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Schiff praises executive order on LGBT discrimination

Jul 24, 2014
In The News

President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors and agencies from discriminating against employees on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus (Equality Caucus), supports the president’s decision. Schiff earlier led an effort urging Obama to issue such an executive order. He said the announcement is an important step towards ending discrimination against LGBT employees and ensuring that they are judged based on the quality of their work and not because of who they are or who they love. The executive order, when implemented, will only protect employees of federal contractors and federal agencies.

We should be using every avenue available to fight discrimination. It’s just the right thing to do,” Schiff said.

Schiff is an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which passed the U.S. Senate in November 2013. ENDA currently has 205 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It would establish basic protections in the workplace to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are currently only 18 states, including California, and the District of Columbia that prohibit discrimination on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and an additional three states that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

ENDA would provide a basic level of protection against workplace discrimination in a manner modeled closely on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and would apply to private employers as well as local, state, and federal government employers.