Sunday, October 20, 2013

ENDA: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Majority:  Most registered American voters support a Federal law banning employment discrimination because of a person's sexual orientation.

While recent media attention focuses on same-sex civil marriage, it remains legal to discriminate against a person because of her or his sexual orientation in most states.  Ironically, earlier and a recent poll find most Americans believe such discrimination is already illegal.  Thus, some Americans believe attempts at a gay rights law banning employment discrimination is instead some attempt at 'special rights'.  Such laws fall within the system of civil rights laws already existing in the US and thus cover heterosexuals as well as homosexuals and bisexual orientations.

A September 2013 national poll by Republican pollster Alex Lundry with TargetPoint Consulting finds that 80% of Americans incorrectly believe it is already illegal to fire, refuse to hire, demote, or otherwise discriminate in employment against a person because of her/his sexual orientation. A law to ban such discrimination currently is gaining steam before Congress.  ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would ban discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation and gender identity in the area of private and public employment.  The bill exempts religious organizations and private clubs as well as only applies to businesses with 15 or more employees.(1)

Supporters have tried to get ENDA passed since 1994.  A similar bill had been introduced to Congress for decades starting in 1974.(1)

Lundry's polling finds 68% of his sample of registered voters support a Federal law protecting against sexual orientation discrimination in employment.  3 out of 5 registered voters believe sexual orientation discrimination is a problem in the US -with 31% believing such bias is a major problem.

Lundry also calculated that a majority of voters in all 50 states support such legislation.

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