ENDA’s Future in Congress Still Bleak
The Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill which would help to end the workplace discrimination of LGBTQ workers in both the public and private sector nation wide, recently made a successful run through the Senate. The bill with an overwhelming majority of 64-32 votes. While this is good news for supporters of the bill and the LGBTQ community as a whole, it was only the first (and arguably the easiest) step before getting the bill signed into law.
ENDA must still be passed by the House of Representatives which, due to the House’s largely Republican membership, could present a significant roadblock.
Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), has publicly voiced opposition to bill on the grounds that it would put unnecessary financial stress upon small businesses. According to the Huffington Post, Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, commented that Boehner believed this bill would result in “frivolous litigation and cost American jobs.”
A major problem with this argument, though, is that the majority (about 85% according to the Small Business Administration) of small business employers would not be affected by this bill at all, as it pertains only to those companies with more than 15 employees. So ENDA would really only impact larger corporations and the Federal Government, both of which could easily afford the possible increase in workplace discrimination lawsuits.
According to the Washington Post, the estimated $47 million dollar price tag of this bill would be “mostly for the government to hire additional workers to handle those cases.”
While the future of ENDA may look outwardly bleak, hope does exist for proponents of this bill. With ten of the Senate’s sixty-four ‘yes’ votes coming from Republican representatives (including senators John McCain and Jeff Flake), there is the possibility that Republican members of the House will follow suit.
This would be particularly significant here in Virginia, as this state is one of the twenty-nine where someone could still be fired or denied employment based on their sexual preferences, and one of thirty-three where employers can legally discriminate against employees for being trans-gender.
The “godly folk” are going absolutely berserk in response to Barack Obama’s signing of a presidential executive order barring that bans federal government contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The volumes of spittle flying from the flapping jaws of the professional Christian class and hate group leaders is off the charts. [...]July 22, 2014
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