Labor Day is always a bittersweet holiday for our LGBT community. While we've made so many 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.” When President Obama signed an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity we hoped we were one step closer to passing ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act), which would provide our LGBT community federal workplace protections. Then with the Supreme Court’s obscene Hobby Lobby decision in July it has become clear that the current version of ENDA, which allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation & gender identity must not pass. Let’s get religious exemptions removed from ENDA & secure federal workplace protections for our LGBT community. We need to give LGBT workers a fair shot to get ahead in life by making sure employers cannot fire, harass, deny a raise, or refuse to hire someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
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