Washington – Congressman Barney Frank announced today that he will testify before the House Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday in favor of his bill to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017), would extend existing federal employment laws which prohibit job discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability.
Currently, it is legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in 29 states, and it is legal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in 38 states.
Despite strong support in the House – the bill has over 170 cosponsors – the hearing is likely to be a lively one. Witnesses included Vandy Beth Glenn, a woman who was fired when she informed her employer that she was transitioning from male to female, and a representative of the National Religious Broadcasters Association, which opposes the legislation.
WHAT: Hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
WHERE: House Education and Labor Hearing Room, 2175 Rayburn House Office Building
WHEN: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
- Hon. Stuart J. Ishimaru, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- William Eskridge, John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School
- Vandy Beth Glenn, fired from her Georgia state legislative job when she told her supervisor she was transitioning from male to female
- Camille Olson, partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
- Craig Parshall, senior vice president and general counsel, National Religious Broadcasters Association
- Rabbi David Saperstein, director, the Religious Action Center
- Brad Sears, executive director, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
Other witnesses TBA
THE EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT
WHAT THE BILL DOES
- Federal employment laws currently prevent job discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability. ENDA would extend this to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, covering all LGBT Americans.
- Although some states have laws to prevent such discrimination, in 29 states it is legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and in 38 states it is legal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.
- The bill covers both the public and private sectors.
- The bill has more than 170 cosponsors, including Democrats and Republicans. The current list of original cosponsors will be available after the press conference.
WHAT THE BILL DOES NOT DO
- The legislation does not afford “special rights” to any group.
- The legislation specifically prohibits preferential treatment on the basis of quotas.
- The legislation does not apply to members of the Armed Services, veterans’ service groups, and religious organizations.
- The legislation does not require employers to provide benefits to domestic partners.
- The legislation does not apply to organizations with less than 15 employees.
- The legislation does not prevent businesses from enforcing dress codes