Eugene, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley visited the University of Oregon today to celebrate the Senate’s historic passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and to call on the House of Representatives to vote on this legislation. Senator Merkley also took the opportunity to invite Speaker Boehner out to Oregon to see how well Oregon’s anti-discrimination law is working and how eliminating discrimination is good for business.
“This week the Senate made a huge stride forward in equality and freedom and it’s time for the House of Representative to step up to the plate,” said Merkley. “In fact, since Speaker Boehner seems to be confused about how equality impacts workplaces, I invite him to Oregon to see firsthand how well our anti-discrimination law works. The bottom line is that no one should be fired or denied work because of who they are.”
Currently, there are no laws in 29 states that protect LGBT Americans from being fired simply for who they are. ENDA would change that by creating a federal anti-discrimination law similar to those that already exist on the basis of sex, religion and national origin. Senator Merkley led the fight to pass a state-level version of ENDA when he was the Speaker of the House in Oregon.
The Senate voted 64-32 on Thursday to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This is the first time the Senate has passed this legislation since it was first introduced in 1994.