the u.s. senate voted today, 64 to 32, to pass the employment non-discrimination act (enda) for the first time in the legislation's two-decade history. all senate democrats joined ten senate republicans to approve the landmark bill aimed towards empowering the lgbt community.
human rights president chad griffin said, "today, a strong bipartisan majority of the united states senate made history by standing up for a fundamental american truth. each and every american worker should be judged based on the work they do, and never based on who they are. this broad senate coalition has sent a vital message that civil rights legislation should never be tied up partisan political games."
griffin further stated, "we firmly believe if the house of representatives were freed by speaker john boehner to vote its conscience, this bill could pass immediately. it's unconscionable that any one person would stand in the way of this crucial piece of the civil rights puzzle."
house speaker john boehner, a republican, suggested earlier this week he won't bring enda to the floor for an up-or-down vote. but his views have drawn public criticism - within the gop. charlie dent (r-pa) said, "i believe the speaker should allow a vote on this bill...i believe the american public wants to make sure people are not discriminated against."
dent also stated, "with today's vote in the senate, majority leader reid, chairman harkin, lead sponsors (senators) merkley and kirk, and senators collins and baldwin have shown us all what leadership looks like. now, speaker boehner should take up the mantle of leadership and allow the house to join them."
president obama has indicated his willing to sign a long-pending executive order protecting the employees of federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. the human rights campaign says obama, by signing the order, can extend labor security to over 16 million American workers.
said griffin, "we urge the house of representatives to pass enda immediately, and we call on president obama to send a clear message in support of workplace fairness by signing this order."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.