Landmark Bill Introduced In House Today Would Ban Workplace Discrimination Based On Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org 

Landmark Bill Introduced In House Today Would Ban Workplace Discrimination Based On Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

WASHINGTON - A landmark bill was introduced in the House today that would make workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity illegal. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would become the first-ever federal ban on employment discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans in most workplaces.

Gaps in existing state civil rights laws leave many LGBT people and their families vulnerable to employment discrimination based purely on who they are. Currently, it remains legal to fire or refuse to hire someone for being lesbian, gay or bisexual in 29 states, while transgender workers can be denied or refused jobs in 37 states. ENDA would create a federal protection that would make certain that all LGBT Americans can exercise their right to make a living free from discrimination.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office:

"ENDA’s passage is long overdue. No American should be denied the right to work based on his or her gender identity or sexual orientation. Employment discrimination can have a devastating effect on American families, and forcing a group of Americans to deny and hide their families and loved ones in order to hold a job is simply unacceptable. Congress should make this bill a priority."

A copy of an ACLU report, Working in the Shadows: Ending Employment Discrimination for LGBT Americans, documenting widespread discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers is available at: www.aclu.org/lgbt/discrim/31836pub20070917.html

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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