News Release

ENDA: Why Is Employment Discrimination Against Gays Legal?


Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post wrote today that Michelle Obama “was speaking … at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Washington last night when [Ellen] Sturtz heckled her about her husband’s lack of action on ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) federal employees.”

CHRISTINE OWENS, via Norman Eng, neng at, @NELPnews
Owens is the executive director of the National Employment Law Project. She said today: “There is currently no federal law that explicitly bans employment discrimination against members of the LGBT community. We can fix this serious gap in civil rights protections through passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or ENDA. This measure, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) in late April, broadly bans a range of discriminatory employment practices because of individuals’ ‘actual or perceive sexual orientation or gender identity.’

“It is intolerable to provide only a patchwork quilt of basic employment protections to LGBT workers. While a number of states have extended anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community, 29 states have not done so. As a matter of fairness and good business practice, we can — and should — ensure that members of the LGBT community are accorded the same protections against employment discrimination we provide other groups of workers who have borne the burden of unfair and unfortunate discrimination for too long.”