Writing in The Guardian, our own Jos Truit says it’s time to make a unified push for comprehensive, inclusive anti-discrimination ”legislation that actually has teeth.”
Forty years ago last week, Bella Abzug introduced the Equality Act in Congress, which would have amended the Civil Rights Act to include protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, public accommodations and employment. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which covers employment discrimination, was introduced 20 years later, in 1994.
It’s now 2014, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people still have no national law that prevents employers, landlords, hoteliers or even restaurant owners from discriminating against us because of our sexual orientations or gender identities. It’s long past time to change that, in sweeping fashion – not just one more bill.
[...] National LGBT leaders need to agree that we deserve better than ENDA. This weakened legislation doesn’t address discrimination in housing, public accommodations, education or federal programs. And it would only extend to us the employment protections that the majority of Americans think LGBT people already have – that’s how far Congress is behind the mainstream. It’s finally time to push for the broad protections that we actually need.