HRC Blog

NOM Attacks ENDA as “Trojan Horse”

Post submited by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

NOM is proving once again that its efforts to work against equality for LGBT Americans go well beyond marriage – following the historic and bipartisan passage of ENDA through the Senate, NOM blasted out an email riddled with inaccuracies about the legislation and taking issue with transgender Americans.

While nearly 70 percent of Americans – including 56 percent of Republicans and a number of GOP lawmakers in both the Senate and the House – support basic workplace protections for LGBT employees, NOM labels the legislation “nothing more than a Trojan horse designed to drive people of faith and traditional values further from the public square in our country.”

NOM’s email pulls out the same tired and inaccurate arguments against ENDA – claiming that anyone “who says in passing at the water cooler at work that she’s a believer in traditional marriage could suddenly be accused of engaging in hate speech and even workplace harassment!” and telling its supporters “passing bills like ENDA….subject individuals, small businesses and religious groups to lawsuits, fines and other punishments over amorphous concepts and feelings….”

Let’s be clear: ENDA simply protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination – hiring, firing and promotion practices – based on nothing more than their sexual orientation and gender identity. And ENDA isn’t dangerous for small businesses or religious organizations – the legislation exempts small businesses with 15 or fewer employees, and includes broad religious exemptions. And we know from a recent GAO report that states with employment non-discrimination protections have seen no discernible uptick in lawsuits.

But it goes beyond fear-mongering with factual inaccuracies about ENDA – NOM also attacks the bill’s inclusion of gender identity, saying : “…if sexual orientation is a difficult concept to define, so much more so is the totally amorphous idea of ‘gender identity.’ Basically it means that if a man feels like being a woman, he is; but if he later decides he’s a man again, he’s that.”

NOM’s transphobic and deceptive attacks on ENDA illustrate just how extreme the supposedly marriage-focused organization is becoming. ENDA passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support because lawmakers from both parties know that giving every single American the opportunity to work hard and earn a decent living based on their merits and skills is the right thing to do.

NOM also may be interested to know that, in the run-up to the bipartisan victory on ENDA, HRC released an extensive report looking at re-election rates for Republican state lawmakers who supported workplace protection legislation in state legislatures. The result? No Republican state legislator who has voted for LGBT workplace non-discrimination protections has lost re-election because of that vote.

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