Washington, D.C.– Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after the Senate passed S.815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), by a vote of 64 to 32. ENDA prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We applaud the Senate for voting to protect millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender working Americans from discrimination. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has done the right thing by putting ENDA before the Senate for the first time since 1996. We urge Speaker John Boehner to hold a vote on the bill in the House of Representatives as soon as possible.
“Workplace discrimination has no place in the United States. When 17 percent of LGBT workers and 26 percent of transgender Americans report being fired or not hired for a job due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, there’s a serious problem that Congress needs to address.
“Seventeen states, more than 160 cities and counties, and nearly 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies have sexual orientation and gender identity workplace protections. Harassment and judgment don’t build a successful work environment, and they certainly don’t build stronger communities. Job assessments should be based on results, not who you love.
“The five Republicans who already cosponsor ENDA in the House are on the right side of history. We hope that others will join them. It’s clear the public supports workplace equality. That’s why the House should hold a vote on ENDA as soon as possible. Americans value hard work and equal opportunity. That should be what matters on the job.”
CPC Equal Protection taskforce chair Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced the bill on the House side.