The Common Good

Who Would God Discriminate Against?

Date: November 7, 2013

The vote on S. 815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), will take place soon. ENDA would protect gay, lesbian and transgender Americans from discrimination in the workplace. Seventeen years ago, the Senate voted on the same bill and was one vote shy. Today with a number of senators still undecided, we hope to muster the votes we need to pass ENDA in the Senate this time.

While the political momentum is not what it should be, the faith community has a more positive story to tell. An array of denominations, faith organizations and faith leaders with differing views on same-sex marriage and civil unions have joined to say employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is wrong and ENDA should be passed. Many senators are probably not aware that there is a letter of support for ENDA from sixty faith groups, including ten national faith denominations. The letter explicitly states:

“Our faith traditions hold different and sometimes evolving beliefs about the nature of human sexuality and marriage as well as gender identity and gender expression, but we can all agree on the fundamental premise that every human being is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.”

This group spans the gamut from Dr. Martin Luther King’s denomination- the Progressive National Baptist Convention- to the evangelical group Sojourners, to the Islamic Society of North America, to mainline Christian denominations like the Methodists and Presbyterians to the Reform and Conservative Jewish Movement.