Thursday, November 7, 2013

Save our children from ENDA! E-mail your congressman now!

I was happy to see that Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake become the latest republicans to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed on Thursday, 64 to 32.

They joined Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Ron Kirk of Illinois, who is the bills co-sponsor.
Ten Republicans and two Independents joined the 52 Democrats to support the bill. Four Senators abstained from voting. They were getting their hair done by straight hair dressers.

This is the first time in US history that the U.S. Senate had approved any type of legislation to prohibit discrimination in a workplace environment of gay, lesbian and transgender employees.

Passing a non-discrimination law, though I think they should simply add sexual identity to the laws that already protect based on gender, race and religion, does not encourage a gay "lifestyle".  It supports our brothers and sisters, our fellow citizens and keeps them from being hurt.

Opposition in the Republican-controlled House is strong, so there is little chance the measure will become law.  It would be horable if the US  passed laws to protect it's President Barack Obama urged the House to take the bill up and said he would sign it.
"One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do," the President said in a statement. "Now is the time to end this kind of discrimination in the workplace, not enable it. I urge the House Republican leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote and send it to my desk so I can sign it into law."
The bill would provide the same protections for LGBT workers as are already guaranteed on the basis of race, gender and religion, making in unlawful for employers to discriminate based on a person's "actual or perceived" sexual orientation or gender identity.
ENDA's  began in 1994, the first time it was introduced in Congress. Several years later, a version that only protected sexual orientation failed to get by the Senate by one vote. The bill was not brought up again for a vote until 2007 when the House passed the narrower version.
"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," said House leader Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel.
Chad Griffin, president of the LGBT activist group Human Rights Campaign, had harsh words for Boehner.
"The Speaker, of all people, should certainly know what it's like to go to work every day afraid of being fired. Instead of letting the far right trample him again, it's time for Speaker Boehner to stand with the majority of everyday Republican voters and support ENDA," Griffin said earlier this week.
Regardless proponents are applauding Senate action.
Several opponents of the measure have some real concerns, saying that ENDA will  certainly "have a chilling effect on free speech as well as religious liberty" by requiring secular businesses who have a moral objection to LGBT people to not discriminate against them.
(Yes, people. There are people who object to LGBT people, and therefore, would not hire them.  Frankly, I have a moral objection to most lawyers, yet I would hire them if I needed one.)
Here's another goody: The Traditional Values Coalition said that ENDA would hurt kids, and here's why:
"Young students in some states are already being confused by transgender teachers," a fact sheet supplied by the coalition read. "If ENDA passes, students and children in daycare centers all across the nation will be subjected to individuals experimenting with their gender identities."
Let me just gag now.

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