Bennet, Senate Move Forward on Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Bennet Urges Passage of Bill to Prevent Discrimination against Gay and Lesbian Community in the Workplace

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet was part of a group of 61 Senators today who voted in favor of beginning debate in the Senate on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Today's vote clears a key procedural hurdle for the bill, which would make it illegal to hire or fire a person based on their sexual orientation.  Under current federal employment law sexual orientation is not a protected class, meaning it's legal to terminate someone based on their sexual identity.

"America is founded on principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all and those principles must extend to all of our citizens, including the LGBT community," Bennet said. "But in many states, people can be fired at any time simply because of who they are. That’s unfair and unacceptable.  This bill is in line with Colorado law and  the majority of Americans who believe that everyone has a right to earn a living and feel safe and respected in the workplace."

The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prevents hiring or firing based on sexual orientation in Colorado.

"No one should ever be fired or not hired on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that is why today's Senate vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a step in the right direction," said One Colorado Communications Director Jon Monteith. "Importantly, we are proud to see that ENDA is inclusive of transgender employees -- just like the state workplace protections we succeeded in passing here in Colorado. While we still have more work to do before this bill reaches the president's desk, this vote is a milestone worth celebrating -- and Senator Bennet's leadership helped make it possible."