Within the next three weeks, the Senate is expected to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would provide basic protections from employment discrimination to the nation’s 8 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, workers. ENDA builds upon an enduring American value that workers should be judged on their merits and not their identity. It is past time for Congress to ensure basic fairness for every American, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Over the past several months, voters have witnessed the effects of gridlock and extreme partisanship on the nation and the federal government. Just two weeks after the government shutdown, ENDA provides Congress with the opportunity to unite behind common-sense, bipartisan legislation that maintains the support of a vast majority of the public.
As this infographic shows, majorities of voters in every U.S. state support ENDA, as well as majorities of Republicans, independents, and Democrats nationwide. Despite the rhetoric in opposition to this bill, people of faith are clearly behind ensuring basic fairness for American workers, with majorities of every Christian denomination supporting the passage of ENDA. Sixty-three percent of small businesses also support ENDA at a time when the inclusion of LGBT workers is quickly becoming a best-business practice across the country. In states such as Ohio, even Tea Party members are evenly divided on this bill.
The numbers are in: Americans support finally giving LGBT workers nationwide binding and explicit protections against discrimination in the workplace. Let’s hope Congress listens to the people.
Sarah McBride is a Special Assistant for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. Laura E. Durso is the Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project. Katie Miller is a Research Assistant at the LGBT Research and Communications Project.