Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Thank President Obama for issuing an executive order to prohibit LGBT discrimination by federal contractors
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a bill that has been proposed multiple times in Congress that would prohibit employers in the U.S. from discriminating against people in hiring or employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. ENDA has already been approved by the Senate and has 205 co-sponsors in the House, which is more than enough to pass there as well, yet our representatives haven’t even gotten the chance to vote on it. Despite, or more likely because of, its chance of being approved, Republican House Speaker John Boehner continues to refuse to allow an up or down vote on the bill.
In response to this obstructionism, President Obama has directed White House staff to draft an executive order that would ban employers that work with the federal government from discriminating against LGBT employees in the workplace. A White House official told the press that the order will “build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions.” The order would effect as many as 16 million workers in the U.S.
The official went on to say that, “Today, millions of Americans in most states in the country go to work every day knowing they could lose their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love. No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers from employment discrimination. That’s why the President has long supported federal legislation to explicitly prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Only 18 states currently have statutes that protect against employment discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity in the public and private sectors.
Current law already prohibits job discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, or genetic information. There is no reason that sexuality should not be added to this list. Thank President Obama for standing up for the rights of LGBT Americans.
Dear President Obama,
Your executive action on LGBT discrimination is a welcome and necessary response to the obstructionism and bigotry that is holding up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in congress. It is long past time that LGBT Americans be granted the same protections and freedoms that all other citizens take for granted.
America cannot truly be the “Land of the Free” if we treat certain groups of people as second-class citizens. Thank you for helping our country live up to its own ideals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua via Wikimedia Commons