Urge Your Senators to Pass ENDA
BREAKING NEWS: On Thursday, November 7, the Senate passed ENDA by a 64-32 vote. Find out how your senators voted here, and stay tuned for more updates on how you can take action to protect civil rights!
“Kimya has a master’s degree in social work and nearly two decades of experience in the field. She was the manager of a unit of a long-term care facility for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and dementia. She enjoyed her job, and was good at it, but suffered through nearly a year of threatening messages, vandalism to her car and slurs uttered in the halls. In 2003, she was fired, her supervisors telling her, "This would not be happening if you were not a lesbian." Kimya sought out legal help, but quickly learned that nothing in Michigan law protected her from being fired because of her sexual orientation.”1
Michigan isn’t the only state where Kimya wouldn’t be protected from blatant discrimination – in 29 states total, there is no law which explicitly protects a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person from being fired just because of who they are, and the same is true in 33 states for transgender people. But this week, the Senate will vote to change that.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would provide explicit nationwide employment protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. We need this law. People in every state deserve equal protection under the law regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Take action today: Urge your senators to vote for ENDA!
Current federal law already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability – that’s why it’s illegal for an employer to fire a woman solely because of her gender or refuse to hire someone solely because of her age or religion, for example. However, there is no clear federal law barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
AAUW’s member-adopted Public Policy Program is clear: “AAUW opposes all forms of discrimination and supports constitutional protection for the civil rights of all individuals.” No one should be discriminated against in the workplace, and ENDA will protect that right to be free from discrimination at work.
ENDA is a bipartisan bill that would provide clarification that LGBT Americans have the same protections that have covered other classes of persons for decades. ENDA does not create, or imply, any rights for LGBT employees that every other employee doesn’t already have. Additionally, religious employers are completely exempted from the requirements of the bill, and other employers or employees who have religious objections are not forced to change their views or beliefs.
Hardworking Americans should not be kept from supporting their families and making a positive contribution to the economic life of our nation because of characteristics that have no bearing whatsoever on their ability to do a job. The time has long since come to end this injustice for LGBT Americans and pass ENDA.
This is our chance to make sure our senators stand up for civil rights. Take action before this week's vote: Urge your senators to pass ENDA!
1 Story provided by the Human Rights Campaign