Dept. of Labor Rule on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for Federal Contractors Lacks Religious Exemption, Burdens Employers

Dept. of Labor Rule on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for Federal Contractors Lacks Religious Exemption, Burdens Employers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2014
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

Washington, DC - Today, Family Research Council expressed opposition to the Final Rule issued by the Department of Labor to implement Executive Order 13672, which requires all federal contractors to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as protected categories. President Obama signed the Executive Order on July 21, 2014.

Peter Sprigg, FRC's Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, made the following comments:

"President Obama was wrong to unilaterally impose upon half a million private employers, representing 42% of the civilian workforce, a legal requirement (with a $50 million compliance burden) that Congress has consistently refused to impose by statute.

"Even the unsuccessful proposed 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (ENDA) has always, up to now, included an exemption for religious employers in its proposed language. The absence of any such exemption from President Obama's order or from the Department of Labor's Final Rule illustrates how extreme this measure is.

"The 'gender identity' provisions of this Rule raise irreconcilable conflicts between separating restroom, dressing, and sleeping facilities on the basis of biological sex or on the basis of 'gender identity,' and the possibility of uncounted compliance costs related to the construction of 'single-user restrooms' to insure privacy.

"Given its dramatic impact on so many employers, this Final Rule should not have been promulgated without notice or opportunity for public comment," concluded Sprigg.

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