9 out of 10 Americans are unaware that people can be fired from their job simply for being LGBT. The majority of Americans are shocked because they realize that sexual orientation and gender identity in no way reflect an individual’s job performance. Since 1996, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), has been introduced at every session of congress, but has yet to pass. This fall, ENDA will once again come before congress and this time it has a greater chance of passing then in any other previous congressional session.
The bill has garnered 53 senators as co-sponsors and 177 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Yet, the amount of congressional support for passing ENDA still does not accurately reflect the views of the majority of Americans. 73% of Americans support ending workplace discrimination. As a body, it is the role of congress to reflect and execute the will of its constituents.
In order to propel congress towards an affirmative vote, faith based groups across the country have organized a telethon. The event, titled “FaithsCalling”, urges people of faith to call their senators on September 17, and tell them to end workplace discrimination by voting yes on ENDA.
One participating group is ReconcilingWorks, a Lutheran group whose goal is to promote the inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church, Tim Fisher, ReconcilingWorks’ Communication / Legislative Assistant says that callers should tell their senators:
“As a person of faith, I believe that all hardworking people, including transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual people, should have a fair chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.”
ENDA was passed in committee and now must be passed in the Senate before going to the House of Representatives. President Obama has already said that he supports the bill and if passed, will sign it into law. At GLAAD we recognize that people have a powerful voice in the public sphere and urge and urge all those who wish to end work place discrimination to pick up the phone on September 17, to urge their legislator to help make our society more equitable.
To learn more about the call-in day, you can visit FaithsCalling’s website. For more information on ENDA, visit www.glaad.org/enda.