Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Faith-based groups want to weaken XO prohibiting federal contractors from sexual orientation discrimination; what happens with jobs not connected to contracts?

Faith-based groups will seek exclusion from Obama’s proposed executive order requiring federal contractors not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  There is a front page story in the New York Times today by Julie Hirschfield Davis and Erik Eckholm, link here. It is not completely clear whether the order could cover jobs in companies that have federal contracts but not themselves associated with the contracts.  On the other hand, some pro-gay groups are withdrawing support for ENDA as it is proposed now because of faith-based exceptions. 

The article suggests a scenario, where an openly gay person (or perhaps someone in a legally recognized same-sex marriage) seeks a high-level position with Catholic Charities or a similar religious charity, and where that charity has accepted taxpayer dollars under federal contracts.

My own personal take on this is that I avoid approaching such employers, because I would be paid for expressing their views which might be in conflict with my own.  This is part of the big “conflict of interest” problem which is a label on my own main blog. But, maybe I am “financially fortunate” enough to be picky.  But I tend to see this as a matter of personal integrity.  Libertarians might tend to agree.

In fact, a few times (particularly while my mother was still living, before the end of 2010) I was approached for jobs that I saw as inappropriate for this reason. So I have probably practiced self-exclusion, which could help create a statistical impression of discrimination.

But it is a long way from saying that it is OK for an employer not to pay for some kinds of contraception to allowing an employer to exclude people from employment.  Yet, we live in a world where double lives are no longer realistic. 

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