Today, I was proud to join over 150 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle in reintroducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). This important bill would make it illegal for companies to discriminate against its employees just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
Currently, there is no federal law banning discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Because of this, in over 25 states, LGBT people can be fired or overlooked for employment due to a characteristic unrelated to their qualifications. In fact, 43% of gay people -- and 90% of transgender people -- report being discriminated against in the workplace. ENDA would fix this problem by providing LGBT workers with a federal level of protection against workplace discrimination by private employers as well as local, state, and federal government employers.
Not only is protecting LGBT people from discrimination the right thing to do morally, it is also good for our economy: America's businesses are at their best when they hire the brightest and most talented workers, and it simply doesn't make sense to overlook someone because of something that has nothing to do with their ability to do their job.
Decades after it was first introduced in 1974, the time to pass this important bill into law is now. I have long been an advocate for equal rights for all Americans, am enormously pleased to join so many of my colleagues in co-sponsoring this bill, and will continue fighting for my LGBT constituents.