Today, breakout actor on the Netflix hit series Orange is the New Black joined the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in pressing for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). In light of the scheduled votes for ENDA, Cox told NCTE:
“Getting to play Sophia Burset in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black is a dream come true for me. As an out transgender woman of color, I don’t take the enormity of me being able to live my dreams lightly. This is not the case for so many of my transgender brothers and sisters. Everyone should have the same chance to get ahead, to support themselves and their families and to live their dreams. They should have the same chance to build a career doing something that they love to do. Having explicit federal laws like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will make that possible for transgender people and I urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass this bill.”
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “Laverne and I are examples of what could happen for each member of our community if every transgender person had the same shot at succeeding in their jobs while doing what they love.” Keisling added, “But in a country where 78% of transgender people face disrespect, discrimination or harassment at work, the promise of the American dream becomes disappointingly distant. I join Laverne in strongly urging all Senators to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.”
The decades-old bill is slated for a cloture vote on Monday, November 4th, 2013 with a final vote expected later next week. The forthcoming vote marks the first time a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act receives a vote in U.S. Congress.