ENDA vote scheduled for next week

The Task Force is urging senators to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) when it comes before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee next week. For the first time, ENDA is supported by 53 United States senators. The HELP committee has scheduled a markup of the measure on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

“Most Americans agree: Discrimination is wrong and it must be stopped. We need the committee to mark-up ENDA and for it to be swiftly taken-up by the full Senate,” said Rea Carey, Task Force Executive Director. “The cruel irony of last week’s Supreme Court marriage decisions is that an LGBT couple could get married one day, and on the very next day, because we still don’t have federal laws to ban employment discrimination, those same individuals could be fired from their jobs.”

Workplace discrimination negatively impacts all LGBT people. According to the 2008 General Social Survey, 42 percent of LGBT people overall have experienced at least one form of employment discrimination during their lives. The trans community is disproportionately impacted as was noted in Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, a joint study by the Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The study found 26 percent of transgender people lost a job because they were transgender and 50 percent were harassed for being transgender. And people of color generally reported higher levels of abuse than survey respondents as a whole.

“Our livelihoods depend upon a future that’s free from such discrimination. We thank Senators Merkley and Kirk for championing this legislation. Now is the time for Congress to tear down this appalling barrier that keeps the American Dream out of reach for far too many LGBT people,” urged Carey.