On Wednesday morning, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee voted 15-7 to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The bill is expected to be voted on by Senate during the fall session.
Sounds great, but what would the bill do? Well, sadly, EDNA's measures are so basic that nine out of ten Americans believe it is already federal law. The bill simply prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Almost four out of ten "out" gay, lesbian, or bisexual employees report experiencing harassment at work—and nine out of ten transgender people report the same. What's more is that nine percent of out gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees have been fired because of their sexual orientation, and more than a quarter (26 percent) of transgender workers have been fired because of who they are.
Three Republicans, (Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AR) and the bill’s original co-sponsor, Mark Kirk (R-IL)) joined the 12 Democrats who voted to clear the bill.
Let's hope the Senate passes this hugely important, common-sense legislation this fall.