One of the objections to ENDA is it will give special legal protection to people based on their sexual behaviors and desires which fundamentally undercuts the purpose of giving protections based on morally neutral, immutable traits like race.
However proponents argue sexual orientation is not a choice therefore appropriately included.
A couple of problems with the "it's not a choice" mantra. For one, a genetic basis for sexual orientation has never been discovered. (An even if there was one we can't conclude that something is fundamentally good simply because its genetic. What about sickle cell anemia or alcoholism; the latter many believe has a genetic component.) And second, the only way one knows a person's sexual orientation is by a person's behavior. And of course we all are responsible for our behaviors. Otherwise, what's to stop a person from saying whatever they want about their sexual orientation. Third, this sexual orientation concept is very fluid. People are constantly moving in and out of different sexual behaviors. And fourth, homosexual behavior is not a morally neutral activity. All the major religions have viewed such behavior as immoral.
What's also interesting are all the other sexual orientations which exist. The debate over ENDA revolves around homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism. (One bill includes transgender and another doesn't.) But what about the wide range of other sexual orientations recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. If these sexual orientation should be protected why not all the other sexual orientations? Why shouldn't they be afforded civil rights protection as well?
Here are a few examples taken from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders produced by the American Psychiatric Association. They include:
- Coprophilia - sexual arousal associated with feces (p. 576)
- Exhibitionism - the act of exposing one’s genitals to an unwilling observer to obtain sexual gratification (p. 569)
- Fetishism/Sexual Fetishism - obtaining sexual excitement primarily or exclusively from an inanimate object or a particular part of the body (p. 570)
- Frotteurism - approaching an unknown woman from the rear and pressing or rubbing the penis against her buttocks (p. 570)
- Gender Identity Disorder - a strong and persistent cross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is, or the other sex, "along with" persistent discomfort about one’s assigned sex or a sense of the inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex (p. 576)
- Klismaphilia - erotic pleasure derived from enemas (p. 576)
- Necrophilia - sexual arousal and/or activity with a corpse (p. 576)
- Partialism - A fetish in which a person is sexually attracted to a specific body part exclusive of the person (p. 576)
- Pedophilia - Sexual activity with a prepubescent child (generally age 13 years or younger). The individual with pedophilia must be age 16 years or older and at least 5 years older than the child. For individuals in late adolescence with pedophilia, no precise age difference is specified, and clinical judgment must be used; both the sexual maturity of the child and the age difference must be taken into account; the adult may be sexually attracted to opposite sex, same sex, or prefer either (p. 571)
The problem is once one crosses the line of appropriate sexual relations between a man and a woman within the context of a lifelong, marriage relationship, there's no rational place to redraw the line.
The ultimate result? Social anarchy. The practice of sex outside of marriage has already resulted in fatherlessness, poverty, problems for children and adults, epidemic of STDs, higher rates of domestic abuse, abortion. On and on the list goes.
ENDA serves ultimately to give further legitimacy to sexual behaviors which violate "the laws of nature and nature's God."