Coalition of diverse groups representing millions of Americans pushing for Senate vote following historic committee markup
Today the bipartisan campaign Americans for Workplace Opportunity announced it had formed in order to take advantage of a historic opportunity to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act 19 years after its first introduction – a bill to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The group plans to spend more than $2 million on the effort and has hired Matt McTighe, a veteran strategist who most recently served as Marriage Project Director for Gill Action after winning the campaign to bring marriage equality to Maine, to serve as the campaign manager. A majority of states lack laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from workplace bias and there is no federal law explicitly barring employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“No one should be fired for who they are or who they love, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a bipartisan, common-sense way to put those values into federal law,” said McTighe. “Our campaign will mobilize the supermajority of diverse Americans who believe in workplace fairness and push Congress to act on ENDA this year.”
The steering committee of Americans for Workplace Opportunity is a diverse and bipartisan group of organizations composed of: American Civil Liberties Union, American Unity Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and the Service Employees International Union. Dozens of other organizations that support ENDA will also be involved in the coalition.
National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said: “A job is more than just a job. Having a job means access to health care and ensuring the security of our families. Today, too many trans people are denied that opportunity because of who they are. As Congress debates a bill that most Americans already believe is law, transgender and LGB Americans continue to be denied jobs, promotions and fair wages. Right now, Senators are the only ones who can take action to stop that. The U.S. Senate must act now to make it possible for all Americans to contribute to our economy and our country.”
This national campaign depends on a strong grassroots base to ensure its success, especially as we enter the August Congressional recess. Learn about how to push ENDA forward while your member of Congress is at home at our August Recess Action Center.