Legalizing same-sex marriage is apparently becoming a trend not only in Western countries but also in some Asian countries in the past few months despite oppositions from different religious groups. Also, in the U.S., there are already nine states that have opened their doors for gay marriages. In fact, according to previous reports, Rhode Island is likely to be the tenth U.S. state to adopt same-sex marriage legislations.
Indeed, the whole world is starting to accept the fact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, whether we like it or not, is already a part of our everyday living. Therefore, many countries are starting to take several adjustments favoring the LGBT’s.
In fact, in hopes of getting a lift from the current trend on same sex marriage, a bipartisan group of senators once again renewed a call to pass the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) that would favor the LGBT community the most.
Advocates of the said bill believe that the rapidly growing recognition of the world to the LGBT community is set to aid in driving success against employment discrimination.
The bill was first introduced in Congress in 1994. Although it passed the House, it later “died” in Senate due to conservative public discussions on gay rights over the past years.
Under the current law, employers are prohibited from discriminating employees based on race, religion, age, gender or disability but not including gender identity or sexual orientation. Also, the current law exempts small businesses or those employers with fewer than 15 employees and religious organizations.
Consequently, the ENDA would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment decisions on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. Now, aside from its sponsor, Sen. Jeff Merkley, the bill has earned the support of other lawmakers including Democratic senators Tom Harkin, Mark Kirk and fellow Republican Susan Collins, the first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin and the most prominent gay senator, Barney Frank.
While the former U.S. President George Bush previously vetoed the bill, current President Barack Obama has recently expressed his support on it.
Incidentally, a Los Angeles discrimination attorney monitored how Obama refused to sign a non-discrimination executive order that would ban workplace discrimination on the basis gender identity or sexual orientation. The President, on the other hand, reiterated that he still prefers to push the more comprehensive bill, which is the ENDA.