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National LGBT Bar Association: ‘Americans understand that employment protection is not just ethical, it is also practical’

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Statement of the National LGBT Bar Association on the introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Washington—The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Bar Association applauds today’s introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The introduction of ENDA shows that Congress is dedicated to making sure that all workers are safe from discrimination,” said D’Arcy Kemnitz, Executive Director of the National LGBT Bar Association. “The vast majority of Americans support workplace protections for LGBT workers, and it is long past time for federal law to reflect that reality.”

Twelve states and more than 100 local governments currently include LGBT employees in their nondiscrimination protections. Nationwide, roughly 40 percent of all American workers are covered under LGBT-inclusive laws.

“Americans understand that employment protection is not just ethical, it is also practical,” said Kemnitz. “Our members handle countless cases of workplace discrimination, and they will tell you that workers who are secure in their jobs are more productive. That is critical in today’s economy.”

As the bill moves forward, a key sticking point is likely to be the inclusion of protections based on gender identity, which involves how a person identifies with his or her gender, which may be different than their sex.

“We believe that is absolutely essential that the bill include protections for transgender employees,” said Kemnitz.  “We look forward to working with legislators to preserve the bill’s strengths and fend off any efforts to derail this crucial piece of legislation.”

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The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliate lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

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