The D.C. City Council recently passed two laws that expand civil rights protections in the District: the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 (RHNDAA) and Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (HRAA).
The RHNDAA ensures that all D.C. employees can make their personal reproductive health care decisions without fear of losing their jobs. Employees and their families should be able to make their private health care decisions based on their own consciences, rather than based on the religious beliefs of their employers. The HRAAsimply requires religiously affiliated schools in D.C. to provide equal access to school facilities and services for LGBT student clubs as it would for all other student groups. Together these laws serve the important function of preventing employers and schools from discriminating on the basis of religion.
Unfortunately, members of the House of Representatives, inspired by false claims by the Religious Right that these bills infringe upon religious freedom, are trying to stop these laws from taking effect. These members have introduced legislation, H. J. Res. 43 and H. J. Res. 44, which would overturn local D.C. laws and undo important civil rights protections for employees and students in the District of Columbia.
Act now! The House will vote on H.J. Res 43 today, Thursday, April 30. Write to your Representative to let him or her know that you oppose this resolution and other attempts to overturn D.C. civil rights laws like H.J. Res 44. These bills do not force religiously affiliated schools or employers to provide funding for or endorse activities that would violate their religious beliefs – they simply prevent discrimination.