Log Cabin Praises House Introduction of Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Overwhelming Public Support for Commonsense Legislation
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans praise the bi-partisan introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently, federal law prevents workplace discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, or disability. Sexual orientation, however, receives no such protection – this commonsense legislation remedies the gap in workplace protection.
The legislation was introduced by Reps. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Chris Shays (R-CT), Barney Frank (D-MA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
"Unfortunately, too many Americans still face job discrimination because of their sexual orientation – characteristics that have no bearing whatsoever on their ability to effectively perform their job," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "Log Cabin thanks Republican Representatives Deborah Pryce and Chris Shays for introducing ENDA. We urge Congress to quickly pass this commonsense legislation. All Republicans should agree that employees must be judged by their competence and nothing else."
Public support for ENDA is strong. A May 2006 Gallup poll found that 89 percent of Americans believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights in the workplace. "Americans know that ENDA represents a measured and pragmatic response to prejudice and discrimination," continued Sammon. "Job discrimination, for any reason, is un-American, unfair, and unwise."
Our nation's economic success depends on having the most qualified, dedicated, and competent people as part of the workforce, regardless of sexual orientation. Yet it remains legal in 33 states to fire or refuse to hire someone simply because of his or her sexual orientation. ENDA extends existing prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in many workplaces.
On the question of basic fairness in the workplace, corporate America is far ahead of Washington politicians. 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their workplace non-discrimination policies and nearly a quarter of them also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. "Our political leaders would do well to learn from corporate America on issues surrounding workplace fairness because they understand it's good for business and it's good for the American economy," said Sammon.
"Log Cabin looks forward to working with our allies on the Hill and with fair-minded Americans across the country to pass this critical piece of legislation. We urge Democrats and Republicans across the political spectrum to support ENDA," concluded Sammon.