Friday, November 8, 2013

LGBT Workplace Equality Next


The passage of ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act) in the Senate is a tremendous symbolic victory for our LGBT community however the version of the bill that passed the Senate contains broad religious exemptions. This means that LGBT employees can still be fired from a Catholic organization based on their sexual orientation. Also the bill will now be subjected to homophobic Speaker of the House Boehner who said earlier this week that he believed that ENDA would “increase frivolous litigation.” U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, Co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus & member of the Education & the Workforce Committee which has jurisdiction over the bill stated, “I congratulate the Senate for confirming our country’s commitment to respecting the rights & liberties of all Americans, regardless of who they love. The basic principles of ENDA are so fundamental that 80 percent of Americans already believe it is law, & the Senate has moved us one step closer to making that a reality. Speaker Boehner now has a choice—stand behind frivolous excuses & remain on the wrong side of history, or join with the majority of the American people & honor the equality deserved by all Americans.” President Obama has said about our workplace discrimination, “It's offensive. It's wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are & who you love should never be a fireable offense." The grassroots org GetEQUAL is calling on President Obama to show leadership on this issue & sign an Executive Order that would make it illegal for any company contracting with the federal government to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This would send a message but as Chad Griffin, President of HRC concludes, “There's a lot left to do in the fight for workplace equality & while we should cherish this historic moment, we can't afford to stop working yet.”
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