Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell
(San Francisco, CA, April 25, 2013)—Today, a bi-partisan group of Senators and House members introduced the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit most employers across the country from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers. In the Senate, the bill was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mark Kirk (R-Ill), and Susan Collins (R-ME). In the House of Representatives, the bill was introduced by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and joined by more than 100 co-sponsors.
ENDA would make it illegal under federal law for private employers with at least 15 employees to discriminate against, harass, or fire anyone due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. While surveys show that the great majority of Americans strongly support workplace protections for LGBTQ people, most states still provide no protection for employees and job applicants who are discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:
“It is long past time for federal law to provide basic workplace protections for LGBTQ people, and we are gratified that this important legislation has been re-introduced with strong bipartisan support. In the months ahead, we look forward to working closely with leaders in Congress and state groups across the country to build support for the bill.”