ENDA. What is it? Other than an acronym that made me think of a woman’s name. ENDA stands for Employment Non-Discrimination Act, one of the more understandable acronyms that Congress has named a bill in a while. This bill would prevent employers from refusing to hire or fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is similar to laws that protect people based on race, religion, and disability. Honestly, I had thought that these laws already existed. I am sorry to be so wrong and so misinformed. Laws protecting people based on sexual orientation and gender identity have been a state-by-state issue. Twenty one states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting people based on sexual orientation. Seventeen states and D.C. have laws protecting people based on gender identity. This idea, having a law to protect workers based on sexual orientation, according to the Public Research Institute in a May poll, is supported by almost 7 out of 10 Americans.
Republicans believe that ENDA is unnecessary because many states have laws protecting people based on sexual orientation and most companies have polices banning this form of discrimination. Many Republicans also believe that ENDA is written too broadly and would increase lawsuits, but research has shown that, in states with laws similar to ENDA, there hasn’t been an increase in these forms of lawsuits. Maybe because companies are policing themselves as well.
With a 64 to 32 vote, which means that it was bipartisan, ENDA passed the Senate. Some Republican leadership, including John McCain, Tweeted this press release. So, Boehner refusing to bring this bill up to a vote shows how much he doesn’t care about what the American people want. He believes that this law would cause frivolous lawsuits and a loss of small business jobs, so he won’t let the House vote on this bill–even though most believe there are enough votes in the House for this bill to pass. Harry Reid even said on Thursday, that ENDA would, “pass by a nice margin in the House if the Speaker would allow a vote.” So, I guess we will see what will happen next. And how more political stalling will affect this next election.