Wednesday, December 4, 2013

READ: Arizona Rep. Sinema Leading Bi-Partisan Effort To Get ENDA Vote In House; "We Are Not Seeking Special Privileges - Just Equal Protections"

Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) and New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) led a group of 10 Republican and Democratic lawmakers in sending a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), urging him to bring the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA") to a vote in the House within the next year.

(The full text of the first page of the letter is reproduced below.)

ENDA seeks to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  It passed the Senate one month ago on a 64-32 vote (neither of Arizona Republican Senators voted for it - in fact, Sen. John McCain skipped town to tape Late Night With David Letterman that night).

Sinema and Maloney are both members of the LGBT that could be protected by the legislation, but not all of the 10 Representatives - five Republicans and five Democrats - are.

The letter emphasizes the "fairness" and "equality" that they say would be provided by the law, and that it "prohibits preferential treatment or hiring quotas".  It does not address the concern that many of the GOP opponents in the Senate - and Boehner himself - noted: that it would prompt a flood of lawsuits.

"An innate sense of fairness compels our country to rise above all forms of workplace discrimination. ENDA would help us move towards this goal in a manner that balances worker protections with respect for religious employers. Keeping with the notion that employees should be judged on their merits alone, the bill explicitly prohibits preferential treatment or hiring quotas. We are not seeking special privileges – just equal protections."
On the second page of the letter (not shown here), the signers are Democratic Reps. Jared Polis, Ron Kind and Kurt Schrader.  The other Republican signers are Reps. Chris Gibson, Jon Runyan and Richard Hanna.

Although the letter asks for a vote by the end of the 113th Congress (January 2015), Rep. Sinema would like a vote "today":  “Americans deserve to be judged in the workplace by their job performance, not their sexual orientation. I call on the House to ensure that all workers are treated the same by bringing ENDA to the House floor today.”

Her statement is from a news release out of Rep. Maloney's office;  Sinema did re-tweet Maloney's tweet on the subject.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

No comments: