Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell
(San Francisco, CA, March 30, 2011)—Today, U.S. Representative Barney Frank, D-Mass., announced that he will reintroduce the fully inclusive Employeee Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit most employers across the country from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers. The bill, known as ENDA, would make it illegal under federal law for employers with at least 15 employees to discriminate against, harass, or fire anyone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Surveys show that Americans overwhelmingly support workplace protections for LGBTQ people, and many states have enacted LGBTQ workplace non-discrimination laws. But Congress has lagged behind. As a result, employees and job applicants in more than half the country have no protection against discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Frank, the longest-serving openly gay member of Congress, has pledged to work with other bill sponsors and the LGBTQ community and allies to build congressional support for the bill.
President Obama has voiced strong support for ENDA and urged Congress to pass it.
Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:
“For far too long, LGBTQ people have had to endure the stress and uncertainty of knowing they can be fired at any time simply because of who they are. Enough is enough, and it’s time that the lawmakers we voted into office pass the fully inclusive ENDA and put an end to this appalling injustice. We have to ensure that every member of Congress hears from LGBTQ people every day about the stress and indignity of not having basic workplace protections. We can’t let a single one of these elected officials off the hook. They have a duty to represent all Americans, and that includes LGBTQ people.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.