June 12, 2012The Honorable Harry ReidMajority LeaderUnited States SenateWashington, D.C. 20510
Re: Bring ENDA to a Vote on the Floor of the U.S. Senate This Summer.
Dear Senator Reid:The
Freedom to Work
Advocacy Fund writes to thank you for your strong and repeatedcommitment to passing a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and toremind you of a promise you made in the fall of 2009 when you gave the following statement ata fundraiser of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans:
“The Senate will soon outlaw discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire,
refuse to hire or refuse to promote anyone simply based on his or her sexual orientation orgender i
dentity. It’s called the Employment Non
Discrimination Act, and I’m committed to passing it out of the Senate and sending it to President Obama for his signature.”Almost three years have passed since your promise that ENDA would pass “soon,” but still n
oSenate vote has been scheduled on this bi-partisan legislation introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). Thankfully, Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)today convened a Committee hearing in favor of the legislation, and ENDA could easily pass outof the Committee by a strong bi-partisan margin through a successful mark-up.
Thus, we respectfully urge you to bring ENDA to a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate thissummer so that LGBT Americans do not have to wait any longer to know which of theirSenators support their freedom to work without harassment or discrimination on the job,and which Senators still find it acceptable for Americans to be unjustly fired simplybecause of whom they love or their gender identity.
After decades of delay on this criticallyimportant legislation, LGBT Americans need to know whether our elected officials stand withus. We deserve a vote.Freedom to Work understands that some radical Senator may launch a filibuster to block theENDA legislation that is supported by super-majorities of the American people, in the same waythat your attempt to pass the
Paycheck Fairness Act
for women was filibustered just last week.However, we commend your strong leadership in bringing forward that legislation to make surewomen receive equal pay for equal work, and we believe ENDA deserves the same opportunityto be brought before the full United States Senate for consideration. Indeed, ENDA has more bi-partisan support and more Republican sponsors than the bill you brought to the floor last week.We also note that the Obama Administration has stated its position in favor of passing ENDAthrough the Senate even if passage through the House of Representatives remains unlikely at this