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Tom Harkin
Sen. Tom Harkin

President Obama's announced support for marriage equality has lit some fires in Congress; bad ones in the House, but encouraging ones in the Senate.

Sen. Tom Harkin, Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, And Pensions, has announced that he will hold hearings on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation which would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all but the smallest companies. Greg Sargent reports that a bipartisan group of senators, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME), requested hearings in committees with jurisdiction.

Harkin stepped up, releasing this statement:

“Every American deserves an equal opportunity to earn a good living, judged by their talent, ability and qualifications free from discrimination. Workplace discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity is reprehensible and has no place in our nation. This upcoming HELP Committee hearing will provide an excellent opportunity to build on the Committee’s previous work and help advance our shared goal of equal rights for all Americans. I am hopeful that working together, we will reach a point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons enjoy the same rights and protections, and full equality, as all our fellow Americans.”
It's legal to to fire someone solely because they’re lesbian, gay, or bisexual in 29 states. In 35 states, employers can fire someone solely on the basis of gender identity or expression. Protecting a person's livelihood is easily as basic as recognizing who they love. It's time for ENDA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:06:57 AM PDT

  •  Its 39 states for transgendered folk, definately.. (0+ / 0-)

    time for ENDA

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:57:04 PM PDT

  •  We have to fight to get EDNA passed (0+ / 0-)

    I do not want to see EDNA die in our caucus quietly like EFCA. I do not think any Democrat should get an automatic pass on EDNA (or EFCA).

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 01:01:03 PM PDT

    •  ENDA, sorry (0+ / 0-)

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:06:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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