Calls on House to take up bill and end LGBT-based discrimination in the workplace


MADISON, WI—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a  co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, today released the following statement after the Senate moved to advance the bipartisan Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would extend federal employment discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Pocan is an original co-sponsor of the House version of ENDA, which is currently supported by more than 190 bipartisan members.


According to recent polling, more than two-thirds of Americans, including 56% of Republicans, support a federal law protecting LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity are already in effect at a majority of our nation’s largest companies


“When someone in the United States goes to work afraid they could be fired merely because of who they are, we are not living up to our ideals of equality before the law. Today, the Senate sent a clear message that in this country you should be judged on the work you do, not on who you love,” Pocan said. “The Employee Non-Discrimination Act is bipartisan, commonsense legislation that ensures all Americans have the opportunity to thrive and succeed in the workplace, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. I urge the House to follow the lead of the Senate, a majority of Fortune 500 companies, and the American people and ensure our workplaces are free from discrimination of any kind.”


Currently only 17 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, while an additional four prohibit employment discrimination based only on sexual orientation.