CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397
ENDA Executive Order Exposes Employers to Litigation Costs, Imposes on Free Speech
WASHINGTON, D.C. - According to White House officials, President Obama will be issuing an executive order mandating that all federal contractors and subcontractors grant special treatment to the politically-charged categories of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in the workplace.
Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg released the following statement:
"This political gesture reflects the president's repeated disregard for the legislative process. Congress has not passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) or similar provisions, despite activists' pressure to do so, because of the detrimental impact on employers' and employees' constitutional freedoms of religion, speech, and association. Historically, these kinds of provisions have not been applied to conduct-based distinctions that are not found in the Constitution.
"Today's announced executive order will give activists a license to challenge their employers whenever they feel aggrieved, exposing those employers to threats of costly legal proceedings and the potential of jeopardizing future contracts. Furthermore, by requiring federal contractors to consider characteristics and behaviors related to a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, this policy will make contractors liable for protecting actual or perceived self-disclosed and fluid identities that may not even be known.
"The timing of this announcement is clearly designed to curry favor with activist organizations. While the president prepares to address a New York gathering of gay rights supporters, the American people will be left to sort out the costs to religious and constitutional liberties resulting from this executive order."