British group issues guide to balancing religion and gay equality in the workplace

by on July 22, 2009  •  In Employment law, ENDA, Religion

The Stonewall Foundation has published a report on "Religion and Sexual Orientation: How to manage relations in the workplace" that Congress ought to read in advance of its consideration of ENDA. Aside from some platitudinous guidelines ("treat everyone with respect"), the core of the document is a series of case studies, including a local clerk who refused to conduct civil partnership ceremonies, a counselor who balked at providing psychosexual counseling to same-sex couples, and a senior employee who constantly quoted Bible passages to a junior employee. The rule in Britain is that religious organizations can discriminate only if the job position or activity in question is directly associated with the doctrine of the faith group.  By contrast, the religious exemption in ENDA would grant religious organizations essentially a blanket waiver of ENDA's requirements. As this report documents, the British system is workable and fair.


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