In the wake of celebrating our national independence, it is time to make the American Dream true for more Americans. Congress should pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would provide important and needed protections against workplace discrimination based on a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. This Congress claims to be focused on jobs, and this legislation would protect those who have jobs or are applying for jobs against unfair, unreasonable, and irrational discrimination in the workplace.
These legal protections only exist in 13 states and the District of Columbia (an additional eight states have policies that include sexual orientation, but not gender identity). That means millions of people are judged not on the quality of their work but on characteristics irrelevant to their job performance. Far too many Americans live in fear of losing their current employment, being harassed on the job, or being bypassed for promotions simply because they are gay or transgender.
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