Congressional watchers expect a renewed push in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The House passed a version of ENDA in November of 2007 after a provision that would have included transgender protection was removed. The bill died in the Senate but a new version was introduced in the House and the Senate in the summer of 2009. The Obama Administration has pledged to sign any bill that makes it through both houses of Congress.
The bill sounds innocuous enough in that the title simply calls for an end to discrimination in the workplace. The devil, as always, is in the details because ENDA seeks to elevate sexual orientation to a protected status in federal nondiscrimination laws. Any elevation of special protected rights extended to people because of sexual orientation or gender confusion will simply add weight to the legal arguments for same-sex marriage. The main foal of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) activists has always been to place same-sex marriage on the same level as heterosexual marriage. Passing another federal law that recognizes the LGBT community as a legitimate class requiring protection simply adds another stepping stone in the pathway to same-sex marriage.
Homosexual activists acknowledged long ago that the fight to raise same-sex marriage to the level of heterosexual marriage would be incremental in nature, involving many intermediate, sequential steps. In every state where same-sex marriage has been left up to the people the people have supported traditional marriage. But same-sex marriage proponents have faired much better in the court system where Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Connecticut have forced some form of same-sex unions on their citizens. Voters in Maine and California repealed same-sex marriage laws that were imposed on them by their legislatures and upheld by their court system. In California, an outraged radial homosexual community singled out supporters of Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, for ridicule and intimidation. A federally backed ENDA would embolden same-sex marriage supporters and give legal gravitas to their cause.
The passage of ENDA would also be seen as an expression of collective moral judgment that homosexual, bisexual and transgender sexual expressions are on the same level with heterosexuality. This would force millions of evangelical Christians to choose between remaining faithful to the teaching of God's Word, which condemns homosexuality, and obeying a government edict that contradicts their deeply held beliefs. And yes, I know the current proposed legislation contains an exemption for religious organizations but that exemption does not cover all non-profit organizations. It also doesn't cover small business owners who may conscientiously object to LGBT behavior. In the end, religious exemptions to government-sponsored social engineering are granted only until society as a whole becomes comfortable with the new requirements.
No one would argue against anti-discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability. These are common sense laws that uphold everyone's constitutional right to provide for themselves and their families and to pursue their idea of success and happiness. But a constantly expanding litany of protected groups based on lifestyle preferences can only lead to chaos. Imagine the scene if "gender identity" makes it onto the list of protected groups. You would have men who deny their maleness and insist on being identified as female. They would no doubt demand to use the women's rest room or locker room. This kind of government-sanctioned confusion would leave most workplaces embroiled in endless controversy.
Because ENDA would ban real or "perceived" discrimination based on sexual orientation it would open the floodgates for trial lawyers and greatly increase the litigation costs of businesses. ENDA's ambiguous wording would dramatically expand the already fertile soil of frivolous lawsuits, driving up the cost of business ownership and driving down the benefits of entrepreneurs.
A transgender inclusive ENDA could very well create hidden costs for employers that would be passed on to consumers. If ENDA becomes law, state-run health care plans will likely be required to pay for sex-reassignment surgeries that can cost as much as $70,000. Employers may be required to offer expensive health insurance policies that cover these procedures.
All of these reasons to oppose ENDA are valid but the bottom line for believers should be the Word of God. What God has clearly defined as sinful behavior (Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-11, etc.) should not be elevated to the level of a protected class in the workplace.