Although the Obama administration insists it will work with Congress to pass legislation in lieu of an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers, House Speaker John Boehner seemed unaware of ENDA (Employment Non-discrimination Act) in response to a question from the Washington Blade, saying, “I haven’t seen the bill. I haven’t thought much about it.”
“No one should face discrimination in the workforce,” Boehner said. “There are ample laws already in place to deal with this. Having been the chairman of the Education & Workforce Committee, I’m quite familiar with employment law. But if there are further changes that are necessary, I’m sure the committee will look at it.”
No federal law or federal regulation bars employers from firing LGBT workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Firing or discriminating against someone because they’re gay is legal in 29 states; firing or discriminating against someone because they’re transgender is legal in 34 states.
ENDA is important. Just the mention of, say, going to the movies with your same-sex partner – the way heterosexual employees might do on a Monday morning at work – could get you fired.
The dark states in the map below are where you can be fired just for being gay or lesbian.