All signs point to a Senate vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) this afternoon. Yesterday, GLAAD partnered with Google+ to host a hangout in order to discuss ENDA, what it means for people, and what its prospects are after the Senate.
ENDA would extend the current non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity, making it illegal to refuse to hire or promote, fire, or harass an employee based on these qualities. The current version of the law outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of race, skin color, religion, sex, and national origin.
GLAAD's Google+ Hangout talked about the importance of having gender identity included in this current version of ENDA, and how mainstream outlets have overlooked the inclusion of gender identity, while anti-LGBT organizations are attacking the inclusion of transgender people.
Participants in the panel included: Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed, Aisha Moody-Mills of the Center for American Progress, and Brian Martin, an Atlantan who has experienced workplace discrimination. The panel was hosted by GLAAD's Tiq Milan.
Although many states have passed legislation similar to ENDA, there are still 29 states where one can be fired because of their sexual orientation and 33 where gender identity is not protected.
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.
Earlier this week, 55 Senate Democrats and 7 Senate Republicans voted for cloture, preventing a filibuster. Although it has been enthusiastically supported by President Obama, it faces significant opposition in the Republican controlled House, where Speaker John Boehner has been adamant in his opposition.
The final Senate vote on ENDA is expected to be at 1:45 today. For other videos, frequently asked questions, and spokespeople to talk about ENDA, visit www.glaad.org/enda.