It feels weird to think of the Senate as the only functioning legislative body of our federal government, but yet it seems to be true. Earlier today ENDA sailed through with 64 Senators voting to end employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Since John Boehner's sole accomplishment as Speaker of the House has been to impede progress and basic policy fairness, it comes as no surprise to know he considers ENDA a non-starter.
House Speaker John Boehner doesn't agree with Sen. Merkley, and the majority of the Senate, that discrimination is simply wrong. He refuses to allow the House to join the Senate in making history. He says that this equal rights bill is "frivolous." Boehner, as usual, is on the wrong side of history on this one.
Meanwhile, the White House approves wholeheartedly while boxing House Republicans' ears:
For more than two centuries, the story of our nation has been the story of more citizens realizing the rights and freedoms that are our birthright as Americans. Today, a bipartisan majority in the Senate took another important step in this journey by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would help end the injustice of our fellow Americans being denied a job or fired just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Just as no one in the United States can lose their job simply because of their race, gender, religion or a disability, no one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or who they love.
Today’s victory is a tribute to all those who fought for this progress ever since a similar bill was introduced after the Stonewall riots more than three decades ago. In particular, I thank Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Harkin, Senators Merkley and Collins for their leadership, and Senator Kirk for speaking so eloquently in support of this legislation. Now it’s up to the House of Representatives. This bill has the overwhelming support of the American people, including a majority of Republican voters, as well as many corporations, small businesses and faith communities. They recognize that our country will be more just and more prosperous when we harness the God-given talents of every individual.
One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do. Now is the time to end this kind of discrimination in the workplace, not enable it. I urge the House Republican leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote and send it to my desk so I can sign it into law. On that day, our nation will take another historic step toward fulfilling the founding ideals that define us as Americans.
Since nearly three-quarters of Americans support bringing an end to workplace discrimination against anyone, this should be a no-brainer for the House.
2014 can't come soon enough.