ACLU Praises Introduction of Employment Non-Discrimination Act

April 24, 2007 12:00 am

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Washington – The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed strong support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) introduced today by Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA), Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Christopher Shays (R-CT). This legislation would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, and most conditions of employment.

“Sexual orientation and gender identity have nothing to do with job performance, and hardworking Americans should not be fired or denied employment based on characteristics irrelevant to job performance,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “No one should ever lose a job based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone has a right to earn a living and take care of one’s family. ENDA stops job discrimination that violates core American values of liberty and equality.”

The vast majority of LGBT workers receive no employment protection from state or local laws. It remains legal in 33 states to fire or refuse-to-hire based on an individual’s sexual orientation. In 42 states, it remains legal to do so based on an individual’s gender identity. ENDA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the current list of federal employment protections, which already ban discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability.

“It’s now time for Congress to put an end to job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,'” said ACLU Legislative Counsel Christopher Anders. “Too many people for too many years have lost jobs for no good reason. Congress should pass, and President Bush should sign, this bipartisan bill this year.”

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