Congressional Hispanic Caucus Votes to Endorse ENDA

A resolution proposed by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was approved by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday. The Washington Blade reports:

Rep. Linda SanchezIn a statement, Sanchez, vice chair of the caucus, called ENDA "an important, long overdue civil rights law."

"Equality shouldn't wait," Sanchez said. "We need to break down the barriers of intolerance and bigotry that have kept too many talented people out of the workplace. The vast majority of Americans believe that job performance is what should determine whether you get hired, fired or promoted. It's time for the House to pass ENDA and end workplace discrimination."

House aides said two-thirds of the caucus voted to endorse ENDA, but wouldn't disclose the way each of the 26 members of the caucus voted. According to aides, a majority vote is necessary for approval.

Freedom to Work, the only LGBT advocacy organization working exclusively to end anti-gay employment discrimination, praised the caucus's decision. Said president Tico Almeida:

"Freedom to Work applauds the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for its tremendous support for LGBT workplace fairness, and especially Rep. Linda Sanchez with whom we worked on the recent ENDA field hearing in Los Angeles to delve into the findings of the 'Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color' report by the Movement Advancement Project and a coalition of civil rights organizations," Almeida said.

ENDA received bipartisan approval in the Senate earlier this month and, more recently, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers urged Speaker John Boehner to allow a floor vote for ENDA. Boehner, however, remains stubbornly unwilling to allow the vote to take place, saying that "people are already protected in the workplace" and that ENDA would result in frivolous lawsuits.