House Passes Bill Banning Discrimination of Lesbians, Gays, Bis (but not Transgenders)

On November 7, 2007, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA,” H.R. 3685), a federal bill which bans employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The vote was decisive at 235-184. The bill is backed by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, NAACP, ACLU, AFL-CIO, UAW, National Education Association, National Employment Lawyers Association, and Human Rights Campaign, to name a few.

ENDA has angered leading Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups such as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, or the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force because it fails to address discrimination based on gender identity/expression (i.e., transgenders, masculine women, and feminine men).

ENDA will need Senate approval before being enacted into law. Twenty states and the District of Columbia already ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Transgender people suffer the highest unemployment rates in the LGBT community.

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