GLAAD, the LGBT advocacy organization, praised a bipartisan group of Senators for overwhelmingly advancing the Employment Non-Decimation Act (ENDA) with a final procedural vote of 61-30. The final bill may now go to the Senate floor for a final vote at some point this week. In recent days, more and more Senators from both parties spoke out in favor of the bill, including Senators who had not previously committed announced their support. Just yesterday, President Obama wrote an essay for The Huffington Post, urging lawmakers to pass the bill.
"This is a significant step forward in protecting LGBT workers, who have had to live under the uncertainty of whether they will be able to keep their job, or if they will be terminated for no other reason than who they are," said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's National Spokesperson. "House leadership needs to pass what the vast majority of Americans, businesses, religious leaders, and even the President is already calling for."
Pending final passage later this week, ENDA will go to the House, where Speaker John Boehner has already stated his opposition to the bill. Boehner is repeating over-used anti-LGBT talking points, stating that the bill will "increase frivolous litigation."
“Losing one's job is never frivolous, and to be fired because of one's sexual orientation or gender identity is particularly egregious,” Cruz added.
ENDA is supported by a vast majority of Americans. Over 70% of Americans support federal workplace protections for LGBT people. Additionally, a majority of Americans in every state in the country support employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As of April 2013, 88% of Fortune 500 companies have implemented policies prohibiting discrimination against gay and lesbian employees in their workplaces, and 57% also protect transgender employees. Leaders in the business community see these policies as a key component of their financial success.
For more complete information, frequently asked questions, and potential spokespeople to speak about ENDA, visit www.glaad.org/enda.