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Hundreds of Fair-Minded Americans to Lobby for LGBT Employment Bill on Capitol Hill

Date: 
September 20, 2013

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Americans for Workplace Opportunity lobby day will demonstrate bipartisan momentum for Employment Non-Discrimination Act

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 — The campaign to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) through the Senate in the coming weeks announced its lobby day for Thursday, October 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Americans from across the country will convene on Capitol Hill to make the bipartisan case for ENDA, which would protect gay and transgender employees from job discrimination. Currently, in a majority of states, there are no state laws prohibiting an employer from firing or refusing to hire someone simply because he or she is gay or transgender.

“Americans believe all hardworking employees should be judged on their talents and job performance - not on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Matt McTighe, Americans for Workplace Opportunity campaign manager. “Lobby day will serve as a powerful reminder that the Golden Rule applies in the workplace: everyone should be treated the same — and everyone has to put food on the table. There is significant momentum — including from Fortune 500 companies and supermajorities of Republicans — to pass ENDA this year.”

ENDA would simply add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing employment protections like those for race, religion, gender and disability. Nearly 80 percent of Americans would support such protections — including 70 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of observant Christians and 72 percent of Deep South residents.  

Shockingly, nine in ten Americans mistakenly believe workplace protections for gay and transgender employees already exist.    

More than 100 major businesses have spoken out in favor of ENDA, including General Mills, Bank of America, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, Groupon, MillerCoors Brewing, Time Warner and US Airways. A full list is available here.  

ENDA passed out of a key Senate committee earlier this summer by a 15-7 bipartisan vote — with support from Republican Senators Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he wants to bring the bill to the floor this fall.

For those not able to come to Washington in-person, Americans for Workplace Opportunity will be facilitating a national call-in day that will directly connect constituents to their lawmakers’ offices. More on the broad support and growing momentum to pass ENDA is available at www.workplaceopportunity.org.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2013, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. TTY 202.393.2284. thetaskforce@thetaskforce.org.