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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/22/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bishops declare that anti-discrimination bill will cause worse discrimination

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme."

A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: US, Politcs, Legal, Faith


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination," warned Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo in a statement from July 21.

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"With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent," the statement continued. "As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs."

Despite petitions from a wide variety of religious figures, the executive order did not include any religious exemptions, which is one of the reasons many religious leaders have been in an uproar.

Two U.S. bishops are among those who have opposed the executive order, especially because of its lack of religious exemption. In their statement, Lori and Malone emphasized that "the Church strongly opposes...unjust discrimination against those who experience a homosexual inclination."

But they contend that the Church does distinguish between attraction and behavior, and that Catholic teaching opposes "sexual conduct outside of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman."

They cautioned that this "executive order, as it regards federal government contractors, ignores the inclination/conduct distinction in the undefined term 'sexual orientation.'" A problem that the previous versions did not have.

"Indeed, all prior versions of ENDA had at least some religious liberty protections," they said. "But the executive order is an anomaly in this regard, containing no religious liberty protections."

"In this way, the order, which is fundamentally flawed in itself, also needlessly prefers conflict and exclusion over coexistence and cooperation."

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