Today the Senate took the bold and long-overdue step to guarantee workplace protections for ALL workers, including LGBT Americans. With its 64-32 vote in favor of passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the U.S. Senate has sent the message that LGBT people must be protected from being losing their jobs simply for whom they love. We applaud the U.S. Senate on this vote and now implore the House of Representatives to follow suit and finally put an end to workplace discrimination.
The following is the statement NCLR released upon ENDA’s passage:
In a 64 to 32 vote, today the Senate passed S. 815, the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA),” a bill to help prevent workplace discrimination against LGBT employees. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the Senate for working in a bipartisan fashion to pass this critical piece of legislation and strongly encourages the House of Representatives to bring the bill to a vote and pass ENDA.
“In a country that promotes the ideal that anyone can achieve success through hard work, it’s clearly unfair that LGBT employees are still being fired based on sexual orientation and gender expression,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “ENDA will help to right this wrong, ensuring that workers are able to fail or succeed based on their own merits, instead of on their own personal background.”
Twenty-one states currently lack state-level workplace protections for LGBT workers, leaving those employees vulnerable to discrimination and unjust terminations. That group includes Arizona, Texas and Florida—three states with the largest percentage of Hispanic same-sex couples in the country. Both the majority of Americans and the majority of Latinos support legal protection against discrimination for LGBT individuals.
“While many people think this kind of legal protection is already in place, the reality is that LGBT workers still live in fear of losing their jobs because of who they are, not how hard they work,” added Murguía. “Americans recognize that this is unjust. The Senate has moved this legislation forward. Now, the House of Representatives must stand up for the dignified, equal treatment of every American worker by passing this bill.”