Faith Groups to Obama: Let Us Discriminate Against Gays
They want Obama to grant them a 'robust' exemption in executive order
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2014 9:20 AM CDT
President Barack Obama listens as he meets with five people who wrote him letters at Wazee Supper Club on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Denver.    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – In the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling, another faith-based issue for President Obama: Religious group leaders—including Michael Wear, the man who led the president’s faith-outreach initiative in 2012—are spearheading an effort that seeks a "robust" exemption for religious organizations from Obama’s still-unsigned anti-bias executive order, which will prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians who work for federal contractors, reports the New York Times. A July 1 letter sent to the president and labeled as a request from "friends of the administration" asks Obama to ensure the protection of religious service organizations, such as not denying government funding to a charity group that refuses to hire an openly gay leader.

The letter (a follow-up to one sent on June 25) was organized by Wear—who says he’s an "ardent [Obama] supporter" and gay-rights advocate—and signed by other leaders in the faith community, including the CEO of Catholic Charities and pastor Rick Warren, who delivered the president’s first inauguration invocation. "We’re not trying to support crazy claims of religious privilege," Wear tells the Times. Instead, they simply want the government to continue to support groups that adhere to "employee moral conduct standards" that might clash with the order. Gay-rights groups responded yesterday by asking Obama to sign the executive order as quickly as possible.

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Ravi Oli
Jul 16, 2014 8:34 AM CDT
Everyone discriminates....
Jul 15, 2014 11:40 AM CDT
This makes me so proud to be an Atheist. Only the infected supernaturalists want to protect their right to practice mindless bigotry. Uneducated and uncivilized savages that they are. Religion is a P.O.S. plain and simple. Every tax-exemption should be pulled and no tax-breaks for supernatural clubhouses or corporations. You take our money yet want to discriminate? Do it on your own time and your own dime. Period.
Jul 9, 2014 9:22 PM CDT
Actually most religious organizations have moral clauses against heterosexual relations outside of marriage. In the Roman Catholic Church priests and nuns take vows of celebacy (I know there are priests who break these and they should be held accountable especially if those breaches in their vows also violate legal statutes). The point is they have moral clauses. What many don't think about is the next step which is churches being required to marry homosexuals. Is that not discrimination too? Some churches don't marry the divorced or don't marry those who aren't members or members in good standing. The solution is so easy, provide a legal non-sectarian contractual partnership for both homosexuals and heterosexuals (for example, those who are atheists or agnostics) and leave the marrying to the churches. The contractual partnership would provide all the legal protections and benefits of a religious marriage.