Many people are unaware that it is legal to discriminate against a person based on sexual orientation or gender identity under U.S. federal law. In 29 states, it's legal to fire someone simply for being gay, lesbian or bisexual, and in 34 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender. The Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA), if approved, would extend protection from discrimination based on irrational prejudice to LGBT employees across the country. However important legal protections are, there exist a variety of other methods to implement equal workplace policies. Read more about the incoming congressional delegation (the 112th Congress) and how to move forward here.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was reintroduced on March 30, 2011. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing on ENDA in June 2012. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, along with 203 co-sponsors, is identical to the one considered in 2009, which stalled in committee last year. The 2009 bill had the most co-sponsors, at 203, of any LGBT legislation to date. The legislation applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, labor unions, and governments, and exempts religious institutions and the military. Out & Equal continues to work with companies and organizations to implement fully-inclusive institutional policies similar to what ENDA would provide employees.
The decision on whether Congress with move forward with ENDA rests with the leadership of the United States House of Representatives. The time is now for us to tell the new incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and our House Representatives that they must protect all Americans from discrimination by moving ENDA forward immediately. It is not acceptable to continue waiting.
Speak up by contacting your representative’s office and requesting that ENDA be reintroduced to the Senate. Contact your federal lawmakers, and ask for their support in acting on ENDA immediately.
To reach your House Representative, call the U.S. capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, provide your zip code and ask to be connected to your House Representative. Now is the time to take action! Today is the opportunity to make a difference. Your unique voice is needed now. Make a difference.
We are continually striving to provide resources that will help create better workplaces for LGBT individuals, in our mission for workplace equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or characteristics.
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