POLITICS

No, Congress Still Isn't Any Closer To Passing A Bill To Fight LGBT Discrimination

03/13/2014 02:50 pm ET | Updated Mar 13, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Months after overwhelmingly passing in the Senate, a bill that would ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers remains no closer to becoming law.

Although most Americans don't realize it, firing or even harassing someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is legal in more than half of the United States.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act cleared the Senate in November, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats to vote for the bill. But Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who opposes the law, has refused to give it a vote in the House. His spokesman has cited concerns about increased litigation and costs to small businesses -- an outcome that is highly unlikely, based on a recent Government Accountability Office analysis.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on the House to pass the bill, even penning a HuffPost op-ed that compares LGBT discrimination to racial or religious discrimination.

Some of the bill's key supporters, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), say they would support Obama taking executive action to ban LGBT workplace discrimination among government contractors. But White House press secretary Jay Carney regularly suggests the president has no plans to take executive action in the event that Congress doesn’t act on the issue.

A 2012 study estimated that executive action on ENDA could cover up to 16 million workers at government contractors not already protected by state laws or company policies.

HuffPost Readers: Have you been fired, harassed or discriminated against at work because of your sexual orientation or gender identity? If you're open to sharing your story, please email us at openreporting@huffingtonpost.com, or call us at 860-348-3376 and leave a voicemail describing your experience.

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