Fort Lauderdale FL - TERI-Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives applauded Senators Jeff Merkley (OR-D), Susan Collins (ME-R), Edward M. Kennedy (MA-D) for introducing an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination. The bill, which enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal employment non-discrimination laws.
TERI Commends US Senators for Introduction of Inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act
"Workplace protections for LGBT people are urgently needed and long overdue," said TERI Co-Administrator Jacqui Charvet." "The President has said he is ready to sign this bill. All we need now is for the Senate to act."
Currently, 12 states and more than 100 localities have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections, covering nearly 40 percent of Americans. According to numerous surveys, large majorities of likely voters in the U.S. support federal employment non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people. Polling data from 2006 shows that voters are more likely to support a candidate who votes for LGBT anti-discrimination laws than candidates who do not.
LGBT workers are historically discriminated against at a higher rate in employment and hiring practices, with 85% of transgender workers either un or under employed. These numbers climb higher in a poor economic climate.
TERI is one of the 399 coalition members of UnitedENDA. Members have been active calling writing and visiting federal legislators. Petition signatures were collected at the recent PRIDE festivals and delivered to legislators.
"We urge Congress to take speedy action to put this bill on the President's desk," said Ms Charvet. "LGBT employees work just as hard and contribute just as much as other workers. They should not have to fear losing their jobs simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
TERI is a diverse coalition of South Florida LGBT and Straight Community Leaders in solidarity; committed to securing full civil rights for transgender people, and individuals of non-stereotypical gender identity and expression, without regard to race, religion, party affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.