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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21)

Today, Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Co-Chairs Representatives Jackie Speier (CA-14), Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Vice Chairs Congresswomen Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Deb Haaland (NM-01), were joined by Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives David Cicilline (RI-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Mark Takano (CA-41) in leading 24 members and 2 members-elect on a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Janet Dhillon opposing the recently proposed Updated Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination and demanding its withdrawal.

The letter states in part, “The proposed changes would embolden discrimination against women and LGBTQ+ individuals by allowing for-profit entities to ambiguously claim the religious organization exemption to Title VII protections. Specifically, we have strong concerns that these changes will open the doors for employment discrimination based on sex, reproductive health and marital choices, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

The letter continues, “We are alarmed at this apparent attempt to rush through complex, dangerous changes in the final days of an administration that has spent four years attacking protections for women and the LGBTQ+ community. The EEOC has released a 114-page document with 320 footnotes, governing a very complex area of the law with merely 30 days to comment. In drafting the updated manual, the EEOC failed to engage with minority faith leaders, civil rights organizations, and many other relevant stakeholders. Given the immense harm this update will cause, we urge the EEOC and this administration to immediately withdraw the proposed change in its entirety. The administration should be working to end discrimination in employment, not embolden it.”

The full text of the letter is available here.