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Content about 111th United States Congress

July 21, 2014

Order bans federal government and federal contractors from discriminating against emplyees based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order today that protects employees of the federal government and of federal contractors from being discriminated based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

July 18, 2014

Will protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama has chosen Monday (21 July) as the day he will make good on his promise to sign an executive order to prohibit discrimination against LGBTI employees.

The order will apply to an estimated 28 million people - one-fifth of the US workforce - who work for federal contractors and the federal government.

July 9, 2014

ACLU, Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center among the groups to say 'inclusion of this provision is no longer tenable'

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has lost the support of several leading LGBTI legal groups on Tuesday (8 July) because religious groups would be exempt from the long-stalled legislation.

The American Civil Liberties Union; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Lambda Legal; National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Transgender Law Center issued a joint statement saying the current version of ENDA allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

July 1, 2014

Makes surprise announcement during White House Pride reception

At a White House reception celebrating LGBTI pride, US President Barack Obama surprised attendees when he announced plans to sign an executive order protecting all federal workers from gender identity discrimination.

This is in addition to the executive order he plans to sign to protect employees of federal contractors from anti-LGBTI discrimination.

Obama's action is taking place as the US House of Representatives continues to stall the Employment Non-Discrimination Act already passed by the US Senate.

June 24, 2014

A new poll has found that a large majority of Americans wrongly believe that it is already illegal to fire someone over their sexuality under federal law despite the Employment Non-Discrimination Act stalling in Congress

A new YouGov/Huffington Post survey has found that 69% of Americans wrongly believe it is already illegal to fire someone for being gay or lesbian under US federal law – while another 18% were unsure.

Only 13% of Americans surveyed in the poll knew that gays and lesbians are not protected from discrimination in employment under federal law when asked.

June 18, 2014

'In the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn't be a fireable offense'

The day before speaking at a Democratic National Committee LGBT fundraiser in New York City Tuesday (17 June), President Barack Obama had already let it be known that he was taking action on a long-simmering issue.

As the Republican-controlled House of Representatives continues to ignore the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), Obama has finally agreed to sign an executive order that would offer some of the protections as that long-delayed legislation.

June 16, 2014

Long-requested step comes as US congress fails to pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act

President Barack Obama is planning to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The move comes as the US Congress continues to be stalled on the long-delayed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, commonly known as ENDA. The legislation passed the Senate last year but has languished in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

March 19, 2014

A large group of Congressional Democrats have asked US President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning businesses who have contracts with the US Government from discriminating against LGBTI people

195 Democratic members of the US Congress have written to US President Barack Obama asking him to ban federal contractors from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation or transgender status.

The group includes 47 senators and 148 members of the US House of Representatives and the initiative has been lead by Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jared Polis.

January 29, 2014

HRC's Chad Griffin says US president also 'side-stepped' commitment to sign executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday (28 January), US President Barack Obama had been expected to make some mention of the long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

It did not happen.

Known as ENDA, the act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination protections. It has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994 and never had enough support for passage.

November 14, 2013

US House Speaker: 'People are already protected in the workplace'

John Boehner insists he is against workplace discrimination but he sees 'no basis or no need' for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the US Senate last week.

Although there are still 29 states in the US in which LGBT people can be fired just for being who they are, the speaker of the House of Representatives says ENDA is not needed.

November 7, 2013

After 64-32 vote, attention now turns to House where Republican leadership expected to let legislation die

After nearly 20 years, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has finally passed the US Senate.

The legislation, known as ENDA, has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994. It was last voted on by the full senate in 1996 when it fell one vote shy of passage.

In the end, the 64-32 vote had every Democratic senator and 10 of their Republican colleagues voting in favor of passage.

Surprisingly, among the Republicans supporting ENDA was Arizona Senator John McCain who was a vocal opponent of ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

November 7, 2013

'One house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do'

US President Barack Obama wasted no time Thursday (7 November) in putting pressure on the Republican-led House of Representatives to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

In a statement shortly after the full Senate approved the measure to protect LGBT employees in the workplace, Obama zeroed in on the House where Republican Speaker John Boehner is against the legislation.

November 5, 2013

Lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin speaks passionately for bill before procedural vote

After nearly two decades of setbacks, the Employment Non-Discrimination Employment Act (ENDA) survived a key procedural vote in the US Senate on Monday (4 November) and appears assured of passage later this week.

ENDA passed what is known as a cloture vote by a 61-30 margin with all Democrats in support and three Republicans.

