Over 3 Dozen Senators Ask Obama to Sign ENDA into Law
A group of 37 senators are urging President Barack Obama to issue an executive order that would make it illegal for any employer to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
In a letter dated Feb. 14, spearheaded by Sen. Jeff Merkley and sponsored by most of the Democratic leadership, including Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Patty Murray, legislators ask the president to "make federal law reflect the basic principle that Americans should be judged on their skills and abilities in the workplace, and not on irrelevant factors."
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a bill that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The legislation, originally drafted by U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug, has been introduced for several years but never reached a majority vote.
Part of the plea reads:
"[Y]ou are in a position to protect millions of American workers immediately by including sexual orientation and gender identity alongside long-standing anti-discrimination protections.
"As you know, ENDA would prohibit most workplaces in the United States from discriminating against potential and existing employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. From our perspective, ENDA's premise is simple: it would make federal law reflect the basic principle that Americans should be judged on their skills and abilities in the workplace, and not on irrelevant factors such as their sexual orientation or gender identity."
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, if passed ENDA could help "create a tipping point moment with employment protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity."