WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley – the lead Senate sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the leading congressional advocate for an executive order to bar federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT Americans in the workplace – released the following statement on President Obama’s signing of an executive order that bans workplace discrimination against millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors. This order affects 24,000 companies that employ about 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation’s workforce.
“I was proud to stand with President Obama today at the White House as he signed an executive order to make workplace discrimination illegal for federal contractors – a tremendous and long overdue step forward toward equality. This executive order sends a clear message that unequal and unfair treatment of Americans on the job has no place in our society. No one should ever have to fear that their job is in jeopardy just because of who they are or whom they love.
“Although we have a long way to go before ensuring full equality for LGBT Americans, I applaud the President today for taking this important step, which affirms the principle that all Americans deserve to be treated fairly and equally.”
Senator Merkley is the lead Senate sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to end anti-LGBT job discrimination across America. He led more than 200 members of Congress earlier this year in calling for an executive order to bar such discrimination among federal contractors.