We have reported that Congressman Flake may face a possible primary challenge from State Representative Russell Pearce. Despite Flake’s support for open borders and amnesty Pearce faced an uphill battle. Yesterday Flake voted FOR HR 3685, Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA.) The bill was strongly opposed by many Christian lobbying groups and is a somewhat surprising vote in CD-6. We called the Congressman’s office for a response but have not yet heard back. We can imagine that Pearce is pondering this gift.
Update: Mr. Specht with the congressman’s office did promptly return the call and sent us the following statement from the congressman.
“One of the most important constitutionally-mandated functions of the federal government is to protect the rights of individuals. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is consistent with that function.
While I did have serious concerns with the version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was originally introduced, substantial changes were made before it was passed by the House: language regarding ‘gender identity’ was removed, language was added to strengthen the exemption for religious organizations, and the definition of marriage as defined by U.S. Code was reiterated. These were important changes and had they not been made, I would not have supported the bill.”
We did speak with Matt Barber at Concerned Women for America for a response to Jeff Flake’s statement that the flaws within the bill had been fixed.
Mr. Barber stated “we felt that the religious exemption is wholly inadequate.” He was concerned about the impact on the Boy Scouts, Christian schools and bookstores that may not be affiliated with a specific denomination and are therefore not eligible to a religious exemption under the bill. The bill tried to address the First Ammendent issues by exempting religion organizations but Barber added the “First Amendment applies to individual business owners” as well as established religions.