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Pelosi backs ENDA despite concerns over broad religious exemptions

Pelosi backs ENDA despite concerns over broad religious exemptions
U.S.  Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) AP

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A number of national LGBT rights groups have withdrawn their support of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because it has a broad religious exemption.

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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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