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Oregon Conservatives Flock to Hearings on Non-Discrimination Bill

Oregon’s legislation SB2, which would prohibit employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, had hearings Monday before the Oregon House Elections, Ethics and Rules Committee. The bill includes the standard anti-discrimination provisions of most similar bills, but it also contains an exception for churches to avoid offending religious sensibilities.

Nonetheless, religious conservatives testifying against the bill zeroed in on the concern that anti-discrimination legislation would inadequately safeguard religious organizations’ rights to refuse jobs to people because of their sexual orientation.

The bill is supported by major local businesses, including Nike, U.S. Bank, Columbia Sportswear, and PGE.

Interesting factoids:

1) Oregon state regulations currently say that an “employer may not refuse to hire or promote or bar or discharge from employment or discriminate in compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because a person is transsexual when the person is otherwise qualified.” OR. ADMIN. R. 839-006-0206.

2) From blogger Chewin On Glass: Oregon has two openly gay justices on the state supreme court.

More at
Transgender Workplace Diversity blog  You can find the online audio of the hearings there.

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