WITH October's drama over a government shutdown passing, November brings a push to end discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation.
This is America and a person has the God-given right to be who he or she wants to be. Most Americans rightly oppose discrimination in the workplace and in housing.
"There's no way that I could ever not support something that basically bans discrimination," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told the New York Times.
"There's no way. It's just a fundamental right."
However, in crafting legislation that affects 315 million Americans, Congress always must be careful and consider the unintended consequences of its legislation.
Often there are circumstances where protecting the rights of one group infringes upon the rights of others
In 2010, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act without including a protection for religious rights. The Obama administration has used this to force the Catholic church to supply artificial birth control to 30-year-old college students even though this goes against one of the principles of the church.
Then there are the Boys Scouts. The courts have held that the Boy Scouts have the right to refuse having gay Scout leaders. Would this bill strip that right from Boy Scouts?
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act was first proposed in 1974. Perhaps it has languished for nearly 40 years because it fails to balance the rights of individuals.America apparently wasn't ready for it then, but appears to be ready now. But America is not ready to ensure the rights of one group while infringing on the rights of others.