As ACLU, GLAD, Lambda Legal, NCLR, and Transgender Law Center Pull Support for ENDA, HRC Holds On

Following this morning's statement that the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) dropped their support for ENDA, four more major LGBT rights organizations have followed suit.

Via the ACLU: Aclu

The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that it is withdrawing its support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a statement also signed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. The ACLU objects to a provision in the bill that would allow religiously affiliated employers to continue to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Federal legislation to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination is way beyond overdue, but Congress has no place giving religiously affiliated employers a license to discriminate against LGBT workers," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office. "We can no longer support a bill that treats LGBT discrimination as different and somehow more legitimate than other forms of discrimination."

President Obama has announced his intention to sign an executive order that would ban discrimination against LGBT people employed by federal contractors. The ACLU opposes any inclusion of a discrimination exemption in this executive order.

Read their statement HERE.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign continues to support the troubling, flawed piece of legislation.

Said HRC Vice President Fred Sainz in an email: "HRC supports ENDA because it will provide essential workplace protections to millions of LGBT people."

In related news, 45 LGBT groups have written a letter to President Obama asking him to ensure that the executive order he has promised to sign barring anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors "not contain any exemption beyond what is provided by the Constitution and Title VII."


  1. Thedrdonna says

    The HRC has made a lot of money trying to get the ENDA passed, regardless of how watered down or abbreviated it becomes. I’d be surprised if they aren’t one of the last to give it up as dead.

  2. KC says

    “HRC supports ENDA because it will provide essential workplace protections to millions of LGBT people.” Wrong. With the nebulous “religious exemption,” organizations will be free to continue discriminating, and even ramp things up a notch. Which seems to nullify the whole intent of ENDA, right? Did I miss a memo somewhere?!

  3. bkmn says

    Obviously HRC is more concerned with their social calendar than doing something useful for the LGBT community.

  4. Rikon Snow says

    Of course. HRC knows that it’s only Inside The Beltway Status that matters. Gay people outside the beltway . . . eh, not so much.

  5. Gregory in Seattle says

    At the national level, the HRC time and again demonstrated that money is their only purpose. They do not give a rat’s tail about actually promoting human rights, as long as their inner circle can continue to draw fat paychecks. The HRC is entirely irrelevant.

  6. says

    Is there a religious exemption for African Americans, Asians, Jews, Women? No. And there should be NO religious exemptions for gay people. If he (Obama) signs such an order it will come back to haunt him.

  7. Beth says

    Good for HRC for making its own call and not just going with the pack. HRC is no longer led by the party-throwing, ass-kissing Solmonese. It is run by a smart, independent-minded guy, the same guy who started the Prop 8 lawsuit even when all of these groups were telling him not to.

    The religious exemption is broader than I would like, but it only impacts a small number of religiously run institutions. It does not give a free pass to a business just because it is owned by a religious individual or family. It is far better to get protection from discrimination from 99.5% of businesses rather than get nothing in order to make a statement about the .5%.

    If HRC stands alone, I hope they will cut out the gender identity provision and just pass the damned thing in the form it was introduced 20 years ago.

  8. Beth says

    Gregory in Seattle,

    What a jack@ass you are. HRC has worked on every major issue impacting us. They were key mover in DADT repeal and they are working hard in marriage equality. ENDA would not pass if their lobbying and networks were not in place. When WA state was fighting R-74, they got people to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars. They dedicated their own professional staff to Maryland to help pass Question 6, because the Maryland state group was in disarray. If they hadn’t stepped up, we would have lost Maryland.

    NGLTF didn’t donate a dime to R-74. It did nothing on marriage equality anywhere else. It did nothing on DADT repeal. Yet its Executive Director makes as much as HRC’s Executive Director. So where’s your snotty remarks about NGLTF?

  9. EdA says

    Add the AFL-CIO’s Pride@Work as an organization that has pulled its support for an unacceptably flawed bill.

  10. Q says

    @Beth, It is not a small number of institutions. Religiously-affiliated hospitals, schools, and universities make up a huge percentage of employers in the educational and health care sectors. Every day we read stories about a gym teacher, administrator, or food service worker who is fired by a religious institution for being gay. This is not a small problem.

  11. TheSmokingMirror says

    ‘Don’t worry, the only people who will be allowed to discriminate against you are all the people inclined to do so.’

  12. MichaelJ says

    In light of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, it makes sense to withdraw support of ENDA and any other legislation that gives wide latitude for religious-based discrimination. HRC has beltway myopia and an inflated sense of its own importance, making it unable and unwilling to consider the wider implications of its advocacy.

    IF HRC helped local organizers in Maryland, I’m glad to hear that. In NYC and NYS, where I live, they have at times been pretty arrogant and narrow-minded in who they have endorsed.

  13. steve says

    We need to hear from HRC on what their thoughts are? I have NOT been very impressed with the organization in the past because they are not very inclusive in the LGBTQ community as a whole BUT under their new leadership I’d like to hear what their thoughts are and strategy moving forward in light of the Hobby Lobby decision. Hopefully, we wont have to wait too long.

  14. Randy says

    Human Rights Closet never cared about gay and lesbian people. It only cared about how to get our money.

  15. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    HRC will do whatever it takes to be included in the next inside the beltway cocktail party.

  16. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    @ THESMOKINGMIRROR: ‘Don’t worry, the only people who will be allowed to discriminate against you are all the people inclined to do so.’

    good point. ENDA will disallow discrimination by anyone who wouldn’t have discriminated against you anyway.

  17. MFinBH says

    We still need an ENDA, and if Congress were to pass even this flawed bill, President Obama could sign it with a signing statement eliminating the religious exemption (remember those? Bush used it >200 times, which exceeded all his combined predecessors).

    Of course nothing is going to pass (or even be brought to a vote), because the House couldn’t pass the dinner rolls at a picnic! Congress is completely non-functioning, and will remain so until Boehner is out and Pelosi has that gavel back.