Pelosi Still Backs ENDA Despite Concerns After Hobby Lobby Ruling

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday said that she still backs the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act despite multiple equality groups’ decision to pull support for the bill over its religious exemption.

“It’s all about choices,” she said during a press briefing. “When you’re an advocate, 100 percent is your goal. When you have to make a vote — the bill that we have is the one that passed the Senate in a bipartisan way. I think that has a big value.”

The groups that withdrew support for the bill cited concerns that companies would be able to use the exemption to discriminate against LGBT individuals due to religious beliefs, especially given the exemption granted by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case.

Pelosi said she has concerns about the current version of ENDA, and that she prefers the version passed by the House in 2007 with a narrower religious exemption. But she said it’s a “question of timing.”

She said that she hoped the House could pass the bill and then later “deal with some of the concerns that are in it, which have been enflamed by the Supreme Court decision.”

She also said that she had a plan to address the bill’s religious exemption, but would not reveal any details, according to the Huffington Post.

“I’m not going to tell you my plan,” she said. “We’re going to carefully review what the options are.”