California’s Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has defended the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) despite weakened support from the LGBT community across the United States.
As advocacy groups withdraw support for the Senate-passed bill to protect LGBT employees from discrimination at work, Nancy Pelosi recently said that she continues to support the legislation.
“I think it would be a great advancement,” the California Democrat said at her weekly news conference. “Everybody has to make an accommodation.”
A coalition of influential LGBT rights organizations jointly pulled endorsement of the legislation earlier this week, partly in protest at the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. The Senate bill’s “conscience clause,” they said, is now too bitter a pill to swallow.
A joint statement from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center explains that despite the good intentions of the legislation, it could have negative effects:
“The provision in the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity has long been a source of significant concern to us. Given the types of workplace discrimination we see increasingly against LGBT people, together with the calls for greater permission to discriminate on religious grounds that followed immediately upon the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, it has become clear that the inclusion of this provision is no longer tenable. It would prevent ENDA from providing protections that LGBT people desperately need and would make very bad law with potential further negative effects.”