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WASHINGTON (AP) — Gay rights advocates say a federal law is needed to prohibit LGBT discrimination in the workplace, and that religious exemptions should be few.

Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that the nation’s “commitment to non-discrimination trumps private prejudice.”

But Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, testified that “it is not necessarily immoral or irrational to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

He said job requirements could favor the hiring of LGBT individuals in some cases and straight employees in others.

Clegg said a federal ban, while it’s not before the current Congress, would seek to “marginalize the views of Americans who believe that gay sex is a sin.”

But Sarah Warbelow of the Human Rights Campaign said a national Employment Non-Discrimination Act could allow co-workers to express religious objections to gay rights as long as LGBT employees were not harassed or abused.