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Senator Murray's Statement on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
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Senator Murray's Statement on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). ENDA prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Senator Murray is a co-sponsor of the bill.

"Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for bringing up this legislation to ensure fair treatment for all Americans in the workplace. Today's hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act comes at a critical time and I hope that we will be able to move forward toward consideration of this important bill and finally see it become law.

"Just as it is illegal now to discriminate against someone in the workplace based on sex, race or religion, there is no reason why Americans should be able to be treated unfairly based on their sexual orientation.

"I have been a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) since it was first introduced in 1994 and have continued to work for its passage. I was proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill once again when it was introduced during this Congress by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with 42 other Senators.

"Since 1994, American business has moved ahead of Congress toward setting policies to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Most Fortune 500 companies specifically set out policies against it, and many Washington state firms do as well. States and local governments across the country have made unfair treatment based on sexual orientation illegal. We should not lag behind in securing federal civil rights for American workers.

"Many would be surprised to learn that discrimination against workers on the basis of sexual orientation remains legal under our nation's civil rights laws. I think that is wrong, and that we need to secure the basic principle that all workers must be treated fairly under the law.

"I want to thank the Chairman for his leadership and support of this important issue. I want to urge my Colleagues to support this bill so we can move this bill out of Committee and onto the floor. "

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