Chuck Colson

Imagine you own a small business—let’s say a donut shop—and you have an employee who is late for work everyday and is rude to customers. When you fire him, he claims it is really because he is gay—and sues.

Or imagine you run a daycare center in your church basement. One day a homosexual applies for a job. When you turn him down, he says you broke the law.

Today, both of these stories are simply scenarios. But by the end of the week, they could be reality.

Under intense goading from the gay-rights lobby, the House of Representatives is poised to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, called ENDA. This legislation would add “sexual orientation” to civil rights law. If passed, ENDA would cut deeply into the religious rights and freedoms of all Americans.

For example, an employer with a moral or religious belief opposed to homosexuality or bisexuality would be forced to give up those rights the moment he arrives at his office. No business would be allowed to refuse to hire a homosexual for any reason. Fire a person because of incompetence—he would say it’s because he is gay, or just even perceived to be gay.

That’s right. ENDA would also expand civil rights protections on the basis of a simple perception. Because ENDA includes “real or perceived” discrimination, an employee, or potential employee, could sue an employer for his or her perception of the employee’s sexual orientation. But sexual orientation is not like race, age, or gender; it is behavioral and not empirically verifiable. Can you imagine the license this would give the courts to begin to investigate peoples’ sex lives? It’s astonishing.

If passed, ENDA would place all the power of the federal government in direct opposition to the beliefs of all major faith groups in America regarding the teachings about sexuality. ENDA would also undermine the institution of marriage by pronouncing traditional sexual morality a form of discrimination. This legislation will lead to a flood of lawsuits; employers would inevitably be forced to require marriage-like benefits to homosexual employees.

The bill also includes phony religious protection language that does not exempt all religious schools and universities (even K through 12).

Pro-ENDA lawmakers are being especially disingenuous. Many congressmen are going to the floor to make speeches about the value of faith groups in American life. The idea seems to be to create the appearance of how much they care about religious communities—records they can point to later for cover as they vote for bills like ENDA. It’s astonishing how easily they think Christians can be fooled, isn’t it? Do they still think evangelicals are poor, ignorant, and easy to command, as the Washington Post once said?

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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