WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–November 4, 2013. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released a statement today before the Senate’s vote to begin debate on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), S. 815:
“The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is about civil rights. In Illinois, we aspire to continue Abraham Lincoln’s legacy of fighting for liberty and human dignity. I measure myself against Senator Everett Dirksen, the Illinois fiscal conservative and social moderate whose passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 stood out as one of his best moments as a Republican leader. The fact that a majority of Fortune 500 companies already have taken steps to stop discrimination in the workplace highlights that our action is overdue. I will maintain the tradition of Lincoln and Dirksen by supporting ENDA to block discrimination in the workplace and maintain our competitive edge in the global economy.”
Not all Americans have equal protection against employment discrimination. Currently, it is legal to discriminate in the workplace based on sexual orientation in 29 states. As much as 58 percent of lesbian, gay or bisexual Americans have no legal protections against discrimination.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would:
Extend federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity,
Prohibit public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as basis for employment decision like hiring, firing, promotion or compensation,
Apply to Congress and the federal government as well as employees of state and local governments.