Thursday, November 07, 2013
Coats Argues That Protecting Gays From Employment Discrimination Infringes On Employers' Religious Freedom
The U.S. Senate today passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA") by a vote of 64-32. It would expand federal civil rights laws to protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Indianapolis and a number of other Indiana cities have had similar laws on the books for a number of years despite the dire warnings of harm to employers opponents of the law predicted would occur at the time of their passage. All but 10 Republican senators voted against ENDA, including Indiana's Sen. Dan Coats (R), who led the opposition. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D), who has a gay son, voted with all of his Democratic colleagues in supporting it. House Speaker John Boehner (R) announced that he won't allow a vote to be taken on ENDA in the House.
According to Coats, protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation infringes on the right of employers to discriminate against them based on their religious beliefs. It's the kind of logic that leaves you scratching your head and cognizant of why so many younger Americans, who were once attracted to the Republican Party under President Ronald Reagan, are now turning away from it in large numbers. I would like to ask Coats why he thinks it's okay to spend trillions of our tax dollars and sacrifice the lives of thousands of American soldiers to fight useless wars in Muslim countries that outlaw the right of the people of other faiths to exercise their religious beliefs. Our soldiers can't even practice their faith during tours of duty in these countries; their religious freedom must be sacrificed to avoid offending the "host" nations we are told welcome our military assistance. I think Coats cares more about getting campaign contributions from the military/industrial complex than preserving religious freedom. He should care more about how Republicans are going to win future elections without the support of a growing number of Americans who could care less about a person's sexual orientation or their choice of whom to marry.