LA Times: ‘Enacting ENDA is a moral as well as a political imperative’

Very strong editorial in today’s LA Times about the need to pass ENDA this year:

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Twelve of those states, including California, and D.C. also ban discrimination based on gender identity. But federal protection is necessary even in those states to provide gays, lesbians and transgendered people with the same range of legal remedies available to other victims of discrimination. In states with no protection, ENDA obviously is even more vital.

There has been heartening progress toward greater acceptance of gays, lesbians and transgendered people in this society. But that doesn’t render workplace protection for gays and lesbians unnecessary any more than a decline in racial and religious discrimination lessens the importance of existing anti-discrimination policies. In fact, laws against discrimination can shape public attitudes toward discrimination even in the private sphere.

Democratic leaders in both houses should expedite consideration of the bill as this Congress nears its conclusion. If they don’t, President Obama should press them to act. Gays, lesbians and transgendered employees are still subjected to unequal treatment and harassment. Enacting ENDA is a moral as well as a political imperative.

This editorial is only asking Democratic leaders in both houses to do what they have already promised to do: pass ENDA.

In late August of 2009, Majority Leader Harry Reid told an HRC fundraiser:

The Senate will soon outlaw discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote anyone simply based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and I am committed to passing it out of the Senate and sending it to President Obama for his signature.

It’s been over a year and time is running out.

At Netroots Nation, in an interview with me, Reid said he’d try to a floor vote on ENDA “before the end of the year”:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ3iE35OMb4?fs=1]


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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