9to5 Statement on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Date: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Contact: Susan Berryman-Rodriguez, 9to5 (404) 222-0030
(Washington, DC) –The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is re-introduced today in the U.S. House and Senate.
9to5 National Executive Director Linda Meric released the following statement in response:
“Our country is often divided by political and religious affiliations as well as geography, but there is one value that unifies us all – the belief that every American should be treated equally under the law. There has never been a better time than now to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
Since the bill was first introduced in 1994, public support for the legal equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans has swelled to an all-time high. Three quarters (75%) of those polled by the Human Rights Campaign in 2011 voiced support for workplace protections for the LGBT community. That support cuts across party line, religion, age and geography.
ENDA’s lack of progress in the past has been due in part to the mistaken belief by a vast majority of Americans that it is already illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. In fact, it is still legal to fire a worker for being gay, lesbian or bisexual in 29 states, and in 34 states for being transgender.
ENDA is being introduced today in the Senate by Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and in the House by Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). This crucial bill would broaden federal anti-discrimination protection and prohibit employers from firing an employee based on her or his sexual orientation or gender identity.
Every hardworking American regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity should be protected against discrimination, afforded legal protections, and allowed to work with dignity. It’s unjust to discriminate against someone at work based on who they are or who they love.
9to5’s 40-year history of winning economic justice for working women is part of the larger struggle for social justice. We believe that 9to5 members will never achieve full economic empowerment if the LGBT community does not achieve full equality. It is time for LGBT Americans to be treated equally in the workplace. 9to5 strongly and enthusiastically supports the re-introduction of ENDA, and will actively work with our allies for its passage.”
About 9to5: With forty years’ experience in winning justice for working women, 9to5 leads the way to create a powerful force for change on issues affecting low-wage women and their families. 9to5 organizes women to lead campaigns for family-supporting jobs with decent wages and paid sick days; stronger protections against workplace discrimination; and a strong safety net for low-income families. As one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations of working women in the U.S., we’ve won real changes since the hit song and movie based on 9to5 hit the charts. To learn more or to get involved, visit 9to5.org and find us on Facebook and Twitter.