Faith Leaders Split on Religious Exemption

Faith Leaders Split on Religious Exemption

According to the Huffington Post faith leaders are divided on a pending executive order that removes the freedom of federal contractors to hire based on sexual orientation. This week the White House received a letter from more than 100 leaders calling on President Obama to ban LGBT discrimination.

The letter was received on the heels of another request from 14 faith leaders -- including several of the president's close advisors – that urged Obama to include wording that allows religious liberty.

Charisma Magazine reports, "A religious exemption would simply maintain that religious organizations will not be automatically disqualified or disadvantaged in obtaining contracts because of their religious beliefs," the leaders wrote in the July 1 letter to Obama.

Signers of that letter included, among others, Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter; the Rev. Larry Snyder, CEO of Catholic Charities USA; and the Rev. Noel Castellanos, CEO of the Christian Community Development Association; as well as former evangelical liaison Michael Wear.

Rev. Brian McLaren said in a press release issued by Union Theological Seminary, “That's why so many of us who believe in religious liberty don't want religious liberty used as a smokescreen to aid, abet, and protect prejudice.”

Leaders who object to such an exemption maintain the importance of protecting diversity.

Read the full letter and list of signers here

Publication date: July 11, 2014