Federal Anti-Discrimination Bill Reintroduced
Log Cabin Applauds Republicans Leading Effort to Ensure Sexual Orientation is No Longer a Consideration in U.S. Employment – Urges Cooperative Effort Between Senate, House and White House
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization applauded the reintroduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) this week, and hailed the leadership of a growing group of Republican House and Senate members working to ensure that sexual orientation is removed as a factor in employment in the United States.
"We applaud the leadership of the Republican sponsors of ENDA, especially the new Republican sponsors, and we look forward to working together toward the important goal of ensuring that sexual orientation is no longer a factor in employment in our country," said Kevin Ivers, Director of Public Affairs of Log Cabin Republicans. "Together, we share a common goal with a vast majority of the American people – merit should be the sole criterion of how people are judged in the workplace. Sexual orientation should not be a factor in employment."
"For all of us who strongly support the important and achievable goals that ENDA represents, it is more important than ever to work cooperatively across party lines with the Senate, House and the Bush Administration to enact federal legislation," Ivers said. "Log Cabin Republicans is committed to and focused on ensuring that federal legislation is passed by both houses of Congress and is signed by the President."
The original GOP sponsors of ENDA in the 107th Congress are Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT), Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL), Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Congressman Steve Horn (R-CA), Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Congresswoman Connie Morella (R-MD), Congresswoman Sue Kelly (R-NY), Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL), Congressman Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA), Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY) and Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD).
Joining as an original Senate sponsor is Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), who Log Cabin Republicans endorsed in his 1996 Senate campaign. Joining as original House sponsors were three freshmen GOP members – Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL), Congressman Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) and Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT), all of whom Log Cabin Republicans endorsed in 2000.
ENDA would make it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring, firing, training or providing employment opportunity. It contains exemptions for religious organizations, the military, and businesses with fewer than 15 employees, and prohibits affirmative action, preferential treatment, quotas, disparate impact claims and EEOC statistical collection on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill provides remedies largely in line with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and also states that same-sex partner benefits are not mandated by ENDA.
Log Cabin Republicans has been involved with and has supported the ENDA effort since the original drafting in 1994, and the legislation has steadily gained Republican support as modifications have been added over the past seven years. A previous version of ENDA failed passage in the Senate by one vote in 1996.