As reported earlier by The New American, Obama warned that he would enact the unconstitutional order if the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives did not follow up on the Democrat-controlled Senate's earlier passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and despite diligent requests from Christian colleges and non-profits, Obama refused to provide an exemption to religious organizations — which had been included in the Senate-passed version of the ENDA.
“Thanks to your passion and advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of your cause, our government — the government of the people, by the people, and for the people — will become just a little bit fairer,” said Obama, playing to the crowd of LGBT activists gathered at the White House for the signing ceremony. “We're on the right side of history,” he exulted.
While Obama's new executive order lets stand President Bush's 2002 order permitting federal contractors that are also religious institutions to hire employees who share their religious convictions, “the rub,” explained Jack Kenny in The New American, “is that it will not allow religious groups to fire or refuse to hire persons whose advocacy of or engagement in aberrant sexual conduct they regard as sinful and a violation of moral principles and practices that are at the core of what the religious organizations are established to promote.”
Among the liberal groups applauding Obama's actions was the ACLU, whose director, Anthony Romero, declared that the order represented “one of the most important actions ever taken by a president to eradicate LGBT discrimination from America’s workplaces. By signing this order, President Obama is building on a bipartisan tradition, dating back over 70 years, of barring discrimination without exception when taxpayer dollars are involved.”
Likewise, Chad Griffin of Human Rights Campaign declared that Obama had taken “unprecedented and historic executive actions to advance LGBT equality in this country and around the world.”
By contrast, conservative, pro-family, and Christian leaders accused Obama of taking aim at the religious liberties protected by the First Amendment. Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, observed that Obama's executive order will force Christian and other religious groups to compromise their moral and spiritual convictions to align with Obama's pro-homosexual agenda. “President Obama has ordered employers to put aside their principles, and practices in the name of political correctness,” Sprigg said in a statement. “This level of coercion is nothing less than viewpoint blackmail that bullies into silence every contractor and subcontractor who has moral objections to homosexual behavior.”
Sprigg predicted that the order would arm LGBT activists with “a license to challenge their employers and, expose those employers to threats of costly legal proceedings and the potential of jeopardizing future [federal] contracts.”
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Photo of President Obama signing new executive orders: AP Images