While the Supreme Court prepares to take up cases on marriage equality, the Family Research Council’s latest mailing [PDF] takes on ENDA – the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. “Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warns FRC President Tony Perkins. Perkins says President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer sounded a similar alarm in January.
“In fact,” says Perkins in his new letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”
What ENDA would really do is simply extend existing protections against various forms of legal discrimination in the workplace to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The real point of the FRC letter is to raise money from people who think persecution of Christians in America is just around the corner, if not well under way:
“And no battle could be more urgently important than the battle against NEDA. The rights of more than 60 million Americans – the right to live and share our faith and live according to biblical values – are literally at risk of being vaporized by a single vote of Congress or the stroke of the President’s pen.”
Polls show overwhelming public support for protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination on the job. But that doesn’t matter to FRC, which has a lot invested in convincing its supporters that LGBT equality is incompatible with religious freedom.
Several years ago, FRC warned that a federal hate crimes law would be used to silence preachers. Other religious right leaders said Christians would be tossed into jail for preaching against homosexuality. That legislation was signed into law in 2009; as Perkins himself makes clear, the freedom to trash-talk LGBT people has survived.