Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) pushed for a vote in the House on the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The House majority has blocked a vote on the ENDA bill passed by the Senate last year. Davis and her colleagues signed a petition that, if 218 signatures are obtained, would require the Speaker of the House to allow a vote.
“Employment discrimination strikes at a fundamental American value: the right of each individual to do his or her job without facing discrimination,” said Davis, an original cosponsor of the House version of ENDA. “In 2014, we should be well beyond using traits, characteristics or gender to qualify individuals for employment.”
ENDA would prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire, or discriminating against employees or those seeking employment, on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. Such protections are already in place for race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability.
Davis emphasized the importance of transgender protections in the bill.
“Transgendered people are among the most marginalized and vulnerable groups within the LGBT community. The unemployment rate for transgendered people is double the national average,” added Davis. “The Senate has acted. We have been waiting long enough – it is long past time for Congress to extend these protections to all Americans.”