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Pelosi backs ENDA despite concerns over broad religious exemptions

Thursday, July 10, 2014
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U.S.  Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)AP

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

WASHINGTON — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she still supports a Senate-passed bill to outlaw workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people.

A number of national LGBT rights groups have withdrawn their support of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because it has a broad religious exemption.

The California Democrat says she understands the concerns of gay rights groups. But she says the Senate bill is the only choice facing Congress now.

Pelosi has been a strong supporter of LGBT rights. She says gay rights advocates should ask themselves what happens if Congress does not pass an anti-bias bill. She says the groups must decide if that is a good outcome.

President Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in hiring. A White House spokesman declined to say whether it would include a religious exemption.

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