Obama: ‘Congress Needs to Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act’

President Obama published in the Huffington Post this evening, urging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Troops_obamaWrote Obama, in part:

…millions of LGBT Americans go to work every day fearing that, without any warning, they could lose their jobs — not because of anything they've done, but simply because of who they are.

It's offensive. It's wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.

That's why Congress needs to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, also known as ENDA, which would provide strong federal protections against discrimination, making it explicitly illegal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This bill has strong bipartisan support and the support of a vast majority of Americans. It ought to be the law of the land.

Americans ought to be judged by one thing only in their workplaces: their ability to get their jobs done. Does it make a difference if the firefighter who rescues you is gay — or the accountant who does your taxes, or the mechanic who fixes your car? If someone works hard every day, does everything he or she is asked, is responsible and trustworthy and a good colleague, that's all that should matter.

ENDA is set for a cloture vote by the full Senate late in the afternoon on Monday (Faiz Shakir, a Reid spokesperson, estimated the cloture vote on ENDA will take place around 5:45) and a final vote would be likely on Wednesday.

All Senate Democrats and four Republicans have signaled support for the measure. Reid expressed confidence last week that the votes are there.