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August 27, 2015

Heritage Action Argues ENDA Could Harm Job Creation

Heritage Action for America announced Friday it will score votes for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act next week in the Senate, because the group argues it would harm religious freedom as well as job creation.

The move by the conservative group, which is more influential with membership of the Republican-led House than the Senate, suggests that any momentum for the measure to bar employment discrimination against gays and lesbians might not persist outside of the Senate.

Even so, Senate Democrats are close to finding the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster of the measure. As CQ Roll Call reported Wednesday, supporters are now targeting a number of GOP senators.

Heritage Action raises a number of concerns about the legislation, including some that are familiar by now. One of those questions the strength of the religious protections in the measure.

“The bill also raises serious religious liberty concerns, as the ‘protections’ included in the bill are vague and inadequately defined,” Heritage Action wrote in making the key vote announcement.

In a separate opinion piece published by the conservative National Review, Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan T. Anderson wrote.

“ENDA would further increase federal-government interference in labor markets, potentially discouraging job creation. It would not protect equality before the law, but create special privileges that are enforceable against private actors,” he wrote.

Anderson also brought up concerns about the right to privacy for straight employees in workplace restrooms.

“An employer would be negligent to ignore the concerns of female employees about having to share bathrooms with a biological male who says he identifies as female,” Anderson wrote. “Failing to consider these repercussions raises a host of concerns about privacy rights.”

Twenty-three states have laws similar to the Senate ENDA bill.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., took the procedural steps to set up the first test vote on the motion to proceed next Monday evening. The entire 55-member Democratic caucus backs the measure, and four Republicans have signaled support.

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  1. HalDonahue

    Nov. 1, 2013
    5:43 p.m.

    “…Whether that mission is on a battlefield or in a boardroom, I think we all can agree that we want to be judged solely on our capabilities – nothing more. That’s why I feel strongly about supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA…”

  2. Bob Viering

    Nov. 1, 2013
    10:17 p.m.

    The arguments made by Heritage are stunning. They sound like the message from Southerners in the 50’s and 60’s talking about the possibility of equality for Blacks. Interference in the job market? How? This is simply reprehensible homophobia.


      Nov. 2, 2013
      10:41 a.m.

      Well said. Nothing is new here, these conservatives particularly the southern ones to me want to reinvent the wheel. They’ve always disliked big government “the federal government” telling them what to do since the founding of the republic ..hmmm, let me see, slavery, Jim crow, poll tax, voting rights, civil rights, segregation, redistricting.

    • TomB19

      Nov. 3, 2013
      6:35 p.m.

      Yes, but what is new here is the religious liberty charge. They claim that the ENDA non-discrimination policy would violate their religious freedom. If Heritage had been around in the 50’s and 60’s, they would have argued that civil rights legislation also violates religious liberty.

  3. DrSquishy

    Nov. 3, 2013
    2:04 a.m.

    So discriminating against people hurts job creation? Nope.

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