Monday, September 28, 2009
Last week, the House Education and Labor Committee held the first full committee hearing in the House on ENDA (The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017)). ENDA, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would prohibit employment discrimination, preferential treatment, and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with 15 or more employees. Currently, it is legal to discriminate in the workplace based on sexual orientation in 29 states and in 38 states based on gender identity. Video and links to testimony can be found on the committee's website here.
One of the subjects of testimony was this report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, documenting widespread discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity by state and local governments. This report will be an important piece of legislative history to support the constitutionality of ENDA's abrogation of state sovereign immunity.
For a concise, plain English summary of the bill, see Jillian Weiss's summary here.