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Steny Hoyer Says The ENDA Bill Will Likely Pass This Year

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is optimistic about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and believes that the bill will finally pass this year. The ENDA bill aims to prevent employers from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. CBS News reports that with this positive attitude on the bill, gay rights activists are determined to beat out conservative groups trying to present scare tactics.

"If there's anything that ENDA teaches children it's that everyone deserves an equal chance to earn a living," Human Rights Campaign Spokesperson Michael Cole told CBS News.

The state of Texas (along with many other U.S states), does not have any laws protecting sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. In most U.S states, it's legal to terminate an employee, or simply refuse to hire an employee based on sexual orientation. Not even a skilled Texas employment lawyer can fight against such discrimination. However, ENDA would change this.

The Human Rights Campaign states that ENDA would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Essentially, the ENDA bill would be including a class that is not protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Though, it's important to note that ENDA legislation would not apply to businesses with fewer than 15 employees, religious organizations, and the military.

The first version of ENDA was introduced to Congress in 1994, and has been re-introduced to almost every Congress since then, but has failed to pass. Now members of the House say that the bill has a strong chance of passing because of the Democrat majority. In the mean time, gay activists around the country continue to hope for equal equality.

Related Resources:

  • Gay Rights Facts: Rights in the Workplace (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life Blog)
  • Why the New Administration Should Focus on Workplace Equality (FindLaw Writ)
  • Locate a Houston Employment Lawyer (FindLaw)

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