Legislation Extending Federal Protection for Cross-Dressers Heads to Full Senate

July 24, 2013 - 5:02 PM

 

Ladies bathroom
(CNSNews.com) – The full Senate will consider a bill sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that would add “actual or perceived sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of federally protected traits, which currently include race, religion, age, gender and disability.

The Family Research Council describes The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S. 815) as “giving special rights and protections to people based solely on their sexual behavior,” warning that ENDA “is to the office what the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was to the military.” (S.815.pdf)

ENDA cleared the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee July 10th on a 15-7 vote, with Republicans Mark Kirk (Ill.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voting with the committee’s Democratic majority.

“The term “perceived gender identity” means if a confused man claims he feels like a woman, he must be allowed access to the ladies bathroom (at all public restaurants, shopping malls, and your office at work), or employers will be sued for “segregation,” explained former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt of The Pray in Jesus Name Project.

“They don’t actually need a sex-change operation to sue you, they just need to claim someday they may desire a sex-change, and YOU must protect your male employee’s right to dress like a woman, and have full access to the women’s bathroom, or be sued. The religious exemptions in this bill do not protect for-profit Christian business owners, such as Bible publishers, Christian retail stores, or public restaurants.”

In a statement after the vote, the White House praised HELP Committee members for sending ENDA to the full Senate for the first time since it was introduced back in 1994.

“[The President]  thanks Committee Chairman [Tom] Harkin, Senator Merkley, and Senator Kirk for their leadership on this important issue.  The President has long supported an inclusive ENDA, which would enshrine into law strong, lasting and comprehensive protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. “

The bill imposes penalties under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Employee Rights Act of 1991 on private employers who discriminate against individuals on the basis of their “gender identity,” which the legislation describes as “the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

Under the bill, state and local officials, including those who work for local school districts, are not immune, and can also be sued in federal court for employment discrimination.

“Unlike past bills, Sen. Merkley's version doesn't include an exemption for bathrooms, which means that employers at daycares, public schools, and Christian businesses would all have to change their restroom and shower policies to accommodate men who dress like women and vice-versa.,” FRC president Tony Perkins noted.