July 15, 1998
On behalf of the undersigned religious denominations and organizations, we urge you to oppose the Hefley amendment to H.R. 4104, the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill. Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO) is expected to offer an amendment to gut the recent Clinton Executive Order which added sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination policy of the federal government.
Executive Order 13087 was issued by President Clinton on May 28, 1998. This Executive Order breaks no new ground and creates no new law. It merely amends the existing federal executive order (E.O. 11478) governing equal opportunity by adding the term sexual orientation, bringing much needed uniformity and effectiveness to existing nondiscrimination policies of Federal agencies and offices.
We recognize that there are theological differences of belief on the issue of homosexuality among people of faith. Such differences exist between and even within our many denominations. Yet we must also recognize the God-given worth and dignity of every individual. Like themajority of Americans, most people of faith still believe that, notwithstanding differences in our theological views, discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation is wrong.
We are clearly of one voice in opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in federal civilian employment. The Hefley amendment, plain and simple, attempts to make that discrimination legal. It is ourbelief that employees should be judged on their job performance, not their sexual orientation.
We believe in fairness. Indeed, our faith calls us to fairness. All of us are diminished when individuals are prevented from contributing the full measure of their talent and ability to society. We urge you to vote NO on the Hefley amendment as a matter of basic fairness.
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.