Today, a bi-partisan group of Senators and House members introduced a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit most employers across the country from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers.
Our region’s very own Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is a principal sponsor of the legislation and introduced the bill, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is one of the co-sponsors.
“Discrimination is just plain wrong. It is shocking that there is still anywhere in America where it is legal to fire someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Merkley.“ Americans understand that it’s time to make sure our LGBT friends and family are treated fairly and have the same opportunities as all Americans. Now it’s time for our laws to catch up. People should be judged at work on their ability to do the job, period.”
The passage of a fully inclusive ENDA would be a big step toward full equality for our entire nation. However, its impact would be particularly felt in Alaska, Idaho, and Montana—three of twenty-nine states that do not have statewide employment non-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
From Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation’s Executive Director, “We couldn’t be more satisfied with today’s news, and Pride Foundation applauds the leadership of our congressional delegation. Unfortunately, LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination on a daily basis that profoundly affects the economic security and safety of our community. This bill will go a long way in protecting untold numbers of LGBTQ people and their families. But the hard work lies ahead—we need to ensure the promise of ENDA becomes a reality.”
Christina is Pride Foundation’s Community Giving Manager. Contact Christina.