July 21, 2014 – Today, President Obama bypassed Congress and signed an executive order that threatens churches, religious organizations, and nonprofits by forcing them to essentially affirm the sexual behavior of individuals and sacrifice their religious conscience, teaching and principles. Homosexuals, cross-dressers and transsexuals have been given a new avenue to file lawsuits and intimidate people of faith with this order.
President Obama’s executive order allows widespread government punishment against nonprofit groups based on a personal claim by an employee of unfair treatment based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” which can include choices of sexual behavior and efforts to change one’s sex at birth. It has been widely reported that requests were made to include appropriate religious exemptions similar to the protection affirmed in proposed legislation on this issue now pending in Congress. President Obama refused to grant such protections for religious entities. Supporters of this executive order effort have stated that one reason for the order is the desire to have employers provide insurance coverage for sex change surgery. This latest executive order is expected to apply to nearly 24,000 employers and over 28 million employees, making up one fifth of the nation’s worker population.
Texas Values president and attorney Jonathan Saenz released the following statement in response:
“President Obama’s executive order allows sexual behavior to trump Americans’ religious freedom rights. People of faith should not be punished simply because of the religious freedom ruling in the Hobby Lobby case against Obamacare. Religious freedom ensures that faith-based soup kitchens, hospitals and poverty relief ministries can keep their doors open without having to violate their conscience. Charitable public services by religious groups are a common good for society. Placing sexual behavior above the common good provided by religious groups is a disastrous strategy for our nation and places our nation’s much-needed ministries in grave danger.”
This latest executive order by President Obama comes at a time when the public is pushing back against aggressive tactics by homosexual policy advocates. Actual legislation on this issue has once again failed to receive the necessary support in Congress. The so-called Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which adds “gender identity” as a new status to fall under federal discrimination protection, is stalled in the House due to lack of support. Additionally, Houston residents recently secured nearly three times the amount of signatures (50,000) needed to force a public vote in November on a transsexual bathroom ordinance forced through by Houston’s lesbian Mayor Annise Parker earlier in the year.