Lambda Legal Applauds Historic Senate Passage of ENDA
(New York, November 7, 2013) — Today, after the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with an historic bipartisan vote, Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office in Atlanta and coordinator of Lambda Legal’s employment discrimination work, released the following statement:
"LGBT equality keeps advancing because fairness is a fundamental American value. This historic vote marks the first time a congressional chamber approved an inclusive bill to protect all LGBT people, including people who are transgender, from discrimination at work. With an inclusive ENDA passing the Senate, we are one step closer to passing a law that will ensure workplace equality for the LGBT community.
"From the thousands of calls Lambda Legal gets each year, we know that workplace discrimination is one of the most frequent problems that LGBT people face. Workplace equality has been a top priority for Lambda Legal for over forty years.
"The best legal protection against discrimination is an explicit law that leaves no doubt that LGBT employees must be treated fairly. Today, only 17 states and the District of Columbia expressly ban discrimination in private employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and another four states expressly ban sexual orientation discrimination. LGBT workers need this law, and employers want it too – because clear and uniform rules help everyone.
"ENDA will make clear that a person's job performance, rather than sexual orientation or gender identity, should determine success on the job - a proposition that Americans overwhelmingly support. Fairness in employment is a fundamental American principle and it should apply to all workers in America.
"Lambda Legal fought hard for a fully inclusive ENDA, and we’re proud that the bill approved by the Senate prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The bill passed today is flawed because it has a religious exemption in it that would leave LGBT employees with less protection against discrimination than other groups protected by law. We will continue to fight to keep the final version of ENDA from having unwarranted loopholes and exceptions. We need a strong ENDA that leaves no one behind.
"With ENDA passing the Senate, we urge the House of Representatives to act swiftly to enact this law to ensure workplace equality for the LGBT community."