Full Committee Hearing 10:00 AM, September 23, 2009 2175 Rayburn H.O.B Washington, DC U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, today announced that on Wednesday, September 23, he will hold the first full committee hearing in the House of Representatives on legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017), introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would prohibit employment discrimination, preferential treatment, and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with 15 or more employees. Currently, it is legal to discriminate in the workplace based on sexual orientation in 29 states and in 38 states based on gender identity. Witnesses:
- U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
- Hon. Stuart J. Ishimaru
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- William Eskridge
John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence
Yale Law School
- Vandy Beth Glenn
fired from her Georgia state legislative job when she told her supervisor she was transitioning from male to female
- Camille Olson
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
- Craig Parshall (fundie; see video inset)
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
National Religious Broadcasters Association
- Rabbi David Saperstein
Director The Religious Action Center
- Brad Sears
- Williams Institute
UCLA School of Law
Additional witnesses TBA
In the video, they discuss: "Why the fight over the definition of marriage in California could affect the laws in all 50 states. How newly elected government leaders could drastically change our religious liberties. How new leaders could institute new hate crime laws that could make it a criminal offense to teach or practice certain biblical principles. How government regulations and investigations of Christian ministries could drastically increase as a result of newly elected leaders." Also, here's more info about Craig Parshall from another interview…
What makes you feel passionate about Constitutional law? What is at stake?
I don’t believe we derive our most fundamental rights from government— instead, I am convinced that the source of real freedom is from God. The role of government is to recognize, and protect, those rights in practical ways. The Bill of Rights is not just an abstract statement of philosophy—it is a pragmatic way to insure that our political system operates in a way that is consistent with God’s design. For example, the 4th Amendment protects our homes from unlawful searches and seizures. It is not designed to hide criminals, but to reinforce the sanctity of our homes—and by extension, our families, from arbitrary government intrusion. The 1st Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion has a human face. When I recall former clients who lost jobs, suffered a loss of liberty—sometimes even wrongful arrest and jail time— because they were obedient to the gospel, I realize how incredibly important these issues really are.
Do you believe Christianity is on trial today and if so, why?
I think Christianity is on trial in two ways—neither of them very new historically. I believe that there is strong opposition to Christian principles when they are articulated and practiced in the marketplace of ideas. Many of these attacks are subtle, but persistent. The second area in which Christianity is on trial presents us with a tremendous opportunity. The world is always wondering if the claims of Jesus Christ are true—did the Resurrection really happen, whether Scripture contains accounts that are historically reliable. Beyond that, people really wonder, deep in their souls, whether there is a God who exists, who knows them, and who cares about them. The gospel of Jesus Christ has an answer to anybody who is truly searching.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act
WHAT THE BILL DOES
- Federal employment laws currently prevent job discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability. ENDA would extend this to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, covering all LGBT Americans.
- Although some states have laws to prevent such discrimination, in 29 states it is legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and in 38 states it is legal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.
- The bill covers both the public and private sectors.
- The bill has more than 170 cosponsors, including Democrats and Republicans. The current list of original cosponsors will be available after the press conference.
WHAT THE BILL DOES NOT DO
- The legislation does not afford “special rights” to any group.
- The legislation specifically prohibits preferential treatment on the basis of quotas.
- The legislation does not apply to members of the Armed Services, veterans’ service groups, and religious organizations.
- The legislation does not require employers to provide benefits to domestic partners.
- The legislation does not apply to organizations with less than 15 employees.
- The legislation does not prevent businesses from enforcing dress codes