Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Wants ENDA Executive Order to Include Religious Exemptions

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is calling for religious exemptions to be included in the executive order President Obama is expected to issue that will protect LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.

The Washington Blade reports:

Orrin hatch“While the specifics of this executive order are not yet clear, I believe it must include the same religious protections that are included in the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Senate,” Hatch said. “ENDA strikes a good balance to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation will not be tolerated, but also that one of our nation’s fundamental freedoms — religious freedom — is still upheld. The same must be said for any Obama Administration initiative on this issue.” […]

A White House official responded to Hatch’s request for similar language in the executive order by saying it doesn’t any have details to share about the specifics of the directive.

The Washington Blade notes that in the current version of ENDA before Congress, religious institutions, like churches or religious hospitals and schools, could continue to discriminate against LGBT workers in non-ministerial positions even if the bill were to become law.

Last September, Hatch was among 10 Senate Republicans who voted for ENDA


  1. JMC says

    Including religious exemptions in policies designed to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination is like including accommodations for for white supremacists in civil rights legislation.

  2. MikeBoston says

    It is time to start questioning blanket ‘religious exemptions’. While I can marginally accept that a priest may be expected to toe the line on church teaching, there is no reason the janitor cleaning a church must buy into the same doctrine. Providing a teacher in a catholic school does not teach views that contradict the teachings of the church, his or her personal life should not matter. The church, with thousands of employees, should not be able to discriminate when it comes to lay positions – teachers, clerical, janitorial, legal, etc, etc.

    Of course, I cannot understand the need for religion-specific schools or hospitals. Religion should be taught in churches and homes – but the business of religion knows they must get them when they are young and vulnerable.

  3. jamal49 says

    No! No more “religious” exemptions. Screw christians and any other religion that feels they should have special privileges that allow them to discriminate against us.

  4. Hansel Currywurst says

    The executive order would only cover government and contractor employment. How would a religion be involved in any way unless there isn’t separation of church and state? Oh, right, Bush’s “faith based” BS still has its hand (make that *tentacles*) in your pocket.

  5. Buck says

    My religion calls for me to stab idiots in their dumb faces.

    I demand a religious exemption to current murder and assault laws.

    This is discrimination.

  6. simon says

    The Europeans will laugh at us.
    The European Union has compelled the British government to remove religious freedom exemptions from an anti-discrimination bill.
    Their interpretation of religious freedom is very narrow.
    The new proposals would allow religious organizations to decline to employ homosexuals only if their job involves actively promoting or practicing a religion.

  7. Gregory in Seattle says

    Similar laws and regulations do not allow for “religious exemptions” for gender, race or religion. Why, exactly, should orientation be exempted?

  8. Craig says

    This applies to federal contractors. The gov’t shouldn’t be hiring religious contractors to begin with.

  9. Grover Underwood says

    is he referring to the same ENDA bill that his party is holding up in the House?

  10. SoLeftImRight says

    Nope! If you want a religious exemption for bigotry, you DO NOT get any government contracts/taxpayer money. We should also be taxing all churches.

  11. JackFknTwist says

    Churches and so called ‘religious exemptions’ should have no more status than any other corporation or public body.

    It’s time to end this dubious excuse for bigotry.

  12. MaryM says

    Why are so many exemptions being made for the mental illness of religious belief.

    Religion is a cancer that destroys.

    ‘God’ is fake.

    F*** religion – worthless, evil, poison.

  13. Nigel says

    No special privileges for religion, no religious exemptions. In my city most hospitals are “owned” by religious non-profits that receive government funding to provide medical services to the community. This government funding is taxpayer money. Why should I pay taxes to fund an organization that can legally discriminate against me? To put this exemption in perspective substitute jewish, women, african-american, hispanic, etc. for LGBT and see if you still feel the same way, such as the religious hospital can refuse to hire jewish doctors, the religious hospital can refuse to hire women doctors, the religious hospital can refuse to hire african-american doctors, the religious hospital can refuse to hire hispanic doctors. This doesn’t sound right to me.

  14. Nelson says

    Just watch. Someone who is CEO of a company selling hammers to the Army is going to do a Hobby Lobby on us and claim that his “religious freedom” is being threatened.

  15. ChrisQ says

    Isn’t it amazing that when they lose, they suddenly want exemptions and compromise? Anyone who gets a dime of federal money is not entitled to any kind of religious “exemption” to anything.

  16. Jack M says

    Other than freedom of religion, there should be no law showing any favoritism to religion, neither a single religion or all of them.

  17. BobN says

    “is he referring to the same ENDA bill that his party is holding up in the House? ”

    Be careful pointing that out. They might get smart and pass it.

  18. Sean says

    NOPE. That would be illegal. An employer cannot force, require, demand an employee or potential employee to adhere to the employers religious beliefs. REAL Americans know, understand, accept that fact of American law and civilized values.

  19. Randy says

    Hatch is OK if we’re equal with other people, as long as he and his friends are above all of us.

    We should have no patience for this kind of attack on the law.