The Southern Baptist Convention wants to allow workplace discrimination related to abortion, sexual orientation and gender identity views.
The convention’s Ethics and Religious Commission has written the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to object to proposed new guidance on workplace harassment that allows employees to allege they were harassed because they had or didn’t have an abortion, because they were denied access to bathrooms aligning with their chosen gender identity, or because they were not addressed by their chosen pronouns.
“We strongly believe that the proposed enforcement guidance will lead to violations of the consciences of religious individuals by requiring them to affirm ‘gender transitions’ and ‘abortion’ as a legitimate medical procedure to the detriment of their conscience and personal safety,” ERLC President Brent Leatherwood wrote.
The EEOC’s proposed guidance “deeply concerns Southern Baptists due to the expansion of ‘sex-based harassment to include ‘pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions’ and ‘sexual orientation and gender identity,” Leatherwood wrote.
Although “every person matters because every person is created in the image of God,” conservative Christians in the workplace should be able to express their disapproval of some peoples’ identity and actions if they conflict with “biblical” views, he argued.
Leatherwood repeatedly refers to concepts he opposes by placing them in quotation marks, as if to say they are “so-called” things. This treatment includes the words “abortion” and “gender transitions.”
Specifically, he says:
- “Abortion takes the life of an innocent child, and thus should never be sanctioned, promoted or protected in any capacity, especially by a government whose founding documents enshrine this right to life.”
- “Any attempt to engage in or support ‘gender transitions’ rejects God’s design for human flourishing and harms our neighbor.”
- “By requiring pronoun usage or the usage of names that do not align with a man or woman’s biological sex, the EEOC is requiring that many employees forsake their conscience by repeatedly caving to an ideology forced upon them, thus compelling them to betray their deeply held religious beliefs regarding what is true and good.”
Another ERLC staffer told Baptist Press the EEOC is capitulating to culture and abandoning the Bible.
“Though this type of guidance does not have the force of law, the EEOC is attempting to bully employers into compliance with radical gender ideology and a pro-abortion culture,” according to Policy Manager Hannah Daniel. “This guidance tramples over conscience rights of employers and employees who object to participating in false realities through pronoun and bathroom usage while dismissing and even increasing legitimate sex-based harassment experienced by women in the workplace.”
News of the ERLC letters comes just a week after a Louisville newspaper broke the story of four SBC entities joining an amicus brief in a Kentucky Supreme Court case opposing the rights of a sexual abuse survivor to seek justice.