Today, LGBT Equality Caucus Co-Chair U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) and the entire LGBT Equality Caucus (Equality Caucus) praised the re-introduction of the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The bill is sponsored by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO), a fellow Co-Chair of the Equality Caucus in the House, who is joined by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as the lead Republican sponsor.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would establish basic protections in the workplace to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are still no explicit laws protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation in 29 states and gender identity in 34 states. ENDA would provide a federal level of protection against workplace discrimination in a manner modeled closely on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and would apply to private employers as well as local, state, and federal government employers.
Joining Representative Polis and Pocan in introducing ENDA as original co-sponsors were the four other Equality Caucus Co-Chairs and more than 150 original co-sponsors.
"There is no room for discrimination -- for any reason -- in our laws, in our schools, and certainly not in our places of work," said Rep. Mark Pocan. "Non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity are already in effect at a majority of our nation's largest companies, and the time has come to ensure they are also passed into law. ENDA represents bipartisan, commonsense policy that guarantees all of our workers, no matter who they are or who they love, have the opportunity to thrive and succeed in the workforce."
The mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The bi-partisan LGBT Equality Caucus is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world. By serving as a resource for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public on LGBT issues, the Caucus works toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and wellbeing for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.