ENDA will finally be debated before a Senate committee next week, but the witness list includes one notable Republican, Craig Parshall, an anti-gay dominionist and advocate of an extremist perspective of ”religious liberty.” Parshall works as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of a group named the National Religious Broadcasters. The NRB just two weeks ago touted their unpublished study that accused most social media sites — except Twitter — of censoring Christians’ anti-gay speech. ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, “has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 (except the 109th) while previous employment anti-discrimination legislation has been proposed since 1974.”
Since 2005, the NRB has been accused of being “one of the leading groups of the Dominionist movement.”
Writing, “Parshall, the one Republican witness, testified in opposition to ENDA in the 2009 House hearing on the bill, saying it would ‘impose a crippling burden on religious organizations,’ according to a report from The Christian Post at the time,” MetroWeekly today reports:
This morning, the Senate Housing, Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee announced the witness list for the upcoming June 12 hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — a bill to outlaw sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in private employment.
The witnesses include:
- M. V. Lee Badgett, Research Director of the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
- Kylar Broadus, Founder, Trans People of Color Coalition, Columbia, MO
- Samuel Bagenstos, Professor of law, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI
- Ken Charles, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
- Craig Parshall, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Religious Broadcasters Association, Manassas, VA
As The New Civil Rights Movement reported two weeks ago, Parshall claimed Christians are being censored “on the issue of the gay rights agenda.”
Janet Parshall, Craig Parshall’s wife, also works for the NRB, and hosted an offensive faux documentary series called, ”Speechless: Silencing The Christians.” She recently demanded an IRS inquiry of Media Matters.
Craig Parshall did not immediately respond to an email inquiry for comment.
The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson adds:
Absent from the witness list is any Obama administration official. Members of the administration testified before the House and Senate in 2009: Stuart Ishimaru, then-acting chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, testified before the House and Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, testified before the Senate.
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration wasn’t invited to testify.
“While the administration was not invited to testify, we welcome Chairman Harkin’s hearing to examine this important issue,” the official said. “The president has long supported an inclusive ENDA.”
Justine Sessions, a HELP committee spokesperson, said the committee has already heard from the Obama administration on ENDA.
“Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez testified at our last hearing on ENDA and fully endorsed the bill, as the White House did just recently,” Sessions said. “The focus of this hearing is putting a human face on the discrimination LGBT Americans face, which is why the Committee invited witnesses like Kylar Broadus, a transgender American who has experienced discrimination.”
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