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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-28-09 08:27 AM
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New impetus for bill banning anti-gay bias at work
New impetus for bill banning anti-gay bias at work
By The Associated Press
08.27.2009 6:00pm EDT

Momentum is building for Congress to pass the first major civil rights act protecting gays and transgender people, supporters say, and one of the stars in the debate is a barrier-breaking transgender staffer on Capitol Hill.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, would prohibit workplace discrimination - including decisions about hiring, firing and wages - based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would exempt religious organizations, the military and businesses with less than 15 workers.

The driving force behind the bill has been Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the longest-serving of the three openly gay members of Congress. He expects hearings on the measure to be held this fall.

Frank pushed ENDA in 2007, but it foundered because of insufficient backing in the Senate and a split within the gay and transgender communities. Many activists were irate because Frank - seeking support from wavering colleagues - was open to covering sexual orientation but not gender identity, excluding transgender people from protection.
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