Gay rights supporters in Washington have been trying to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for years, but renewed momentum thanks to two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage cases have put a new focus on workplace protections for the country's LGBT workers.
The U.S. Senate's committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today passed H.B. 815, the 2013 version of ENDA.
ENDA, in its current form, would prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against workers solely based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The U.S. Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will meet tomorrow to discuss Senate bill 815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is a member of the committee and is being urged by Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT political advocacy organization, to support ending workplace discrimination by throwing his weight behind ENDA.
Georgia Equality has issued a call for LGBT rights supporters to contact Isakson to let him know how they stand on employment discrimination against LGBT workers. Georgia is one of 29 states where workers can be fired simply for being gay and has as much as 79 percent voter support for workplace protections, according to Georgia Equality.
Yesterday, gay conservative group Log Cabin Republicans officially endorsed Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.
Left-leaning gay rights groups blasted the endorsement, saying the LCR had turned its back on the fight for LGBT equality. Out-going U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also criticized the endorsement in a video posted to Youtube Tuesday. In it, Frank lays out the records of both Romney and his VP pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on gay issues to poke holes in the LCR endorsement.
Ben Adler from The Nation did a little digging and speculates that LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper was given assurances by the Romney campaign that the candidate would support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as president. Such assurances helped convince LCR to endorse, Adler suggests.
President Barack Obama has taken heat from LGBT activists in the last few weeks for refusing to sign an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination for federal contractors based on sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
During last night's “Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” host Jon Stewart laid out a pretty convincing argument against the Obama administration's decision to persue a legislative solution (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) rather than simply issuing an executive order to protect federal LGBT workers.
Stewart also pokes fun at North Carolina's proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage (in a state that has already outlaws such unions) and highlights a ridiculous new marketing campaign from the creators of Mike & Ike candies.
Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives held a press conference this morning to announce the introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a law that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
ENDA, an important legislative priority for equality advocates, has been introduced each year since 1994. According to LGBT news outlet Metro Weekly, this year's ENDA bill will be identical to the one introduced by Rep. Barney Frank in the previous Congress.
The Human Rights Campaign, which has been pushing for such legislation, said today via its blog that LGBT persons are at greater risk of losing their job in an economy still struggling after a severe recession: