[JURIST] A bill [S 1584 materials] aimed at banning workplace discrimination motivated by an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identification was introduced in the US Senate [official website] on Wednesday by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) [official website]. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), if passed, would protect employees from discriminatory hiring and firing practices, and from segregation or classification on the basis of sexual preference or gender identity. The bill would be the first aimed at ensuring workplace equality for individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer (GLBTQ). Expressing the support of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) [official website], HRC president Joe Solmonese said:
We are a nation predicated on equality. And over the years, we have embraced an increasingly broader and more inclusive vision of what that means. By passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, we will simply be adding another proud chapter to the amazing American story of opportunity.
Earlier this month in another measure [JURIST report] aimed at ensuring equality for those who identify as GLBTQ, the US Senate approved a bill [S 909 materials] that would expand hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender. In 2007, the House and Senate [JURIST reports] passed similar legislation but the broadened language was ultimately removed [JURIST report] during subsequent negotiations. US President Barack Obama signed a memorandum last month [JURIST report] that would provide certain benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees.