The fight for theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been a long costly battle.
Most people have heard of ENDA, some even
think it’s already been passed. Understandable, since it’s been
introduced every session of Congress (except one) for the past 15
years. Year before last, a GLBT civil war over ENDA broke out, splitting the community into factions for and against the full inclusion of gender identity provisions.
It’s sobering to be reminded that even some of our well-meaning straight allies still don’t realize the extent of employment and workplace discrimination against those in the LGBT community, against even thoseperceived to be LGBT.It’s still legalIn 29 statesto fire
someone for being gay. It is legal in38 statesto fire someone
for being transgender.
All this is why the ENDA is so critical, now more than ever, and why it’s very big news today that a fully-inclusive ENDA has been introduced into the Senate:
Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Susan Collins (ME), Edward M. Kennedy (MA) and Olympia Snowe (ME) today introduced a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) into the U.S. Senate. 34 senators co-sponsored the bill.
ENDA “would prohibit employers, employment agencies, labor
organizations and joint labor-management committees from firing,
refusing to hire, or discriminating against those employed or seeking
employment, on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual
orientation or gender identity. [or disability]
Such protections are already available to US government employees via executive order. ENDA would extend them to employees in the private sector
(except for religious organizations).
According to Merkley, “Other original co-sponsors of ENDA include Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin, Senators Daniel Akaka (HI), Jeff Bingaman (NM), Barbara Boxer (CA), Sherrod Brown (OH), Roland Burris (IL), Maria Cantwell (WA), Ben Cardin
(MD), Bob Casey (PA), Chris Dodd (CT), Russ Feingold (WI), Diane Feinstein (CA), Al Franken (MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Tom Harkin (IA), Daniel Inouye (HI), John Kerry (MA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Patrick Leahy (VT), Carl Levin (MI), Joe Lieberman (CT), Robert Menendez (NJ), Barbara Mikulski (MD), Patty Murray (WA),
Jack Reed (RI), Bernie Sanders (VT), Chuck Schumer (NY), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Arlen Specter (PA), Mark Udall (CO), Tom Udall (NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Ron Wyden (OR).”
If your senator is one of these, send them some support and thanks for their actions. If not, get on the phone and let your Congresspeople hear that you expect them to stand for full workplace equality.