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What is ENDA?
There are only 16 full freedom to work states, plus the District of Columbia, that have banned job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are another five partial freedom to work states that have banned job discrimination based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity. Unfortunately, in a majority of states in our country, it is perfectly legal to get fired just because of whom you love.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will change that by granting employees the freedom to be honest and open about who they are while at work so that they can put their full energy into their jobs. ENDA is a bi-partisan proposal modeled after Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Similarly, ENDA will make it illegal throughout the entire country for an employer to fire, refuse to hire, refuse to promote, or severely harass an employee simply based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
In order to respect religious freedoms and garner bi-partisan support, ENDA exempts churches, religious organizations and religious schools. You can read more about ENDA’s critical religious exemption.
In April 2011, ENDA was introduced for the 112th Congress by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the U.S. House of Representatives and by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) in the U.S. Senate.