President Obama’s announced support for marriage equality has lit some fires in Congress; bad ones in the House, but encouraging ones in the Senate.
Sen. Tom Harkin, Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, And Pensions, has announced that he will hold hearings on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation which would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all but the smallest companies. Greg Sargent reportsthat a bipartisan group of senators, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME), requested hearings in committees with jurisdiction.
It’s legal to to fire someone solely because they’re lesbian, gay, or bisexual in 29 states. In 35 states, employers can fire someone solely on the basis of gender identity or expression. Protecting a person’s livelihood is easily as basic as recognizing who they love. It’s time for ENDA.