Harassment and Discrimination on the basis of sexual identity or gender orientation is significantly rampant in the State of California as revealed by the records of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is despite the fact that the Golden state has added gender identity and gender expression to the class lists protected by the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Also, under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination against individuals on the basis of their gender or gender orientation is illegal.
Therefore, in an aim to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), following the repeated call of several lawmakers and advocates on President Barack Obama to eventually sign a Non-discrimination Executive Order or the so-called Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA), Senator Harry Reid announced recently that he’ll co-sponsor the ENDA. For the record, following his announcement, Reid will be the 50th co-sponsor of ENDA.
Reid believes that no one should suffer from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual preferences. Thus, he assures advocates that he will do everything he can to make sure that the legislation will pass the senate.
For years, since the bill was first introduced in 1994 by Rep. Jares Polis (D-Colorado) in the House and Sen. Jeff Merkeley (D-Oregon) in the Senate, it has been stagnated and until present, no such bill has been passed.
Fortunately, during a reception at the White House, to mark the celebration of LGBT Pride Month, Obama returned the call on Congress to pass the legislation banning workplace discrimination against LGBT and expressed his desire to sign the bill as soon as possible.
“In 34 states, you can be fired just because of who you are or who you love. That’s wrong. There’s a bipartisan bill moving forward in the Senate that would ban discrimination against all LGBT Americans in the workplace, now and forever. We need to get that passed. I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now”, Obama said in his statement during the event.
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyer herein, who have been eyeing on this bill while making its way through the senate and getting a good shot from other several lawmakers, said that if the same effort to support the bill continues to pour, then the same could likely pass the senate in the near future.