Labor Day is always a bittersweet holiday for our LGBT community. While the nation focuses on recent advances in securing marriage equality for gay & lesbian couples 40 years of advocacy has failed to secure federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT workers. Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress stated, “Even if gay & lesbian couples could marry in all 50 states tomorrow, it would still be perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay under federal law & in a majority of states. In other words, workers would be able to marry the person they love, but if they put that wedding picture on their desk, they might lose their job. While we are seeing recent victories on the marriage equality front, we must do more to address the real & serious problem of employment discrimination against LGBT workers.” In July the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. Three Republicans, Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska & Orrin Hatch of Utah have joined all Democrats in sending the bill to the full Senate. The Senate could address the bill as early as this month. Last Thursday Procter & Gamble endorsed passing ENDA joining the ranks of other multinational corporations including Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Nike & General Mills. We must make sure that Washington stays on course & passes ENDA in 2013.
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