— By Stephen Richer
I’ll be releasing an article on this pretty soon (I know you’re dying in anticipation!), but in the meantime…
Their most recent success story is my senator, conservative leader Orrin Hatch (R-UT):
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is a new — and absolutely critical — ENDA ally, particularly for reassuring other Republicans that ENDA protects religious liberty. We recently met with one undeclared Republican Senator who told us that Senator Hatch’s expertise on religious freedom issues coupled with his comfort with ENDA’s broad protections for churches, religious schools and non-profits was assuring as he considers whether to vote for ENDA this fall.
It’s obviously very exciting to see my (very) senior senator malleable on something pertaining to gay rights. But does it have to be ENDA? “GOP” actually doesn’t, and shouldn’t, exist anywhere in ENDA. ENDA puts the government in private businesses, and it carves out yet another protected class, making gays “different” in the eyes of the law — exactly what we’ve been fighting against in the case of marriage.
I understand the strategy here — I’ve had explained to me by very capable Republican supporters of gay equality: “this is a nice way to get conservative Republicans on the road toward full gay equality. Break them in slowly.” But on the march toward gay equality I don’t want to repeat all the excesses of the 1960s Civil Rights legislation that continue to plague private enterprises today.
I’ll write more later. But in the meantime, this publication by Cato Institute can serve as your guide: “Context Matters: A Better Libertarian Approach to Antidiscrimination Law” (By: David E. Bernstein, Sheldon Richman, Jason Kuznicki, Jeffrey A. Miron).