1. Jacques says

    True, the reporter did ask a couple good follow up questions, but (unless there’s more that’s not on the clip) he didn’t ask the obvious this one: Are you and your staff working with the bill’s sponsors to improve it, so you can vote for it?

  2. Tony says

    I disagree with him, but at least he seems like he’s thinking it through. I wish more legislators would thoroughly examine issues before decided what position to take. We have to much partisan ridiculousness going on.

  3. caoimhin says

    While I support ENDA I agree with Portman insofar as frivolous claims emerge as often if not more often than serious ones. While it is a purpose of this kind of legislation to separate the frivolous from the serious, at what cost to the employer? It is very easy to allege discrimination and very difficult to defend against it. I find that a few younger employees, especially if they are entitled with a minority status, believe that they have a right to a job regardless of their performance and that if the employer does not endorse this, he or she is immediately racist or homophobic.

    This is not true for the majority at all, but only a few frivolous claims can cost a company enough money to hinder expansion and new hires.

  4. sparks says

    Shoulda asked, “So we should strike laws protecting freedom of religion, because religious people might actually sue if they’re being denied that freedom?”

    Have to hit these fools where it hurts THEM, or they’ll continue deluding themselves.

    Of course, anyone whose primary goal is to make it more “comfortable” for employers, probably hasn’t had an uncomfortable day in his life.

  5. that_kid says

    C’mon, really? Let’s be honest: It’s HEALTHCARE INSURANCE COSTS that are the overwhelming cost preventing employers from hiring. Further, for any individual company facing some frivolous suit for discrimation (say, under Title VII currently), the net GAIN TO THE PUBLIC is that employers know they will be called on the rug if they discriminate. And employees KNOWING that discrimination is not tolerated by law means boosts for the economy all around by greater productivity, loyalty, cooperation, etc., right?

    Oh yeah, and a certain fraction of minority employees who actually FACE discrimination have the GUTS to take on a lawsuit against an employer DESPITE the dark mark they still percieve it as creating against them as professionals and DESPITE the HUGE emotional toll on them personally for dealing with it so directly.

    Plus, should we cry-baby about the risks of some frivolous suits sneaking through if discrimination becomes explicitly outlawed against lgbt people? If anyone DOES, I think they EITHER don’t get it OR are just using CODE for saying that they think gay people SHOULD be discriminated against legally, but want to get out of any repurcussions of being openly a gay-hater. I mean, c’mon Title VII and related federal law explicitly covers TONS of other categories, but the anti-employment-discrimination system is HUGELY popular with the American public. Americans would never stand for Senator Portman railing against anti-discrimination provisions based on race, color, sex, etc., so why would they stand for him railing against anti-discrimination provisions based on sexual orientation?

    Furthermore, a few states already HAVE statutes explicitly forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. I’ve never heard of any ACTUAL evidence that adding these provisions in any way substantially changed workflow. In fact, I’ve seen at least one such state INCREASE the efficiency of managing the administration of its anti-disrimination statutes, albeit for other reasons.

    In any case, railing on anti-discrimination-in-employment statutes based on the inevitability that some poor-performing employees who lack grounds record complaints seems both dishonest AND short-sighted.

    Plus, in terms of sexual orientations and gender identity provisions SPECIFICALLY, I’ve REPEATEDLY seen the increasingly-persuasive argument that Title VII already effectively covers these categories through emerging caselaw. To the extent this is true in at least a patchwork of jurisdictions, what does making these protections explicit in a federal statute get us? Clarity and effectiveness, I’d think. MAYBE less costs fighting to further hammer out the caselaw? Plus, if there are already plaintiffs TRYING to bring such claims through Title VII, can you realistically claim a flood of illegitimate claims will come through the door once the protections are made a notch more clear and uniform in a statute?

    I’m just REALLY TIRED of hearing this supposed “frivolous suit” argument against ENDA. If you are going to use the argument, BACK IT UP, FOLKS:

    Tell me about a single state that added sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination statutes in which a documented deluge of frivolous anti-discrimination charges resulted.

  6. chris255 says

    I’m going with the real reason is the health care costs of their partners with the stigma that gay men have more health problems and it would cost more to support them.
    Then you have the bible freedom of faith, screw fair hiring practices folk.

    My solution: Remove employer mandate and implement a universal health care. Standardize treatment costs. Punish practices that gouge insurance companies. Punish insurance companies for deliberately rising premiums by turning a blind eye to overcharging insurance. The collective increased premiums pay for the corruption. Limit the costs of going to school. All these required expensive degrees get added into the mix for higher health care.

  7. Bill Perdue says

    ENDA needs to be strengthened so that defendants in those lawsuits will be forbidden to introduce ‘evidence’ based on bigoted ideas, like those promoted by cults such as the homophobic mormon cultists, the roman catholic homophobic child rapist cult or the southern baptist racist, homophobic cult.

    ENDA also needs to be strengthened so that defendants receive mandatory robust penalties upon conviction, including extensive jail time and the confiscation of their assets to compensate their victims.

    To paraphrase the maoists silly little red book, let a thousand lawsuits bloom.

  8. says

    @Bill Perdue:
    Absolutely right !

    The madness of these politicos seems to be ; “let’s allow discrimination to continue otherwise employers will be sued .”

    As you say ;Let a thousand law suits bloom.

  9. Sam Molloy says

    Our reputation as good dependable workers protects us more than any law ever could. Because of that, companies have been ahead of governments in proclaiming protections for sexual orientation for years. If they don’t then I don’t want to work for them anyway. That said, if there are to be federal laws prohibiting discrimination, gay and transgendered should be included.

  10. Fodolodo says

    I don’t think Rob Portman really understands what ENDA is, or has thought much about it at all. He appears to think he’s talking about the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is different.

    ENDA will almost certainly not spawn a wave of frivolous lawsuits. There are not all that many complaints from state anti-discrimination laws.

  11. Fodolodo says

    I don’t think Rob Portman really understands what ENDA is, or has thought much about it at all. He appears to think he’s talking about the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is different.

    ENDA will almost certainly not spawn a wave of frivolous lawsuits. There are not all that many complaints from state anti-discrimination laws.

  12. says

    TOOL! That’s rethuglican code-speak for “I don’t want to look like the bigoted @ss I really am, so I’ll say some sh*t to throw off the stupids. But, in reality, I’m opposed to anything that promotes the equal rights of those fags and dykes.”

  13. Houndentenor says

    In other words, “I know that people do discriminate against gay people and those gay people would probably sue those employers if this law passed.”

  14. Gus says

    Translation: I am using the excuse of “it will spawn a lot of litigation” instead of speaking the truth. Teavangelicals, like myself, want to be able to fire gays and lesbians AND refuse them service in public accommodations, like I own

    PS Mr. Romney, Sen Portman’s name recognition is in the 20’s, in his home state of Ohio

  15. mmike1969 says

    Then I have a solution that even stupid OLD gop pigs can understand:

    Stop being such a bigoted a$$hole and then people would stop suing you!

    Problem solved!

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