Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill he authored. 

“Today’s vote was a historic vote for equality and freedom. Deeply embedded in the constitution are notions of freedom and liberty, and discrimination is the antithesis of those founding values. Everyone should have the right to work hard and earn a living. No one should be fired for who they are or who they love. The Senate said today in a strong bipartisan voice that discrimination is just plain wrong. We are one step closer to equality for our LGBT friends and family.” 

Currently, there are no laws in 29 states that protect LGBT Americans for 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.