The nation's first lesbian senator, Tammy Baldwin, spoke passionately about ENDA's merits before the vote.

'I realize that for some, this is not an easy vote,' Baldwin told her fellow senators.

November 5, 2013

Democratic leader Harry Reid says Boehner 'fails to take into account the heartbreak and suffering' by LGBTI employees

The US Senate is on the verge giving final passage to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act after nearly two decades of setbacks for the legislation seeking to protect LGBTI workers.

But GOP leader John Boehner is making clear ENDA will not have similar success when the legislation moves over to the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Boehner Michael Steel said in a statement this week: 'The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs.'

November 4, 2013

Tim Cook has urged the US Senate to back the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, saying allowing LGBT people to be who they are at work is good for business

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has urged the US Senate to stop discrimination against LGBTI employees.

Writing an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, the highest paid CEO in the world has said allowing people to be free to be who they are is simply good for business.

He challenged the House of Representatives to bring the Employment Non-discrimination Act to the floor for a vote.

October 31, 2013

Majority Leader Harry Reid is confident the bill will pass with full support of Democrats and handful of Republicans

The US Senate is expected to begin debate on the long-languishing Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Monday (4 November) and Majority Leader Harry Reid is confident of passage.

The proposed legislation now has the support of every Democrat in the Senate with the last three holdouts coming around this week.

'This is fairness,' Reid tells MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. 'Why wouldn't we do this?'

Reid says it is not just Democrats who will support the bill.

'I think, without question, we're going to get at least five Republicans,' he said.

October 30, 2013

Republican's wife had signed petition urging him to back the proposed legislation offering workplace protections to LGBTI employees

Arizona Senator John McCain is not going to listen to his wife.

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee got some pressure last week from his spouse when Cindy McCain signed a Human Rights Campaign postcard urging her husband to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

But McCain said Wednesday (30 October) he fears the legislation might lead to 'reverse discrimination.'

October 28, 2013

Long-stalled legislation seeks federal protection from discrimination for LGBTI employees

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is expected to be voted on by the full US Senate before Thanksgiving.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (pictured) is expected to announce later today that he will bring the long-stalled legislation to a floor vote next month.

ENDA seeks to prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, non-religious employers with at least 15 employees.

October 25, 2013

2008 Republican presidential nominee has been against gay marriage and gays serving openly in the military

What do you do when you are the pro-gay wife of a conservative US senator with an anti-gay voting record?

If you're Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, you send him a postcard.

Mrs. McCain this week put her signature on a postcard provided by the Human Rights Campaign asking her husband for his support on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

September 19, 2013

Democrat senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican senator Susan Collins are pushing the US federal government to catch up with Fortune 500 companies by offering benefits to domestic partners of federal employees

Domestic partners of same-sex federal employees may soon be able to access partner rights.

Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin, who made history in November 2012 after becoming the first openly gay person in the US Senate, has teamed up with Maine senator Susan Collins to re-introduce the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2013 (DPBO).

September 9, 2013

'It's 2013 and millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic protection from discrimination under the law'

Barack Obama may be preparing for a major speech to make the case for military action in Syria but the US president has not forgotten about ENDA.

Obama took to Twitter today to tweet his support for passage of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination protections.

'It's 2013 and millions of LGBT Americans still lack basic protection from discrimination under the law,' Obama tweeted. 'Let's fix that.'

July 10, 2013

ENDA still faces tough fight to achieve full Senate passage

Is the long fight to pass ENDA going to soon end?

The long-stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act was easily approved this morning by the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions by a vote of 15-7.

The bill will next go before the full Senate for a vote and is going in with some bipartisan support. This will be critical in getting enough Republicans to join the Democratic majority for passage.

July 2, 2013

ENDA has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994

With momentum from the Supreme Court's rulings last week on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, the Employment Anti-Discrimination Act will get a committee vote in the US Senate on 10 July.

The long-stalled ENDA, introduced again in April by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has been schedule for a vote before the Senate's Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.

President Barack Obama said last month that he wants to see the long-stalled legislation enacted.

June 22, 2013

Michael Rogers maintains the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is the reason he is returning to outing closeted politicians who vote against LGBT equality

The reporter/blogger known for kicking politicians out of the closet warns he may out a gay member of the US Congress.

In an interview with US News & World Report, Michael Rogers reveals he is about to get evidence that there is one US House of Representative member who has gay sex and is anti-gay.

'Oh, it's going to happen because it has been happening for a long time,' he said to the magazine.