Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, appears to be leaving the door open for running for an eighth term, when he will be 84 years old.
Gay-rights groups reject anti-bias bill due to religious exemption

Hobby Lobby fallout » Supreme Court ruling upholding religious rights of corporations prompted defection of bill supporters.

First Published Jul 08 2014 04:22 pm • Last Updated Jul 08 2014 07:37 pm

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, supported a bill to protect gay people from workplace discrimination, in large part because it contained a strong exemption for religious organizations.

Now a collection of gay-rights groups are abandoning the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) over that very exemption, afraid that if the bill passes, it would allow employers to undercut the proposal’s very goal by claiming a moral objection to homosexuality.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The coordinated announcement from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights is a reaction to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, in which the arts-and-crafts chain cited a moral objection to offering employees certain forms of contraceptives, required under the Affordable Care Act.

The court ruled 5-4 in the company’s favor, saying the owners of privately held companies have religious freedom rights.

In a joint statement, the gay-rights groups said: "Because opponents of LGBT equality are already misreading that decision as having broadly endorsed rights to discriminate against others, we cannot accept a bill that sanctions discrimination and declares that discrimination against LGBT people is more acceptable than other kinds of discrimination."

Hatch declined to comment Tuesday on the gay-rights group;s reversal on ENDA. He was one of 10 Republicans to vote for the bill in November (Sen. Mike Lee was not among them). It passed on a 64-to-32 vote. The House has yet to take up the bill and isn’t expected to anytime soon.

Hatch cited the religious exemption in explaining his vote, though he said it wasn’t the only reason he voted for the proposal, saying he found it objectionable that gay and lesbian people could lose a job based on their sexual preference.

"The reason I supported this bill is simple. I believe that this discrimination is wrong," Hatch said at the time.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.