In 2014, President Obama prohibited federal contractors from discriminatory hiring practices on the grounds of “real or perceived sexual orientation.”
Then an evangelical college president teamed up with Obama’s former faith-based outreach director and other religious nonprofit organizations asking for exemptions in accordance with their religious beliefs.
The Obama administration rejected the exemption request. Further, Gordon College encountered backlash from local government partners. The college’s accreditation was later threatened, and its federal support was only limited to one member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
The College Fix now reports that Department of Labor has proposed a rule that would grant the exemption that religious colleges asked for in Obama’s second term.
It would delineate and broaden the religious exemptions involving federal contractors by expanding the definition of “religious organization” from places of worship to cover organizations such as schools and universities.
This new definition would enable for-profit businesses that either have a “self-identified religious purpose” or have owners with a “sincere engagement” in religious activity to discriminate in their hiring process on the grounds of religion and religious rules.
Religious colleges and their allies praised this new policy change because the previous policy was incongruent and unjustly forced religious organizations to make decisions that go against their organization’s mission.
In a proposed rule document, which was posted in mid-August, the Department of Labor says the change would update federal policy in accordance with recent Supreme Court decisions on religious liberty, which include Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop.
“Although these decisions are not specific to the federal government’s regulation of contractors, they have reminded the federal government of its duty to protect religious exercise—and not to impede it,” the department stated.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that frequently files religious-liberty lawsuits, defended Gordon College in this case.
Their senior counsel Greg Baylor stated in a press release covering the recent regulatory comments, “All Americans have the freedom to operate according to their religious beliefs, and those freedoms don’t disappear when a university, charity, or international nongovernmental organization enters into a contract with the federal government,”
The Department of Labor’s proposal correctly recognizes that “religious organizations maintain their character and effectiveness by drawing their workforces from among those who share their religious beliefs and codes of conduct,” Baylor continued.
Baylor concluded that the Trump administration should more thoroughly reverse its predecessor’s “unwarranted insertion of sexual orientation and gender identity” into federal contracting rules, which are often “used to punish disagreement or marginalize people of faith.”
For those who believe in first principles like free speech and freedom of association, this is positive news given how universities have often seen religious groups become victims of politically correct persecution.
Joe Biden Nominates Liberal Activist Neera Tanden as Director of Office of Management and Budget; “Zero Chance of Being Confirmed”
Tanden is a controversial Democrat.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden announced his nomination of Center for American Progress President and controversial Democrat Neera Tanden as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Biden is yet to be certified as the rightful president-elect pending the outcome of litigation challenging the results in swing states, but this hasn’t prevented him from making personnel decisions.
Tanden, who is somewhat known as a Twitter personality, is a controversial figure in Democratic and progressive circles. She regularly used her position of influence in the Democratic establishment to attack Bernie Sanders during his 2016 and 2020 campaigns,
Tanden also became a target of ire for an incident in which she revealed the identity of an individual who was allegedly sexually harassed at the Center for American Progress.
However, it appears that Tanden’s confirmation as the Director of OMB, is doubtful. Drew Brandewie, a staffer of veteran Republican Senator John Cornyn, described the establishment liberal figure as having “zero chance of being confirmed” in a Sunday tweet.
— Drew Brandewie (@DBrandewie) November 30, 2020
Liberals went ballistic at the notion Tanden wouldn’t be approved by a Republican Senate majority after spending her career maligning the figures whose votes she would require.
In fairness to Tanden, the Senate Republicans are terrible, low-quality people.
— Jeremy Rosenberg (@JeremyR1992) November 30, 2020
Tanden was an essential figure in pioneering the ‘resistance’ branding of establishment Democrats during Trump’s first term.
Neera Tanden was the first to notice that the DC liberal establishment could rehabilitate itself after the humiliation of 2016 by appropriating the iconography and rhetoric of "Resistance" — one of the most cynical branding ploys in recent memory pic.twitter.com/NuMuK92pJI
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 30, 2020
Tanden appears to have deleted more than a thousand tweets on her personal Twitter account over the weekend, possibly attempting to clean any mines that could arise in potential Senate confirmation hearings.
— KC Johnson (@kcjohnson9) November 30, 2020
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