The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the U.S. Senate 64-32 on Thursday but it will likely not even get a vote in the House during this Congress.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rose to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday to make a statement. She pointed out that most Americans believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are already protected from being fired under the law, even though doing just that is legal in a majority of states:
Unfortunately, however, this is one of the rare instances where the American people are giving Congress way too much credit, because the truth is – we haven’t acted yet. And the consequences of congressional inaction remain all too real for millions of LGBT Americans.
Despite the successful efforts in many states to pass non-discrimination measures, Americans living in over half the country can still be discriminated against in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. And it happens. Between 15 percent and 43 percent of LGBT individuals have reported experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
A quarter of transgender Americans have reported being fired from a job due to their gender identity, and a whopping 90 percent have reported experiencing harassment and mistreatment. There’s been a lot of progress toward a more inclusive nation, but for LGBT workers, a law to stop employment discrimination can’t come fast enough.