Religious exemption in non-discrimination act

The Orthodox Union won a victory in its push to exclude religious organizations from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Its Institute for Public Affairs has worked to ensure the bill would allow religious organizations the right to hire and discharge employees based on their religious beliefs. Such protection is already granted by the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives education and labor committee on Oct. 18 sent on the bill for a vote by the entire House.

The O.U. has not taken a position on the bill itself, which would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.

“It is critical that the effort to secure new legal protections for some citizens not undermine the longstanding religious liberties enjoyed by religious Americans or their institutions,“ said Nathan Diament, the O.U.’s director of public policy.

The White House is threatening a veto, claiming the bill would penalize religious organizations that encompass more than one faith group.

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