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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/27/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Lack of distinction, clarity in language of order will result in excluding those who abide by Church

A new order by U.S. President Obama that forbids federal contractors from discriminating "on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," has been denounced by U.S. bishops as "unprecedented and extreme and should be opposed" and, in effect, "implements discrimination."

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pictured, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, pictured, and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/27/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Transgender rights, Bishops, discrimination


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB have strongly condemned President Obama's July 21 executive order.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in a statement noted that the executive order, which will impact a fifth of the U.S. workforce, discriminates against faithful Catholics.

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Both point out that a lack of distinction and clarity in the language of Obama's order will result in excluding those who try to abide by Church teaching from all federal contracting.

"In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination," the bishops said.

"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. As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs."

"The Church strongly opposes both unjust discrimination against those who experience a homosexual inclination and sexual conduct outside of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman," they continued.

"But the executive order, as it regards federal government contractors, ignores the inclination/conduct distinction in the undefined term 'sexual orientation.' As a result, even contractors that disregard sexual inclination in employment face the possibility of exclusion from federal contracting if their employment policies or practices reflect religious or moral objections to extramarital sexual conduct."

The bishops also say that "the executive order prohibits 'gender identity' discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level and that is predicated on the false idea that 'gender' is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be chosen at variance from one's biological sex."

"This is a problem not only of principle but of practice, as it will jeopardize the privacy and associational rights of both federal contractor employees and federal employees. For example, a biological male employee may be allowed to use the women's restroom or locker room provided by the employer because the male employee identifies as a female," they added.

The bishops concluded by pointing out that states have previously avoided the conflicts arising from "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" prohibitions by providing protections for religious employers.

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