4. HadenoughBS says

    Unfortunately, religion is a dagger in the heart of the LGBT community. It’s dangerous, damaging, deceitful and, sometimes, deadly. Extremist bigots like Reed use religion as a weapon against human equality. He is a filthy opportunist using his hate-filled rantings against LGBTs to raise his image and his wealth among Christianists.

  5. Mike Ryan says

    I’ve said it a million times – we need to get rid of religion in this country. We are controlled by religious fanatics who use their religion to manipulate our lives. Religion is destroying America.

  6. simon says

    He is protestant I guess. Before Reformation, people like him didn’t have the freedom to exist because they interfered with the religious freedom of the Roman Catholic Church. We all know all heretics should be punished and even burned and killed. Now it is their turn to oppress other people in the name of religious freedom.

  7. jamal49 says

    With each and every passing day and each and every idiotic, homophobic comment by such hypocrites as Ralph Reed, I come to loathe and despise evangelical christians more and more and more. We need to rid America of this fundamentalist filth by whatever means necessary.

  8. James says

    My favorite Ralph Reed moment: 2004 or 2005, watching him read gay Miami Beach rag “WIRE” in the David Barton Gym when it was in The Delano. So wish I had an iphone camera back then.

  9. Bill says

    Given James’ comment, one might wonder if the gay employees that Ralph Reed hired were enterprising young men who find work using web sites such as rentboy.com – hey, someone had to say it, so I might as well be first so it can be worded in a way that does not actually make an accusation!

  10. RonCharles says

    As told before on “Towleroad,” whenever I see Ralph Reed, I recall a phone call from a macho, straight buddy of mine.

    He said, “I just saw Ralph Reed on TV. He’s as gay as Ted Haggard!”

    I said, “I bet you can even know what position he likes.”

    He said, “He’s the one who likes getting it up the butt!”

    Even a straight guy with no Gaydar at all could tell immediately.

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