Calls for support of effort to protect LGBT individuals from job discrimination

San Francisco, CA – April 24, 2007 – Out & Equal Workplace Advocates has announced its support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (ENDA), introduced today by Representatives Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Christopher Shays and Deborah Pryce. This legislation would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Out & Equal, a longtime advocate for workplace equality for everyone, believes the bill strongly reinforces the principle that employment decisions should be based upon a person’s qualifications and job performance. Over the past 10 years, Out & Equal has worked directly with employers ranging from multinational Fortune 500 corporations to small nonprofit environments to achieve this goal.

In a statement made this morning, Out & Equal Executive Director Selisse Berry said, “Currently there is no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We strongly urge all American businesses and individuals to support this legislation.”

Surveys conducted by Out & Equal show that corporate America opposes discrimination and that the majority of Americans believe employment decisions should be based an individual’s merits, accomplishments and experience, rather than whether or not a person is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

“Despite the fact that a large number of companies we work with already have voluntarily adopted non-discrimination policies, there are still too many Americans who may face job discrimination without legal protection,” Berry said. “ENDA signifies the next big step in our vision of workplace equality for all, and the new language included in the bill would help make certain that LGBT workers are treated equitably.”

In the coming weeks, Out & Equal will be working to educate businesses and other workplace environments about the merits of this legislation and how to support ENDA’s passage. For more information, visit our website at www.outandequal.org.

Out & Equal™ Workplace Advocates is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. Out & Equal champions safe and equitable workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The organization advocates building and strengthening successful organizations that value all employees, customers, and communities.

Media contact: Jere Keys, Communications Manager, jkeys@outandequal.org or (415) 684-6512.