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.
‘I am opposed to discrimination of any kind, in the workplace and any place else. But I think this legislation … is unnecessary and would provide a basis for frivolous lawsuits,’ he tells Washington Blade.
‘People are already protected in the workplace,’ Boehner adds. ‘I’m opposed to continuing this.’
ENDA has been introduced in all but one Congress since 1994 and last week marked the first time it had been passed by one of the legislative branches.
The law would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees.
If the House were to pass the legislation, President Barack Obama has made clear he will sign it into law.
But Boehner may not even bring it up for a vote which would kill the legislation.
‘Listen, I understand people have differing opinions on this issue, and I respect those opinions,’ he says. ‘But as someone who’s worked in the employment law area for all my years in the State House and all my years here, I see no basis or no need for this legislation.’