Last month, the House of Representatives passed a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation but not gender identity or expression. The House passed this version of ENDA over the objection of hundreds of LGBT and civil rights organizations, including TLDEF, that had banded together in support of fully-inclusive legislation. As our own cases – like Farmer v. Caliente Cab Restaurant Co. – make clear, any version of ENDA that fails to include protection from gender-based discrimination not only fails to protect transgender people, but will leave many lesbians and gay men who are victims of gender-based discrimination similarly unprotected.
Despite the setback in the House, a lot of great things happened. More than 360 organizations came together as United ENDA and affirmed that we are one community linked by our united support for civil rights protections for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
United ENDA members and the larger LGBT community generated unprecedented contact with legislators while conveying their support for fully inclusive legislation. While passage in the House of ENDA-light is disappointing, the community's voice has made a difference, and we have seen a tremendous shift in the commitment of a growing number of legislators to support only a full and inclusive version of ENDA in the future.
Of course, the current administration won't support even this limited version of ENDA, so there's virtually no chance that it will be signed into law. That means we'll have more chances to shape this legislation. We remain committed to the ultimate goal of passing a fully inclusive ENDA and getting it signed into law. We'll be in touch with you about how we can all work together to make that happen.