Employment Non-Discrimination Act

17 years after defeat, Senate advances gay rights bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate moved forward Monday on a bill to prohibit workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians in a dramatic 61-30 vote. But opposition from the House speaker means the bill may not get to President Obama’s desk.

The Senate vote was not without suspense. With Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., at a funeral, Democrats needed last-minute support from two Republicans to get the 60 votes necessary to prevent a filibuster. Democratic leaders went into the Republican cloakroom to plead with Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa. After half an hour of voting, both voted yes.

The vote clears the way for the Senate to consider the issue for the first time since 1996, when it failed in the Senate by a single vote.

The last House effort to pass the bill succeeded,235 to 184, in a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2007. But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, reaffirmed his long-standing opposition to the bill Monday, making it unlikely the House will schedule a vote. “The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small-business jobs,” Boehner press secretary Michael Steel said.

via 17 years after defeat, Senate advances gay rights bill.

Fox News: You can oppose non-discrimination law because being LGBT is just a ‘belief’ | The Raw Story

Fox News anchor Bret Baier suggested to his viewers on Wednesday that a good reason to oppose a law to prevent discrimination against LGBT people was that “beliefs” like sexual orientation could “conflict with a company’s goals.”

During a segment on Fox News’ Special Report, Baier noted that Democrats were pushing to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and that meant “religious freedom” would “take a backseat to another kind of freedom.”

Reporter Shannon Bream pointed out that many religious institutions opposed the bill because they could be forced to “hire a transgender teacher.”

via Fox News: You can oppose non-discrimination law because being LGBT is just a ‘belief’ | The Raw Story.

John McCain worried ENDA will lead to “reverse discrimination” – Salon.com

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would criminalize workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, is set to get a vote in the Senate sometime before Thanksgiving, but while the support of 57 Democrats (and Independent Bernie Sanders) seems likely, it still falls short of a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

In an effort to push that number over the top, advocates and supporters of the bill have focused on a handful of Republican senators, including Arizona’s John McCain. But McCain has shown some resistance to supporting the bill, telling the Huffington Post that he worries it might inspire “reverse discrimination.”

via John McCain worried ENDA will lead to “reverse discrimination” – Salon.com.

Opinion: Workplace fairness for all – Chad Griffin – POLITICO.com

From Main Street to Wall Street, this country’s belief in the American Dream remains strong, even unshakable during the tough economic times of the last few years. This is what is so uniquely great about the United States – our shared commitment to turning that dream into reality.

But for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, the uphill climb to economic security has pitfalls along the way. Currently, there are no state laws protecting LGBT employees from workplace discrimination in a majority of states — a fact that most Americans would be shocked to learn. Hardworking and qualified LGBT employees, like all employees, need to provide for themselves and their families, and must have the same opportunity to be judged on job performance and merit — nothing more, nothing less.

Right now, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – or ENDA — would help change that. ENDA simply adds sexual orientation and gender identity to existing employment protections — like those that already exist for race, religion, gender and disability.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/opinion-chad-griffin-workplace-fairness-for-all-99072.html#ixzz2jdJTbDjD

via Opinion: Workplace fairness for all – Chad Griffin – POLITICO.com.

Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays – Washington Post

A coalition of civil rights groups is launching a $2 million campaign aimed at mobilizing support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades.

The coalition, called Americans for Workplace Opportunity, is targeting 13 senators in 11 states in hopes of replicating the strategy gay marriage advocates have used to push successful state ballot initiatives.

The effort includes gay rights groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the GOP-leaning American Unity Fund, as well as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Service Employees International Union.

via Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays – Washington Post.

Historic, Bipartisan Vote Sends Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the Senate Floor | American Civil Liberties Union

WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today adopted the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by a bipartisan vote of 15-7. ENDA would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in most American workplaces.

“Coming on the heels of the landmark Supreme Court marriage rulings, today’s strong, bipartisan vote in favor of expanding workplace non-discrimination protections to include those who are LGBT is yet another sign that the tide has turned,” said Ian Thompson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative representative. “Advocates have been working for nearly 40 years to pass these basic protections to ensure that all American workers, who stand side-by-side in the workplace and contribute with equal measure in their jobs, will stand on the same equal footing under the law. In 2013, it is completely unacceptable to force individuals to hide who they are out of fear of losing their livelihood.”

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Historic, Bipartisan Vote Sends Employment Non-Discrimination Act to the Senate Floor | American Civil Liberties Union.

Senate HELP Committee approves Employment Non-Discrimination Act; protects gays and transgender works – Jacksonville Business Journal

A Senate committee approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by a 15-7 vote this morning, giving gay Americans a victory in their long fight against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“We finally got it out of committee,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “It has been a long time coming.”

Harkin said Senate leaders have indicated could be brought up in the full Senate for debate sometime this fall.

The legislation would prohibit employers from firing or refusing to hire people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity — extending workplace protections that already apply to race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability.

Nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have non-discrimination policies that cover sexual orientation and 57 percent of these large corporations also ban discrimination based on gender identity.

But this form of workplace discrimination is not against federal law, and it’s legal in 28 states.

via Senate HELP Committee approves Employment Non-Discrimination Act; protects gays and transgender works – Jacksonville Business Journal.

President Barack Obama endorses Employment Non-Discrimination Act at gay rights event – The Business Journals

President Barack Obama endorsed theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act,legislation that would bar employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The endorsement came late Thursday afternoon at a White House reception honoring LGBT Pride Month and was warmly received by the crowd. Gay rights groups have been waiting for Obama to throw his weight behind the legislation.

Federal legislation is needed, the president said, because in 34 states you can be fired “because of who you are.”

When the bill was re-introduced in the Senate in April, the White House was silent about the legislation.

Today, however, Obama called for prompt action by Congress.

“We need to get that passed,” he said. “I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now.”

via President Barack Obama endorses Employment Non-Discrimination Act at gay rights event – The Business Journals.

Related Images:

Fighting for the freedom agenda | Washington Times Communities

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 — When people think about “the gay agenda” these days, the first issue that comes to mind is marriage. Some will also mention bullying, or workplace discrimination, or the unfair additional taxes paid by domestic partners, but as seen from the recent media firestorm over the president’s announcement, marriage is at the top of the list.

While America debates the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, around the globe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are fighting for their lives – and this week, there are reports from Iran of four young men executed for the crime of “homosexual sodomy.”

The photographs of these gay men hanging in a town square are a sobering reminder of the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. Iran is one of five nations where homosexuality is punishable by death; the others are Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Gay or straight, liberal or conservative, such deaths fly in the face of our shared values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As Vice President Dick Cheney said, “freedom means freedom for everyone” – no matter where, or what “way,” you were born…..

…..When President Bush rolled out the Freedom Collection this week, he stated, “The tactics of promoting freedom will vary, case by case. But America’s message should ring clear and strong: We stand for freedom and for the institutions and habits that make freedom work for everyone.” ….

Con’t Via

Fighting for the freedom agenda | Washington Times Communities.

Related Images: