Introduced by Oregon’s Sen. Jeff Merkley, along with Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, Massachusetts’ Ted Kennedy, the standalone Employment Non-Discrimination Act hit the Senate today — the first time such legislation did so. The goal? Join the House is passing a workplace protections bill; the House saw this year’s ENDA bill introduced in June.
Wondering whether your senator is on board? Check this list.
MORE: The bill has 34 co-sponsors; only two are Republicans (Collins and Snowe).
Snowe: “This legislation is long overdue. We cannot continue to allow two standards of rights in the workplace, based on sexual orientation or identity.”
Merkley: “No worker in America should be fired or denied a job based on who they are. Discrimination is wrong, period.”
Collins: “Similar to the current law in several states, including Maine, and the policies of many Fortune 500 companies, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would close an important gap in federal civil rights laws by making it illegal to discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation. Our legislation affirms the principle that individuals should be judged on their skills and abilities, and not by who they are.”
Kennedy: “The promise of America will never be fulfilled as long as justice is denied to even one among us.”