Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after the Senate announced its plan to vote on the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT Americans in the workplace:
“Today, Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid announced the Senate’s plan to vote on a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In doing so, it will take a long-overdue step on our path to make America’s promise of equality a reality for our LGBT community.
“In a country that depends on the strength of its workers, too many of our best and brightest find their voices silenced and their talents squandered by the prejudice of their employers. LGBT workers in 29 states are currently denied job opportunities, fired, or otherwise discriminated against simply because of who they are or who they love. By implementing much-needed protections against such discrimination and harassment, we can ensure that every American who works hard and plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and achieve the American dream.
“The vote in the Senate marks a critical step forward for the LGBT community, for our economy, and for our country. On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), it is time for the House to follow suit to make sure that our most basic values of equality and opportunity are enshrined in the law of the land.”