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Workplace Discrimination Continues on 70th Anniversary of Roosevelt Executive Order


Rabbi Saperstein: "We urge the White House on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of President Roosevelt's landmark achievement to reassert the imperative that government money never support the erosion of civil rights."

Contact: Eric Harris or Jonathan Backer
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2011 -- Commemorating the 70th anniversary of President Roosevelt's executive order prohibiting government contractors from engaging in employment discrimination, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

When President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 in 1941, the United States government made clear that employment discrimination by federal contractors was unacceptable. Since then, several subsequent administrations expanded and strengthened federal safeguards to ensure that government money is never used to discriminate. But, in 2002, President George W. Bush signed an executive order that greatly threatened the advances the federal government has achieved, by granting faith-based recipients of government contracts the ability to persist in religious discrimination in hiring.

President Obama has demonstrated his concern for this threat to civil rights, including through his November 2010 executive order on faith-based funding that amended President Bush's 2002 order. In embracing many of the consensus recommendations of the his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, President Obama further safeguarded the right of individuals to receive benefits in a setting that does not violate their religious conscience; however, the order left unresolved many of the issues put forward by the Advisory Council as well as the key issue of reinstating the ban on religious discrimination in hiring by government contractors. We urge the White House on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of President Roosevelt's landmark achievement to reassert the imperative that government money never support the erosion of civil rights.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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