Washington, D.C. – Today, as the debate over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, heats up in Congress, the Center for American Progress released two products highlighting both Americans’ support for ENDA and the vital importance for Congress to ensure that the 8 million LGBT workers in America are afforded the basic protections from discrimination provided by the legislation.
The story of Ashland Johnson is the latest video in the Center for American Progress’s Workplace Discrimination Series. In Johnson’s personal video, she recounts experiences when her employer expressed disapproval of her sexual orientation. Despite receiving positive reviews throughout her tenure, her employer’s views ultimately led to Johnson’s termination, while she was lying in a hospital bed. Like many other LGBT workers, Johnson believed she was protected under federal law but suddenly realized she had no legal recourse.
The infographic “Americans Agree on ENDA” shows that 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.
Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, said of the Senate’s upcoming vote on ENDA:
In 1982, under a Republican governor, Wisconsin became the first state to extend employment protections to the LGBT community. Now, 30 years later, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would extend that promise of protection to all LGBT workers across the country.
ENDA would codify into law the fundamental American values of fairness, equality, and the opportunity to work hard to earn a living for oneself and one’s family. This law provides crucial protections for LGBT workers and ensures that they are judged based on merit and hard work, not fired or discriminated against based on who they love.
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